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INFOGRAPHIC: Early Childhood Interventions - Where are the Knowledge Gaps?

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INFOGRAPHIC: Early Childhood Interventions - Where are the Knowledge Gaps?
Find out how follow-up impact evaluations can stregthen evidence on the later-life effects of early childhood interventions. Find out how follow-up impact evaluations can stregthen evidence on the later-life effects of early childhood interventions.

The World Bank Group and the Electricity Access Challenge

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The World Bank Group and the Electricity Access Challenge
Learn what the IEG recommends the World Bank Group do to help achieve Universal Electricity Access by 2030. Learn what the IEG recommends the World Bank Group do to help achieve Universal Electricity Access by 2030.

Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality

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Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality
Since 1990, maternal and childhood deaths have fallen by 47 percent globally. There are a lot of great ideas on how to reduce maternal and childhood mortality. Some of them have been effective, many have not been. Dr. Jeff Tanner, an economist at the World Bank Group shares the findings of a study that reviewed what interventions work. Read the report   {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/ Show MoreSince 1990, maternal and childhood deaths have fallen by 47 percent globally. There are a lot of great ideas on how to reduce maternal and childhood mortality. Some of them have been effective, many have not been. Dr. Jeff Tanner, an economist at the World Bank Group shares the findings of a study that reviewed what interventions work. Read the report   {"preview_thumbnail":"/sites/default/files/Data/styles/video_embed_wysiwyg_preview/public/video_thumbnails/0N-NIqzEmYI.jpg?itok=HezctepE","video_url":"https://youtu.be/0N-NIqzEmYI","settings":{"responsive":0,"width":"854","height":"480","autoplay":0},"settings_summary":["Embedded Video (854x480)."]}

2013 IEG Good Practice Awards

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The IEG Good Practice Awards highlight exemplary design and implementation in World Bank projects and country programs, and excellence in self-evaluation in World Bank, IFC and MIGA operations. The purpose is to create incentives among staff for greater development effectiveness. 2013 IEG Good Practice Award Winners Country Program Award for a Fragile State (Specific Aspects)   Show MoreThe IEG Good Practice Awards highlight exemplary design and implementation in World Bank projects and country programs, and excellence in self-evaluation in World Bank, IFC and MIGA operations. The purpose is to create incentives among staff for greater development effectiveness. 2013 IEG Good Practice Award Winners Country Program Award for a Fragile State (Specific Aspects)  Afghanistan Country Program, Fiscal 2002-11 Country Program Award for Treatment of Governance and Anti-Corruption Issues Bangladesh Country Program, Fiscal 2006-10 Project Award Guatemala Financial Sector Project Award for Products with a Demonstrated Contribution Lending India Gujarat State Highway Project Non-Lending/AAA China 'Reducing Inequality for Shared Growth In China: Strategy and Policy Options for Guangdong Province' M&E Quality Award Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS) analysis of outcome trends in investment lending projects over Fiscal 2000-10.   ICR Quality Award Serbia Real Estate Cadastre and Registration Project Implementation Completion Report (ICR) (Report No. ICR 2076) Benin Malaria Control Booster Program ICR (Report No. ICR 2042) XPSR Awards Endesa Brasil Stomana II (Bulgaria) Access GEM (Nigeria) PNOC (EDC) (Philippines) GeoPark (Latin America) PCR Awards BTC Advisory (Botswana) Zambia Kafue Gorge Lower Hydroelectric Power Plan XPSR Department Award Infrastructure and Natural Resources Department – Asia PER Award Botnia Uruguay Société Burkinabé de Promotion Hôtelière S.A. (Burkina Faso)  

What is Monitoring and Evaluation?

