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Tanzania Country Program Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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The Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Tanzania assesses the World Bank Group’s effectiveness and relevance in its work to help Tanzania address its key development challenges. The CPE will encompass two Bank Group strategy periods covering fiscal years (FY)12–16 and FY18–22. The evaluation aims to inform the next Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Tanzania.The Country Program Evaluation (CPE) for Tanzania assesses the World Bank Group’s effectiveness and relevance in its work to help Tanzania address its key development challenges. The CPE will encompass two Bank Group strategy periods covering fiscal years (FY)12–16 and FY18–22. The evaluation aims to inform the next Bank Group Country Partnership Framework for Tanzania.

Country Program Evaluation - Papua New Guinea: An Evaluation of World Bank Support FY08–22 (Approach Paper)

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This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) will assess the World Bank Group’s engagement in Papua New Guinea between FY08 and FY22. The Papua New Guinea has an abundant resource endowment of oil and mineral wealth, but this wealth has not translated into significant welfare gains for most citizens. Papua New Guinea’s fragmented geography and frequent exposure to disasters caused by natural hazards Show MoreThis Country Program Evaluation (CPE) will assess the World Bank Group’s engagement in Papua New Guinea between FY08 and FY22. The Papua New Guinea has an abundant resource endowment of oil and mineral wealth, but this wealth has not translated into significant welfare gains for most citizens. Papua New Guinea’s fragmented geography and frequent exposure to disasters caused by natural hazards present significant challenges for delivering services to citizens. The evaluation is designed to derive lessons from Bank Group engagement in Papua New Guinea to inform the next Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The CPE will also provide lessons on the implementation of the International Development Association special themes of climate change, gender, and fragility, conflict, and violence and of the cross-cutting issues of debt sustainability and governance and institutions. Lessons may also be of relevance to other resource-rich countries.

Universal Digital Inclusion and Usage (Approach Paper)

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Available, affordable, and accessible digital connectivity can help deliver essential services, such as education and health care, and lead to an increase in economic growth. High levels of digital inclusion also offer increased opportunities for closing the gender gap and youth empowerment, and for community development and environmental sustainability (Woodhouse 2021). Universal access to 4G- Show MoreAvailable, affordable, and accessible digital connectivity can help deliver essential services, such as education and health care, and lead to an increase in economic growth. High levels of digital inclusion also offer increased opportunities for closing the gender gap and youth empowerment, and for community development and environmental sustainability (Woodhouse 2021). Universal access to 4G-equivalent mobile internet, defined as 90 percent penetration of the population of 10 years of age and older (Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development 2019), has become even more important during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, when many, traditionally face-to-face, interactions have needed to be moved “online.” Finally, digital access can improve government transparency and accountability, although it can also have negative repercussions on data privacy and cybersecurity since many of the tools that can provide important information, give access to government programs, and enhance law enforcement are the same as those that can be used for restricting freedoms and profiling. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess the Bank Group’s work in ensuring universal digital inclusion and usage through the availability, affordability, and accessibility of digital connectivity and to distill lessons from the Bank Group’s past and ongoing experience in these areas.

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.

Addressing Gender Inequalities in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence: An Evaluation of WBG Support (Approach Paper)

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The WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective Show MoreThe WBG recognizes that achieving gender equality is particularly challenging in those settings, but it is critical to make progress in peace building and resilience to crisis. Addressing gender gaps is a priority in FCV-affected countries because fragility and conflict disproportionally affect women and girls and exacerbate gender inequalities. The World Bank Group recognizes that effective responses to gender inequalities in FCV-affected countries need to be context-specific, country-owned, systemic, and sustainable. The goal of this formative evaluation is to provide lessons on what worked well, less well, and why, regarding the World Bank Group’s support to FCV-affected countries to achieve transformational change towards gender equality in two areas: women’s and girls’ economic empowerment and gender-based violence.

Early Evaluation of the World Bank’s COVID-19 Response to Save Lives and Protect Poor and Vulnerable People (Approach Paper)

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Disrupting billions of lives and livelihoods, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic jeopardizes countries’ development gains and goals on an unprecedented scale. Restoring human capital and maintaining progress on development priorities depends on successfully containing and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, especially its toll on poor and vulnerable people. This Independent Evaluation Group Show MoreDisrupting billions of lives and livelihoods, the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic jeopardizes countries’ development gains and goals on an unprecedented scale. Restoring human capital and maintaining progress on development priorities depends on successfully containing and mitigating the effects of the pandemic, especially its toll on poor and vulnerable people. This Independent Evaluation Group evaluation will assess the World Bank’s early portfolio of COVID-19 support aimed at saving lives, protecting poor and vulnerable people, and strengthening institutions in these areas. The evaluation has one overarching question: What has been the quality of the World Bank’s early COVID-19 response in terms of saving lives and protecting poor and vulnerable people? The evaluation will conduct multilevel analyses, anchored at the country level, to triangulate evidence for early learning from the implementation of the World Bank’s support.

