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Malawi: Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Project (PPAR)

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This report focuses on lessons learned from the International Development Association’s (IDA) support to maternal and child health and nutrition under the Malawi Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Project. At the time of project approval, Malawi had made substantial gains in reducing the prevalence of underweight children. However, chronic undernutrition remained high—47 percent of Malawi’s children under Show MoreThis report focuses on lessons learned from the International Development Association’s (IDA) support to maternal and child health and nutrition under the Malawi Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Project. At the time of project approval, Malawi had made substantial gains in reducing the prevalence of underweight children. However, chronic undernutrition remained high—47 percent of Malawi’s children under the age of five were stunted, exceeding the Sub-Saharan Africa average of 40 percent. The underlying causes of malnutrition included poverty, nutrition-deficient household behaviors, inadequate food preparation, and care practices. The government of Malawi’s response to chronic high malnutrition rates began in 2004, when it created the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS (DNHA) and implemented a nutrition policy. The Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Project (the project) was approved in 2012 and financed through an International Development Association credit ($32 million) and an International Development Association grant ($26 million). The project development objective was “to increase access to and utilization of selected services known to contribute to the reduction of stunted growth, maternal and child anemia, and the prevention of HIV and AIDS in children and sexually active adults.” Ratings for the Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Overall efficacy was modest, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation were modest/negligible. This assessment offers the following five lessons and recommendations: (i) While the care group model might be a viable option for nutrition communication and potential behavior change, it is critical to focus on the conditions that can make the model successful. (ii) Developing community-based activities at a large scale takes time and continuous support and it is fundamental to adequately estimate the time and resources needed for full implementation. (iii) The care group model requires intensive stakeholder engagement and sensitivity to the social context. (iv) To track output delivery and expected change, the PDO, results framework, and indicators need to be well tailored. (v) Project structures that are sufficiently flexible to adjust to donor and government needs, help implementation and achievement of results In the HIV/AIDS component, the project adeptly responded to shifts in donor funding commitments to ensure efficient deployment of project resources in needed areas.

Dominican Republic CLR Review FY15-19

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vThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY 15-18, and the updated CPS at the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated December 13, 2017. The CPS period was extended by one year to FY19 at the PLR stage. The CLR highlights eight lessons with which IEG concurs. These include: (i) leadership and Show MorevThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY 15-18, and the updated CPS at the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated December 13, 2017. The CPS period was extended by one year to FY19 at the PLR stage. The CLR highlights eight lessons with which IEG concurs. These include: (i) leadership and strong political commitment from the government is required to advance the reform agenda; (ii) the policy dialogue conducted through the knowledge and advisory services was effective but could be strengthened further to lead to a more realistic program in the future; and (iii) in the context of DR, standalone DPLs may face challenges in ensuring sustainability and implementation of reform as opposed to a programmatic approach. IEG adds the following lesson: Effective use of the PLR is important for course correction and to align the program with implementation realities and changing government priorities. In this case, the PLR came late – for valid country reasons – but was still able to deliver a simpler and better structured program in line with changing government priorities.