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Monitoring can be defined as: "A continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing development intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds". See Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Glossary Show MoreMonitoring can be defined as: "A continuing function that uses systematic collection of data on specified indicators to provide management and the main stakeholders of an ongoing development intervention with indications of the extent of progress and achievement of objectives and progress in the use of allocated funds". See Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (Terms are presented in English, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish). Thus monitoring embodies the regular tracking of inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts of development activities at the project, program, sector and national levels. This includes the monitoring of a country's progress against the millennium development goals (MDGs), or other national measures of development success. Evaluation can be defined as "the process of determining the worth or significance of a development activity, policy or program .. to determine the relevance of objectives, the efficacy of design and implementation, the efficiency or resource use, and the sustainability of results. An evaluation should (enable) the incorporation of lessons learned into the decision-making process of both partner and donor". Monitoring and evaluation are synergistic. Monitoring information is a necessary but not sufficient input to the conduct of rigorous evaluations. While monitoring information can be collected and used for ongoing management purposes, reliance on such information on its own can introduce distortions because it typically covers only certain dimensions of a project's or program's activities, and careful use of this information is needed to avoid unintended behavioral incentives. In contrast, evaluation has the potential to provide a more balanced interpretation of performance. But evaluation is a more detailed and time-consuming activity, and because of its greater cost it needs to be conducted more sparingly. One approach is to rely on monitoring information to identify potential problem issues requiring more detailed investigation via an evaluation. M&E can be conducted using a wide array of tools, methods and approaches. These include, for example: performance monitoring indicators; the logical framework; theory-based evaluation; formal surveys such as service delivery surveys, citizen report cards, living standards measurement surveys (LSMS) and core welfare indicators questionnaires (CWIQ); rapid appraisal methods such as key informant interviews, focus group discussions and facilitated brainstorming by staff and officials; participatory methods such as participatory M&E; public expenditure tracking surveys; rigorous impact evaluation; and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis.

Ten Key Issues for Diagnosis of a Government's M&E Systems

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1. Genesis of the existing M&E system: role of M&E advocates or champions; key events which created the priority for M&E information (e.g., election of reform-oriented government, fiscal crisis).   2. The ministry or agency responsible for managing the M&E system, and for planning evaluations. Roles and responsibilities of the main parties to the M&E system — e.g., Show More1. Genesis of the existing M&E system: role of M&E advocates or champions; key events which created the priority for M&E information (e.g., election of reform-oriented government, fiscal crisis).   2. The ministry or agency responsible for managing the M&E system, and for planning evaluations. Roles and responsibilities of the main parties to the M&E system — e.g., finance ministry, planning ministry, president's office, sector ministries, parliament or congress. Incentives for the stakeholders to take M&E seriously — strength of demand for M&E information. Possible existence of several, uncoordinated M&E systems, at the national and sectoral levels. Importance of federal/state/local issues to the M&E system.   3.The public sector environment and whether it makes it easy or difficult for managers to perform to high standards, and to be held accountable for their performance. Are public sector reforms underway which might benefit from a stronger emphasis on the measurement of government performance, such as a poverty reduction strategy, performance budgeting, strengthening policy analysis skills, creation of a performance culture in the civil service, improvements in service delivery such as customer service standards, government decentralization, greater participation by civil society, or an anti-corruption strategy?   4. The main aspects of public sector management which the M&E system supports strongly, such as: (i) budget decision-making; (ii) national or sectoral planning; (iii) program management; (iv) accountability relationships (to the finance ministry, to the President's office, to parliament, to sector ministries, to civil society).   5. Actual role of M&E information at the various stages of the budget process — such as policy advising and planning; budget decision-making; performance review and reporting. Possible disconnect between the M&E work of sector ministries and the use of such information in the budget process. Existence of any disconnect between the budget process and national planning. Opportunities to strengthen the role of M&E in the budget.   6. Extent to which the M&E information commissioned by key stakeholders (e.g. the finance ministry) is used by others, such as sector ministries. If not, what are the barriers to utilization? Any solid evidence concerning the extent of utilization by different stakeholders (e.g., a diagnostic review or a survey). Examples of major evaluations which have been highly influential with the government.   7. Types of M&E tool which are emphasized in the M&E system: regular performance indicators; rapid reviews or evaluations; performance audits; rigorous, in-depth impact evaluations; other. Scale and cost of each of these types of M&E. Manner in which evaluation priorities are set — are they focused on 'problem programs', pilot programs, high-expenditure or high-visibility programs, or are they based on a systematic research agenda to answer questions about program effectiveness?   8. Who is responsible for collecting performance information, and for conducting evaluations (e.g., ministries themselves, or academia or consulting firms)? Any problems with data quality or reliability, or with the quality of evaluations which have been conducted. Strengths and weaknesses of local supply of M&E. Key capacity constraints and the government's capacity-building priorities.   9. Extent of donor support for M&E in recent years. Donor projects which support M&E at whole-of-government, sectoral or agency levels — provision of technical assistance, other capacity-building and funding for the conduct of major evaluations, such as rigorous impact evaluations.   10. Conclusions: overall strengths and weaknesses of the M&E system. Its sustainability, in terms for example of vulnerability to a change in government. How dependent is it on donor funding or other support? Current plans for future strengthening of the M&E system.