The Drive for Financial Inclusion: Lessons of World Bank Group Experience – Approach Paper

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Financial inclusion is expected to help address poverty and shared prosperity by improving and smoothing household incomes at the same time as reducing vulnerability to shocks, improving investments in education and health, and encouraging the growth of businesses and related employment. The poor face immense financial challenges. The income of the poor is not only lower but also more volatile. Show MoreFinancial inclusion is expected to help address poverty and shared prosperity by improving and smoothing household incomes at the same time as reducing vulnerability to shocks, improving investments in education and health, and encouraging the growth of businesses and related employment. The poor face immense financial challenges. The income of the poor is not only lower but also more volatile. They often rely on a range of unpredictable jobs or on weather-dependent agriculture. Transforming irregular income flows into a dependable resource to meet daily needs represents a crucial challenge for the poor. Another challenge lies in meeting costs if a major expense arises (such as a home repair, medical service, or funeral) or if a breadwinner falls ill. Savings, credit, insurance, and remittances can each help the poor to smooth volatile incomes and expenses, providing a margin of safety when income drops or expenses rise, or providing the needed funds for children’s education or health care. Additionally, financial inclusion in the form of financial services for microentrepreneurs and very small enterprises has been guided by the intention that it can help them to survive, grow, and generate income for the poor. Nonetheless, evidence that financial inclusion directly takes people out of poverty is mixed. The main objective of this evaluation is to enhance learning from the Bank Group’s experience, including the World Bank, IFC, and MIGA, in supporting client countries in their efforts to advance financial inclusion over the period of FY14–20. It both updates and expands on a 2015 IEG evaluation, which assessed Bank Group activity for FY07–13. It not only updates an evaluation of WBG activity in financial inclusion and in support of national financial inclusion strategies, but also plans for a deep focus on the following: (i) A retrospective look at the drive for universal financial access (the UFA 2020 initiative), including outcomes achieved in its 25 focus countries; (ii) Progress and challenges in women’s access to financial services (gender); (iii) An in-depth examination of digital financial inclusion efforts and the role of digital financial services as vehicles for financial inclusion. This work intends to focus more deeply on outcomes on the ground for poor households and microenterprises. It intends to understand the relevance and effectiveness of these activities, including the outcomes and the mechanisms by which observed outcomes were achieved. The evaluation aims to identify lessons applicable to the World Bank, IFC or MIGA by obtaining evidence-based findings of what works, why, and for whom.

Mozambique Country Program Evaluation (Approach Paper)

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Mozambique’s recent history is characterized by economic growth, rising inequality, and fragility. After the end of a civil war in 1992, Mozambique enjoyed a sustained period of growth until 2014, positioning it as one of the fastest-growing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Such growth, however, was not broadly shared and inequality increased. Fragility in Mozambique traces back to the uneven Show MoreMozambique’s recent history is characterized by economic growth, rising inequality, and fragility. After the end of a civil war in 1992, Mozambique enjoyed a sustained period of growth until 2014, positioning it as one of the fastest-growing countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Such growth, however, was not broadly shared and inequality increased. Fragility in Mozambique traces back to the uneven historical development of the state, in part shaped by geographical characteristics, and to the nature of the political settlement and the exclusionary political arrangements that it maintains. This evaluation seeks to assess the World Bank Group’s success at helping Mozambique address challenges that constrain its development. The evaluation will cover fiscal years (FY)08–21 and is timed to inform Mozambique’s next Country Partnership Framework (CPF). The evaluation will assess the Bank Group’s support for addressing three development challenges and drivers of fragility in Mozambique: (i) rural poverty linked to weak agricultural productivity and regional inequalities; (ii) weak institutions and governance; and (iii) vulnerability to natural disasters and climate change.

Towards Productive, Inclusive, and Sustainable Farms and Agribusiness Firms: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support for Development of Agri-Food Economies (2010-2020) – Approach Paper

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Sustainable development of the agricultural sector and the associated agrifood industry is key to ending hunger and poverty and meeting other global goals, such as those related to climate change. Fostering broad-based agricultural development requires transforming agrifood systems because of their critical role in economic growth, employment, and sustainable agricultural development. The World Show MoreSustainable development of the agricultural sector and the associated agrifood industry is key to ending hunger and poverty and meeting other global goals, such as those related to climate change. Fostering broad-based agricultural development requires transforming agrifood systems because of their critical role in economic growth, employment, and sustainable agricultural development. The World Bank Group has been a major supporter of previous efforts to develop agriculture and the broader agrifood system economies. The objective of the evaluation is to assess how well the World Bank Group identifies the needs, addresses the constraints, and achieves results in supporting agrifood system development, defined as the development of more productive, inclusive, and sustainable farms and agribusiness firms. More specifically, the evaluation aims to (i) assess the relevance of the World Bank Group in identifying and addressing the key AFS development challenges of raising productivity, improving inclusion and reducing environmental sustainability threats especially from climate change; (ii) assess the effectiveness of World Bank Group support in making AFS more productive, inclusive, and sustainable; and (iii) identify lessons of experience, success factors, and constraints on effectiveness.