Towards a circular economy: Addressing the waste management threat

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A view of garbage field in trash dump or open landfill, food and plastic waste products polluting in a trash dump, Workers hands sorting garbage for recycling.
Municipal solid waste poses a growing threat that surpasses local and regional boundaries. It has become a global challenge, with mounting public health, environmental, social, and economic costs. A new report from the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) finds that the World Bank Group is a leader in addressing the challenge of municipal solid waste, but investments are low compared to other Show MoreMunicipal solid waste poses a growing threat that surpasses local and regional boundaries. It has become a global challenge, with mounting public health, environmental, social, and economic costs. A new report from the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) finds that the World Bank Group is a leader in addressing the challenge of municipal solid waste, but investments are low compared to other sectors, and the drive toward the long-term solution of a circular economy is not yet an overarching goal. Improper waste management leads to soil, air, and water pollution and attracts disease vectors. Mismanaged waste can clog stormwater drains, resulting in flooding that creates unsanitary and toxic conditions, disproportionately affecting poor people, who are more likely to live near or work at waste disposal locations. Burning waste releases toxins and particulate matter in the air that can cause respiratory and neurological diseases, among other health issues. Globally, inadequate solid waste management contributes to climate change—accounting for about 5%of global carbon emissions—and to plastic pollution, which has caused damages to the marine environment estimated at $13 billion per year. About 80% of ocean plastic comes from poorly operating Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM) systems. Even more alarming is the fact that solid waste generation is growing exponentially. It is set to double in large and medium-sized cities and triple in the poorest countries by 2050. This is especially worrying since low-income countries have few sanitary landfills or recycling facilities and no incineration capabilities. Consequently, most of their waste is managed improperly, remains untreated, and is disposed of in open dumps. IEG’s report Transitioning to a Circular Economy: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group's Support for Municipal Solid Waste Management (2010-20) assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries in managing municipal solid waste, and points to sustainable solutions to the challenge while also identifying constraints to their implementation. Addressing the challenge. A focus on financing and synergies There is an urgent need to transition from the traditional linear economic model (take-make-dispose) and adopt widely accepted sustainable alternatives such as the waste hierarchy and circular economy approaches. A waste hierarchy approach prioritizes waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and recovery before disposal. A circular economy closes the loop between extraction, manufacturing, and disposal by advocating for designing products to reduce waste, using products and materials for as long as possible, and recycling materials from end‐of‐life products back into the economy. This is certainly not an easy transition as it requires greater financing to improve the capacities and systems for solid waste management and concerted action among local, regional, national, and international actors. Financing from multilateral development institutions and the private sector for MSWM is low compared to other urban services. The International Solid Waste Association found that, between 2003 and 2012, the share of solid waste management in all official development finance was only 0.32%. Furthermore, The Public‐Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility database shows that in 2020, MSWM received $1 billion in private investments—compared with $4 billion for water supply and sanitation. None of these funds were directed towards low-income countries, where they are needed most. Improved synergies between local, regional, and national governments are also critical to ensure financing and service provision efforts—administered locally—are aligned with policy setting and regulatory priorities— set at the regional and national levels.   Additionally, government collaboration with the private sector, civil society, and non-governmental organizations would also lead to higher efficiency in service delivery, improved practices, and improved accountability of service providers. It would also increase support for the informal waste picker community, which is crucial in collecting and reclaiming recyclable and reusable material. The World Bank Group’s work on Municipal Solid Waste Management The World Bank Group (WBG) leads Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in financing and knowledge of solid waste management. The Bank Group has also recognized and advocated for waste hierarchy and circular economy approaches for MSWM, however, it has yet to mainstream these approaches into many country strategies and operations. The Bank Group mainly focuses on infrastructure and service delivery and has been generally effective, although success can be undermined by challenges in achieving the financial sustainability of projects. The WBG does not, however, consistently provide for some elements essential to integrated waste management, including revising policies, planning for cost recovery, involving the private sector, incorporating behavioral factors, and considering waste pickers. The most common infrastructure activities supported by the WBG have been closing informal dumpsites, rehabilitating sanitary landfills, or building new ones. There has been relatively less emphasis on waste reduction, separation, recycling, and recovery. The cost of inaction is high for people and the planet. World Bank Group actions going forward WBG institutions have the potential to face this challenge in coordinated action and to partner with other development finance institutions in helping countries achieve the necessary institutional strengthening and required funding. The WBG has room to increase private capital mobilization for MSWM, as only 27% of its projects included efforts to incentivize private sector participation. The Bank Group can also address the growing waste management challenge in low-income countries more frequently. These countries received less than 2% of World Bank lending and no investments from the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The World Bank Group has agreed to implement IEG’s recommendations and is therefore reaffirming its commitment to adopting and implementing waste hierarchy practices, in line with client needs and capacities. This commitment includes identifying and working to address constraints to investments in MSWM in lower-income countries; and building on its leadership position, by collaborating and convening with developmental partners to improve the management of municipal solid waste and set a course for the circular economy. Pictured above: view of a garbage field in trash dump or open landfill, food and plastic waste products polluting in a trash dump, Workers hands sorting garbage for recycling. Photo credit: Shutterstock/Attraction Art

Comment les changements des comportements nutritionnels se produisent-ils ? Un outil pour vous aider à appliquer les enseignements

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Comment les changements des comportements nutritionnels se produisent-ils ? Un outil pour vous aider à appliquer les enseignements
Une nouvelle brochure aide les utilisateurs à planifier et à suivre les activités de changement des comportements pour améliorer les résultats nutritionnels. Une nouvelle brochure aide les utilisateurs à planifier et à suivre les activités de changement des comportements pour améliorer les résultats nutritionnels.