World Bank Group and Guarantees: Three Questions

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Should the WBG be in the guarantee business? Guarantee instruments have been largely effective in supporting WBG strategic objectives. Across the WBG, guarantees have effectively promoted private investment. Guarantees have supported investment flows across a broad range of high-risk sectors and countries and for small and medium-size investments. More than 30 percent of IFC guarantees have Show More Should the WBG be in the guarantee business? Guarantee instruments have been largely effective in supporting WBG strategic objectives. Across the WBG, guarantees have effectively promoted private investment. Guarantees have supported investment flows across a broad range of high-risk sectors and countries and for small and medium-size investments. More than 30 percent of IFC guarantees have been used to support trade and investment flows in Africa. The WBG's additionality in risk mitigation derives from its relationship with governments and its contribution to broader development objectives. Each institution has issued a substantial proportion of its guarantees in high-risk countries. World Bank guarantees have helped further both policy reforms and the environment for private investment. IFC guarantees have supported financial innovation and capital market development by introducing new financial instruments to new classes of investors.   Have WBG guarantees been used to their potential? Whereas guarantee instruments remain an important tool for supporting WBG strategic priorities, the use of the instruments has fallen short of WBG expectations to varying degrees. Several factors contribute to the perception that there is significant unmet demand for WBG guarantee instruments: (1) Political risk is consistently ranked as a main constraint; (2) regulatory and contractual risks are perceived as the main reason for the growing investment gaps in infrastructure; (3) abundant liquidity in emerging markets calls for enhancements that can help deepen the market, extend maturities, lower spreads, and redirect resources to underserved market segments and new areas unfamiliar to financiers in emerging markets. Some external factors explain limited deployment. To some extent, the WBG has had overly optimistic expectations, particularly in the case of public-private partnerships across a range of infrastructure sectors based on rapid growth in the mid-1990s. Moreover, some studies indicate that 65 percent of investors self-insure rather than take third-party insurance, suggesting a more limited effective demand than expected. Private sector providers of risk mitigation products have expanded their coverage in terms of both products and markets. Liquid markets in the 2000s have reduced the demand for sovereign partial credit guarantees. Internal factors have also constrained the deployment of instruments. MIGA’s Convention and Operational Regulations limit its adaptability to new market trends. MIGA has also not been sufficiently aggressive in innovating within the flexibility allowed by current policies. Internal constraints to the deployment of Bank Group guarantees include the application of standards designed for public sector operations to private sector projects and lack of both internal and external promotion of the instruments. IFC has tended to apply a traditional project financier’s approach to guarantee-type instruments. It has taken an overly conservative stance toward risk-sharing facilities, which has constrained their utilization. Although some progress has been made in innovation, there has been limited replication and scaling up.   Is the WBG appropriately organized to deliver the range of guarantee products? There is an overlap in the provision of political risk mitigation (PRM) products within the WBG. Flexibility of policies and innovation in guarantee and nonguarantee products have expanded the scope for competition. In addition, several nonguarantee IFC products offer PRM to the market. The PRM products of the three WBG institutions serve the same broad group of clients, and there is evidence that these overlaps have caused confusion among clients and internal competition of the kind that often imposes additional transaction costs on clients and adds reputational risks for the Bank. At the same time, each institution’s products carry distinct attributes that help define market niches. Relationships of both substitutability and complementarily exist among the WBG PRM instruments, which implies both opportunities for cooperation and the need for coordination. Mechanisms to enhance coordination across the WBG have had varying degrees of effectiveness. More systematic consultations between MIGA and Bank country and sector departments have helped ensure that MIGA-supported projects are consistent with the Bank Group’s strategy in a country. But the principles that govern the relationship between MIGA and IFC products have been unclear. In some cases, informal information sharing about business opportunities has been effective in leading to actual guarantee projects. There is limited coordination within the WBG in developing new products and at the business development stage. Lack of staff incentives, inadequate skills, and poor familiarity with the products of the other institutions has prevented better exploitation of downstream synergies in marketing WBG products. Significant potential exists for more systematic links between Bank-IFC advisory services and the use of WBG risk mitigation instruments, particularly in infrastructure, keeping in mind the need to manage potential conflict of interest issues. In sum, opportunities exist for improvement, and maintaining the status quo should not be an option.