Five Ways to Continue Closing Gender Gaps: Lessons from Albania and Rwanda

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Doctors congregating outside a hospital in Tirana in 2004. Despite gains made in closing gender gaps in the past decade, the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequalities. Photo: Albes Fusha/The World Bank.
With the COVID-19 pandemic aggravating inequalities, closing gender gaps has become ever more urgent. We look to recent evaluations of World Bank Group supported programs in Albania and Rwanda for five lessons on how to keep Show MoreWith the COVID-19 pandemic aggravating inequalities, closing gender gaps has become ever more urgent. We look to recent evaluations of World Bank Group supported programs in Albania and Rwanda for five lessons on how to keep pushing the agenda. The ongoing social and economic disadvantages that women around the world face, known collectively as ‘gender gaps’, has left them especially vulnerable to the many impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Women have lost jobs at higher rates, often losing out on education to become care-givers, and their already unequal decision-making power has diminished even further (World Bank, 2020 and 2021). This development calls for policy makers to act strategically to reverse the disproportionate impact of the pandemic and make progress towards reducing gender gaps, which persist despite decades of initiatives and efforts (e.g. UN, World Bank, and IDA). The World Bank Group supports the closing of gender gaps through the implementation of its Gender Equality Strategy, which emphasizes strengthening a country-driven approach, with policy dialogue informed by better country-level diagnostics and sex-disaggregated data to achieve results. IEG’s Country Program Evaluations assess the outcomes of World Bank Group support to client governments; they often include a focus on how this support helps reduce gender gaps and advance gender-specific goals in specific countries. Drawing from recent IEG evaluations of Albania and Rwanda, this blog highlights five general recommendations for governments and development partners seeking to make greater progress in closing gender gaps: 1. Integrate a gender perspective in Country Programs While many country strategies mention gender issues, a gender perspective is not always well integrated. For example, the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy for Rwanda for Fiscal Years 2014–18 described gender as an overall cross-cutting issue to be pursued – however, it provided little explanation of how gender would be integrated into the Word Bank-supported program or how progress would be reported on. Other common pitfalls include (i) making gratuitous reference to gender mainstreaming without identifying clear areas of action; (ii) reporting on gender using results indicators from individual projects, rather than focusing on outcomes at a higher level e.g., the program or country level; and (iii) inconsistent treatment across sectors – it is often the case that sex-disaggregated indicators appear in education and health sector projects, but not in energy and transport sector projects (World Bank, 2016: 20-23 and World Bank, 2019). 2. Leverage analytical work to build consensus Use analytical work to engage government authorities, citizens, and other stakeholders to articulate and build support and consensus for reforms. In Albania, in-depth analytical work undertaken by World Bank staff helped diagnose gender inequities, and inform the articulation of policy options to address vulnerabilities and gender disparities in a range of areas including labor force participation rates and wages, shortcomings in agency and property rights for women, and significant levels of domestic violence. In Rwanda, several gender-focused analytical products, including ones from the Adolescent Girls Initiative, informed World Bank-supported country strategies and operations. 3. Push most difficult reforms to remove legal and regulatory constraints In Albania, despite recent improvements, legal and regulatory constraints, combined with implementation gaps, still hinder economic opportunities for women. To address the significant gender gap in land ownership, in 2019, the World Bank Group encouraged inclusive land and property registration and policy reforms through the first gender-focused Development Policy Financing Operation. Some of the reforms supported included increasing registration of women as co-owners of properties and improving regulation that allows women to use property to access financing.  At the same time, the Bank worked closely with bilateral donors to coordinate complementary support to build institutional capacity to support the property registration reforms. 4. Ensure data availability While more sex disaggregated data has become available in recent years, data availability remains a challenge. In Albania, the absence of up to date household survey data makes it difficult to update analytical work, calibrate reforms, and gauge progress toward reducing gender disparities. Given the essential role of household survey data in effective project design and in advancing the gender agenda, the Bank will need to be more assertive in encouraging authorities to prioritize publication of future surveys and that these surveys are carried out regularly. 5. Monitor and evaluate using sex disaggregated indicators It is key to include and utilize results indicators to measure progress toward gender objectives. In Rwanda, the results framework for the Bank-supported country strategy included gender-disaggregated indicators, such as the number of female-headed households benefiting from social protection programs. The Rwanda Country Program Evaluation provided some evidence that the Vision 2020 Umurenge Program[1], which the World Bank has consistently supported, has had beneficial effects on the empowerment of women by increasing their access to labor earnings and financial services, in turn enabling precautionary savings and better coping in the face of shocks. A Way Forward Better integrating a gender perspective, using analytical work to build consensus among stakeholders, encouraging policy reform, investing in data availability and monitoring using sex-disaggregated indicators, are five ways governments and development partners can more effectively help clients bridge gender gaps. IEG aims to contribute to this effort through several upcoming evaluations including of Bank-supported programs in Bangladesh, Chad, and Madagascar, as well as of World Bank Group Support in Closing Gender Gaps in Countries Affected by Fragility, Conflict and Violence.   [1] An Integrated Local Development Program initiated by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with development partners and NGOs to accelerate poverty eradication, rural growth, and social protection.   Pictured above: Doctors congregating outside a hospital in Tirana in 2004. Despite gains made in closing gender gaps in the past decade, the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating inequalities. Photo: Albes Fusha/The World Bank.