Geospatial Analysis in Evaluation

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Social infrastructure and communication technology concept. IoT (Internet of Things). Autonomous transportation. Misato junction. Credits: metamorworks/iStockphoto
Jos Vaessen, Maria Elena Pinglo, and Victor Vergara also contributed to this blog. The availability of geospatial data can be vital to better understand development issues and to ensure development efforts are directed to the places where they are most needed. Geospatial data refer to any data containing information about a specific location on the Earth's surface. This encompasses a wide Show MoreJos Vaessen, Maria Elena Pinglo, and Victor Vergara also contributed to this blog. The availability of geospatial data can be vital to better understand development issues and to ensure development efforts are directed to the places where they are most needed. Geospatial data refer to any data containing information about a specific location on the Earth's surface. This encompasses a wide variety of data types such as project activities’ coordinates, political boundaries, crop patterns, road networks, and geolocated survey indicators.  Imagery data -such as satellite imagery- have also been traditionally used for geospatial analysis. However, until recently, their use remained mostly constrained to the domain of military applications given the vast computational resources needed to store and process these data. This has drastically changed due to advances in machine learning algorithms and an increase in computational capabilities, which have made this data type more generally accessible. Satellite data are particularly relevant for geospatial analysis in that they are often publicly available at a global scale, can be used to understand a broad range of phenomena, and are available over long periods of times making them suitable for time-series analysis. Although less widespread than satellite imagery, digital photos - such as streetscape images of urban scenes - are also becoming an important data source for geospatial analysis, especially when combined with the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, which can assign meaning to features from these images.  The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has been exploring the use of new techniques of geospatial analysis -including the use of satellite and digital images- to understand change in spatial phenomena of interest over time, and to help answer questions on relevance and effectiveness of development interventions.  Understanding change  Geospatial data can be used to describe how some spatial phenomena changed over a period of time, by creating a chronological series and quantifying the amount of change. This technique has many potential areas of application, such as understanding changes in weather phenomena or in deforestation patterns.  IEG conducted a study to evaluate an urban development project implemented in Bathore (Albania). The study aimed at ascertaining the extent of urban growth of upgraded neighborhoods. The analysis relied on the use of publicly available satellite images during the period 1999-2010. The team trained an algorithm to classify the images’ pixels across four classes of land cover: built-up environment, forest, water, and agricultural land. This supervised classification algorithm helped group the image data into the four categories and allowed the team to see the evolution of land cover classes in the area and to detect a clear increase in the built-up environment. (See Fig. 1.) Fig. 1. Land Use/Land Cover classification of the area of interest for the period 1999-2010   Understanding relevance IEG has been piloting an approach across its Country Program Evaluations (CPEs) to help ascertain whether the Bank (and other development partners) are targeting the areas - such as regions or provinces - where there is a greater need. The analysis relies on building a customized dataset using multiple variables with geocoded data, (such as project locations), macro variables (such as population and GDP per capita), and sector-specific variables (such as education and energy). These data are typically derived from a variety of sources, including geocoded survey data and official statistics, publicly available gridded datasets, and remote sensing data. A key advantage of this approach is that it leverages both traditional and novel data sources, which are then combined to produce granular, subnational estimates. This is critical to move beyond national averages, which can hide, in many cases, regional disparities, for example, in terms of the level of access to basic services. Understanding effectiveness As geospatial data are typically available for locations beyond the specific project boundaries, it is also possible to use these data to build a spatial counterfactual, which measures what would have happened in the absence of the intervention. This methodological design is based on the identification of both a “treatment” and a “control” area (i.e., areas that benefited from the program and those that did not). It requires sufficient relevant data on outcomes and key factors affecting the outcomes, including how the factors interact among one another, before and after the implementation of the project. IEG conducted a geospatial impact assessment on the change in urban density over time around a road improvement project in Maputo (Mozambique) as part of the Managing Urban Spatial Growth evaluation. The study used a combination of machine learning techniques and econometrics. Applying a “difference-in-differences” approach, the team assigned as “treatment area” the plots that were within a buffer distance from both sides of the road improvement project, and as “comparison” or “control” area contiguous land from the north of the treatment area that was not included in any of the project’s road improvement activities. The team used a grid cell as the unit of analysis, and data sources included project locations, satellite images, digital elevation models, road networks, and points-of-interest. The study demonstrated that the horizontal density, i.e., building outwards through new urban areas, increased over time in the project area compared to the control area.  At the same time, there were no statistically significant differences between the project and control areas in terms of changes in vertical density, i.e., building upwards and filling open spaces between existing buildings. (See Fig. 2). Fig. 2: Horizontal and vertical growth of Maputo (Mozambique) Conclusion Geospatial analysis can be instrumental towards helping identify and understand the geographical impact of interventions and directing development efforts where they are most needed. Such analyses are, however, not devoid of limitations. Geospatial data are stored in specific formats, requiring specialized knowledge and expertise to manipulate the data. Additionally, although computational capabilities have greatly increased recently, some applications—especially those based on the manipulation of large amounts of image data—remain computationally intensive and might require access to additional computing resources. Finally, it is important to note that many geospatial data are essentially proxies of more complex phenomena (e.g., poverty, environmental degradation) of interest. Therefore, geospatial analysis is not a substitute for but rather a complement to on-the-ground (qualitative) data collection and analysis, with the latter still vital for strengthening the validity of findings.   Pictured above: Social infrastructure and communication technology concept. IoT (Internet of Things). Autonomous transportation. Misato junction. Credits: metamorworks/iStockphoto