Evaluation Principles and Standards

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Evaluation Standards IEG's Phase 2 Report of the Bank’s involvement in global programs recommended, among other things, that IEG should include global programs in its standard evaluation and reporting processes to the Board. This includes: Reviewing selected program-level evaluations conducted by Bank-supported global programs like IEG reviews other evaluations of Bank support at the Show MoreEvaluation Standards IEG's Phase 2 Report of the Bank’s involvement in global programs recommended, among other things, that IEG should include global programs in its standard evaluation and reporting processes to the Board. This includes: Reviewing selected program-level evaluations conducted by Bank-supported global programs like IEG reviews other evaluations of Bank support at the project and country levels. Working with the Bank’s global partners to develop consensus standards for the evaluation of global programs. IEG is implementing both components of this recommendation concurently, since they are complementary. Each is contributing to progress on the other. Guidelines for Global and Regional Program Reviews IEG has developed a set of guidelines for its own Global and Regional Program Reviews (GRPRs) in consultation with the Bank’s units involved with global programs, operations policy, and trust fund management. These guidelines – which presume the existence of a prior external evaluation commissioned by the governing body of the program being reviewed – draw upon the evaluation framework in IEG's Phase 2 Report, the three pilot GPRs which IEG completed in FY06 and the Sourcebook for Evaluating GRPPs. Indicative Principles and Standards for Evaluating GRPPs IEG made a presentation on this topic to the Fourth Meeting of the OECD/DAC Network on Development Evaluation in Paris on March 31, 2006. Attended by representatives from the evaluation units of 23 bilateral agencies and development cooperation ministries, and from the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, and the International Monetary Fund, the meeting expressed broad support for developing principles and standards for evaluating GRPPs and requested that IEG play a leading role in doing so. The Sourcebook of Indicative Principles and Standards is the result of IEG's response to this request. An earlier draft of the Sourcebook was reviewed at a Stakeholder Consultative Workshop held for this purpose in Paris on September 28-29, 2006. The workshop validated the approach of producing a free-standing and comprehensive document that presents, synthesizes, applies, and elaborates on existing evaluation principles and standards for the particular benefit of the governing bodies and management units of GRPPs. Workshop participants also provided comments that substantially improved the operational relevance of the Sourcebook and called for the additional preparation of a companion document of guidance notes and good-practice examples for the particular benefit of evaluators of GRPPs. The workshop was attended by 51 representatives (not including the workshop organizers) of the following stakeholder groups: Bilateral donor agencies UN organizations MDBs Foundations Developing countries NGOs/private sector Global programs (management) Global program evaluators Evaluation associations   The present version of the Sourcebook, which incorporates the feedback received at the workshop, was presented to the Fifth Meeting of the DAC Evaluation Network in Paris on November 16-17, 2006. This meeting recommended a period of practical application, use, and review, rather than formal endorsement at this stage. It encourages the governing bodies and management units of GRPPs in which DAC members are involved to draw upon them in establishing their monitoring and evaluation policies and in conducting independent evaluations of their programs on a regular basis. It further encourages those who use this Sourcebook to provide feedback to IEG and the Network based on their experience, in order to inform and further improve the document for eventual formal endorsement by Network members.   Existing Evaluation Principles and Standards The World Bank is not responsible for the content of any external internet sites. * Note: All documents and websites will open in a new window. OECD/DAC Principles for Evaluation of Development Assistance (1991) OECD DAC Evaluation Quality Standards (2006) OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results-based Managment (2002) OECD Principles of Corporate Governance (2004) UN Evaluation Norms (April 2005) English | Spanish | French | Russian |Chinese | Arabic UN Evaluation Standards (April 2005) English| Spanish | French | Russian | Chinese | Arabic Evaluation Cooperation Group of the Multilateral Development Banks: Good Practice Standards Evaluation Cooperation Group of the Multilateral Development Bank: Template for Assessing the Independence of Evaluation Organizations Global Environment Facility: Monitoring and Evaluation Policy (February 2006) Development Grant Facility of the World Bank: Independent Evaluation: Principles, Guidelines (November 2003) The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation: Program Evaluation Standards (1994) African Evaluation Guidelines (2002) English | French American Evaluation Association Guiding Principles for Evaluators (Revised July 2004) Council on Foundations: Evaluation Approaches and Methods (2003)

Global and Regional Program Sites and Evaluations

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IEG has so far reviewed the most recent evaluations of more than 30 global and regional partnership programs as part of its Phase 2 Report of the Bank's involvement in global programs and its ongoing Global and Regional Program Reviews of selected program-level evaluations. Click on the following to access the web-sites of these programs and their most recent external evaluations (if available Show MoreIEG has so far reviewed the most recent evaluations of more than 30 global and regional partnership programs as part of its Phase 2 Report of the Bank's involvement in global programs and its ongoing Global and Regional Program Reviews of selected program-level evaluations. Click on the following to access the web-sites of these programs and their most recent external evaluations (if available). The programs and their evaluations are grouped by sector, and by age within each sector - the oldest programs first.   Environment and Agriculture | Health, Nutrition and Population | Information, Knowledge and Statistics | Infrastructure | Social Development and Protection | Trade and Finance | Regional Programs The World Bank is not responsible for the content of any external internet sites. * Note: All websites and evaluations will open in a new window. Environment and Agriculture Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) website Global Environment Facility (GEF) website | Independent Evaluation Office Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol (MLF) website Global Water Partnership (GWP) website | evaluation Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) website | evaluation International Land Coalition website | evaluation Communities, Conservation and Markets website | evaluation Least Developed Countries Fund for Climate Change website | evaluation Special Climate Change Fund website | evaluation Health, Nutrition and Population Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) website | evaluation 3 | evaluation 4 Partnership for Child Development (PCD) website | evaluation UNAIDS website | evaluation Global Forum for Health Research website | evaluation Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBM) website | evaluation | Change Initiative Stop TB Partnership website | evaluation Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) website | evaluation | annexes GAVI Alliance website | internal evaluation unit | evaluation RFP Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria website | evaluation UNESCO Institute for Statistics website | evaluation Education For All -- Fast track Initiative website | evaluation International AIDS Vaccine Initiative website | evaluation Health Metrics Network webxite | evaluation Medicines Transparency Alliance website | evaluation Information, Knowledge and Statistics InfoDev website Global Development Network (GDN) website | evaluation Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) website | evaluation Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building website | evaluation Knowledge for Change Program website | evaluation Roma Education Fund website | evaluation Infrastructure Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (ESMAP) website Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) website | evaluation Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility (PPIAF) website | evaluation Cities Alliance website | evaluation Global Water Partnership website | evaluation Social Development and Protection Understanding Children's Work (UCW) website Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR)website | evaluation Trade and Finance Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) website | evaluation | strategy Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance website | evaluation Global Corprorate Governance Forum website | evaluation | compliance review Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) website | evaluation | management response Regional Programs African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) website | evaluation | strategic overview Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) website | evaluation Vol.1 2 3 Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA) website | evaluation & annexes Mediterranean Environmental Technical Assistance Program (METAP) website | evaluation Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) website  