Mongolia: Sustainable Livelihoods Project and Second Sustainable Livelihoods Project (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report by the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank Group on the Mongolia Sustainable Livelihoods Project (P067770) and the Second Sustainable Livelihoods Project (P096439). The program aimed to address the vulnerability of pastoral livelihoods and increase public and private investment in rural communities in Mongolia. This is a Project Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report by the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank Group on the Mongolia Sustainable Livelihoods Project (P067770) and the Second Sustainable Livelihoods Project (P096439). The program aimed to address the vulnerability of pastoral livelihoods and increase public and private investment in rural communities in Mongolia. This is a Project Performance Assessment Report of the first and second phases of the program. Ratings for the Sustainable Livelihoods Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Quality of M&E was modest. Ratings for the Second Sustainable Livelihoods Project are: Outcome, moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy, substantial, Bank performance, moderately satisfactory, and Quality of M&E, modest. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Sustained engagement in CDD, combined with positive political momentum and internal champions, can lead to legal and regulatory changes that support sustainability of the mechanism. (ii) In environments where there is an increasing and unsustainable pressure on the natural resource base, the vulnerability of resource users cannot be reduced successfully without comprehensively addressing the drivers of resource degradation. (iii) Ensuring social inclusion is key in the implementation of group-based interventions to avoid unintended consequences, such as exacerbating distributional inequities or free-rider problems. (iv) Risk forecasting and early-warning systems may not be sustained if the technology is incompatible with or not embedded in local institutions. (v) Increasing the availability of rural finance does not automatically lead to livelihood diversification and may contribute to additional livelihood vulnerability in high-risk sectors. (vi) Efforts to implement index-based insurance programs should thoroughly assess factors that will determine feasibility and sustainability, including the appetite for insurance within the target customer base. (vii) A mismatch between project ambition and support can impair the provision of sufficient capacity building needed for desired behavior change and long-term outcomes.

Learning from Data Innovation

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Learning from Data Innovation
Data are vital for understanding the progress and impact of development strategies. New technologies coupled with increased computing power are creating opportunities for gathering and analyzing ever larger amounts of data from a greater range of sources. In addition, remote data collection has played an important role in getting around the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the Show More Data are vital for understanding the progress and impact of development strategies. New technologies coupled with increased computing power are creating opportunities for gathering and analyzing ever larger amounts of data from a greater range of sources. In addition, remote data collection has played an important role in getting around the restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But innovative use of technology began before the pandemic. How have new technologies influenced data gathering and use, and what are their implications for learning from evidence and for evaluating development? Host Brenda Barbour speaks with Jos Vaessen, IEG's methods advisor. Listen on  Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. Related Resources: Evaluation Methods Resources World Bank Support to Reducing Child Undernutrition: An Independent Evaluation Managing Urban Spatial Growth: World Bank Support to Land Administration, Planning, and Development Why evaluators should embrace the use of geospatial data during Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and beyond Adapting evaluation designs in times of COVID-19 (coronavirus): four questions to guide decisions Conducting evaluations in times of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Transitioning to a Circular Economy

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People pick through a garbage dump.  Image credit: Stockbyte via Getty Images.
This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries to manage municipal solid waste using an integrated approach to advance development and sustainability goals—including SDG 11 for sustainable cities and SDG 12 for reducing waste. This evaluation assesses how well the World Bank Group has supported client countries to manage municipal solid waste using an integrated approach to advance development and sustainability goals—including SDG 11 for sustainable cities and SDG 12 for reducing waste.

The Development Effectiveness of the Use of Doing Business Indicators

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An abstract. digital image of data and the globe
This evaluation assesses the strategic relevance of the Doing Business indicators to both the development agenda of the World Bank Group and the reform priorities of its client countries. It also examines the extent to which the use of the indicators, including the discontinued ease of doing business country rankings, contributed to development effectiveness.  This evaluation assesses the strategic relevance of the Doing Business indicators to both the development agenda of the World Bank Group and the reform priorities of its client countries. It also examines the extent to which the use of the indicators, including the discontinued ease of doing business country rankings, contributed to development effectiveness. 

A closer look at World Bank Development Policy Financing in fragile states

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A monument of a broken cylinder being held up by a statue with five arms. The “Saving Iraqi Culture” monument in Baghdad designed by sculptor Mohammed Ghani Hikmat. Iraq is one of top five DPF recipients in FCV settings. Credit: Rasool Ali/Shutterstock
Revaluating what “good” looks like in volatile and uncertain situations to promote more informed risk-taking. Revaluating what “good” looks like in volatile and uncertain situations to promote more informed risk-taking.