Reducing Poverty through Sustainable Forest Use

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Forests are vital to human survival. About 1.3 billion–1.6 billion people depend on forests for food, energy, timber and many other uses. But rampant deforestation has meant the loss of nearly one half of the Earth’s tropical forests cut over the past half a century. This puts pressure on policymakers, local communities and private companies to find better and more sustainable ways of using Show MoreForests are vital to human survival. About 1.3 billion–1.6 billion people depend on forests for food, energy, timber and many other uses. But rampant deforestation has meant the loss of nearly one half of the Earth’s tropical forests cut over the past half a century. This puts pressure on policymakers, local communities and private companies to find better and more sustainable ways of using forest resources. The raging man-made forest fires in Indonesia are just one example of deteriorating conditions and their adverse effects for the country, its neighbors and the planet. A recent learning event “Managing Forest Resources for Sustainable Development” brought out relevant knowledge from the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) Independent Evaluation Department and the Environment Community of Practice, and the World Resources Institute (WRI). Despite the twelve hour time difference between the participating countries, the event drew a large attendance and brought out enthusiasm around this issue. At the event, IEG highlighted the findings from its recent evaluation of the World Bank Group Experience with Managing Forest Resources for Sustainable Development. The evaluation covers Bank Group’s work after 2002, when it shifted the focus of its forest strategy. "This shift allowed the Bank Group to expand its work in all forest types, establish a set of safeguards to integrate forest resource management into sustainable economic development agenda, and most importantly, strive to balance its efforts and objectives in the three critical areas of poverty alleviation, enhancement of the economic value of forests and forest conservation. Instituting this strategic change was much needed and commendable, and it is still relevant today." – said Marvin Taylor-Dormond, Director, Private Sector Evaluations. IEG found that participatory forest management has been the most successful at balancing the threefold goal of forest conservation, poverty alleviation, and economic development. Mexico’s community forest management program offers an excellent example in this regard, along with positive experiences in India, Tanzania, and Albania. However, neglect of the informal sector has resulted in missed opportunities to reach more of the rural forest-dependent poor. "In many client countries, regulations have criminalized rather than regularized the collection or production and sale of timber and non-timber forest products. Heavy fees and fines along the forest product value chain—or regulations that allow for the sale of these products to be conducted by only a licensed few—tax the forest-dependent poor." – said the lead author of the study, Lauren Kelly. In protected area projects, IEG found that trade-offs still exist between conservation and poverty alleviation goals. Going forward, the projects implemented in protected areas need to do a better job of articulating how poverty alleviation will be conceptualized and incorporated into project design. In the case of industrial timber concessions, support for legal and regulatory reform has improved forest governance and enhanced transparency and accountability. The evaluation also finds that significant challenges remain with respect to revenue capture, revenue redistribution, and environmental management, among others. Forest-related investments supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have generally yielded higher value-added products and increased productivity and production capacity. “To ensure sustainable forest management practices, however, certification of forest operations needs to be strengthened along the value chain. IFC could also have a more catalytic effect on sustainable forest management if its investments were more strategically placed.” – said Stoyan Tenev, Manager, Private Sector Evaluations.    With the collapse of forest-related carbon markets and the failure thus far of approaches toward Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation  (REDD+) to achieve its forest-related climate change goals, IEG finds the strategy of  sustaining a ‘no regrets’ portfolio of forest investments that pursue adaptation and mitigation goals within the broader landscape agenda very important. At the same time, given the Bank’s leadership role in initiating and building a platform for REDD+ as well as associated market-based instruments, the World Bank Group will need to maintain a clear and direct line of communication with clients at the national and subnational levels –whose expectations for future finance have been raised through these initiatives. At the event, ADB’s Director General of Independent Evaluation, Vinod Thomas, highlighted the risks and opportunity in this area saying:  "Forests are the quintessential example of gains from pursuing the triple bottom line of growth, equity and sustainability.  But we are yet to grasp this opportunity because of vested interests that stand to lose from the pursuit of such a triple bottom line.  Building on the positive examples that the IEG evaluation eloquently presents, countries and multilateral organizations need to revisit approaches to forest management for a viable way forward." In its evaluation, IEG recommended an expansion of support for participatory forest management (including attention to regulatory barriers), more meaningful community participation in the design and management of protected areas, and the use of improved monitoring and evaluation indicators. Certainly, building on approaches that have worked—as well as searching for innovative solutions to new challenges—will be extremely important for sustainable forest management. In challenging environments, such as in fragile and conflict-affected states, support for industrial logging regimes or operations should be preceded by a rigorous review of the expected economic, environmental, and poverty related outcomes, including an analysis of expected outcomes under alternative land use schemes.  The evaluation also proposed the use of experience gained by IFC’s advisory services to mitigate upstream investment risks, to better attend to issues of land tenure, resource rights and competing land use claims. Engaging local communities and the broader public in forest management issues has become easier as modern technologies become more sophisticated and accessible.  Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the WRI pointed out that “Recent advances in technology will enable us to provide near real-time, highly granular information on forest cover. This transformation in transparency will go a long way to rooting out corruption and improving the sustainable management of forests.” He presented the recently launched WRI initiative called Global Forest Watch 2.0, which was developed in partnership with Google, the University of Maryland, the UN Environment Program, and other organizations.  This work sets up a powerful near real-time forest monitoring system that brings together satellite technology, data sharing, and human networks around the world to fight deforestation, create transparency, and help promote accountability for forest management. The system uses cloud computing and open source software to rapidly process and interpret large volumes of satellite data at low cost by utilizing clusters of servers scattered around the world. The data generated from the platform is hoped to help diverse groups of stakeholders, including governments, buyers and suppliers of sustainable commodities, media and non-profit organizations working on forest conservation. For instance, the platform is designed to be a trusted, independent, and user-friendly way to help investors in REDD+ and other forest conservation projects monitor performance and hold countries accountable to their commitments on greenhouse gas emission reductions and forest conservation. Another potential use of this data could by the media to ring the alarm bell on deforestation hotspots around the globe at a pace never-before-possible, and thereby put pressure on governments, companies, and others to curtail forest conversion and illegal logging in time. The discussion further linked environmental sustainability with opportunities for economic growth and poverty. The urgency of finding such solutions is heightened by the role deforestation plays in augmenting the risks of climate change.   Note:  The event was chaired by Akmal Siddiq, Director at ADB and coordinated by Daniele Ponzi, Lead Environment Specialist at ADB.