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Early-Stage Evaluation of the International Development Association's Sustainable Development Finance Policy (Approach Paper)

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IEG is undertaking an early stage evaluation of Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP) of the International Development Association (IDA), which came into effect on July 1, 2020. The SDFP, adopted in response to concern with mounting external public debt vulnerabilities in IDA-eligible countries, seeks to create incentives to strengthen country-level debt transparency, enhance fiscal Show MoreIEG is undertaking an early stage evaluation of Sustainable Development Finance Policy (SDFP) of the International Development Association (IDA), which came into effect on July 1, 2020. The SDFP, adopted in response to concern with mounting external public debt vulnerabilities in IDA-eligible countries, seeks to create incentives to strengthen country-level debt transparency, enhance fiscal sustainability, and strengthen debt management. In light of significant past efforts to restore debt sustainability to heavily indebted poor countries (HIPCs), including through large scale bilateral and multilateral debt relief, the World Bank Board’s Committee on Development Effectiveness seeks early feedback from implementation of the SFDP to identify lessons to enhance its effectiveness. IEG will assess the relevance of the SDFP in addressing the sharp rise in debt stress in many IDA-eligible countries as well as the early implementation of the policy.

Brazil: Rio State Fiscal Efficiency for Quality of Public Service Delivery Development Policy Loan (DPL III) (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group for the Fiscal Efficiency for Quality of Public Service Delivery Development Policy Loan (DPL) III (P126465) to the state of Rio de Janeiro for $300 million. The program covered three policy areas: (i) tax administration, (ii) public financial management, and (iii) education Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group for the Fiscal Efficiency for Quality of Public Service Delivery Development Policy Loan (DPL) III (P126465) to the state of Rio de Janeiro for $300 million. The program covered three policy areas: (i) tax administration, (ii) public financial management, and (iii) education and health. It achieved some of its objectives and targets in the short term (in fiscal years 2013–14), but these achievements were not sustained. Ratings for the Rio State Development Policy Loan III are as follows: Outcome was unsatisfactory, and Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory. The assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Subnational programs supporting institutional reform in areas such as tax administration, public financial management, education, and health require a long-term strategic vision and sufficient time for implementation. (ii) It was difficult to achieve fiscal sustainability in Rio state by reforming only a few technical aspects of tax administration without accounting for important issues, such as pensions, dependence on unstable oil revenues, weak institutions, and chronic corruption. (iii) An assessment of the Rio state’s fiscal situation, its implementation capacity, and medium-term perspectives could have improved the program’s design since the state was in dire financial situation and lacked the bandwidth to properly prepare and execute the 12 loans it was simultaneously negotiating with multiple lenders.

Malawi CLR Review FY13-17

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-FY17. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is an agrarian landlocked country, with a population of 18.6 million (2019) growing at 3 percent per year. Between 2013 and 2017 real GDP and real per capita GDP grew at 4.0 and 1.2 percent Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS), FY13-FY17. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is an agrarian landlocked country, with a population of 18.6 million (2019) growing at 3 percent per year. Between 2013 and 2017 real GDP and real per capita GDP grew at 4.0 and 1.2 percent per year, respectively. The poverty headcount ratio at the national poverty line was 51.5 percent in 2016, slightly above the 50.7 percent in 2010. The Gini index (World Bank estimate) stood at 44.7 in 2016, below its 2010 level of 45.5. The Human Development Index improved from 0.441 in 2010 to 0.47 in 2015 and to 0.477 in 2017. During the review period, Malawi faced several challenges including the governance and public financial management crisis in September 2013 and two natural disasters- the flooding in 2015 which affected half of the country and the drought in 2016. The “cashgate” led to temporary suspension of donor budget support and sharp reduction in disbursement of aid funds through government systems with the consequent impact on the fiscal deficit.

Evaluation of IFC Investments in K-12 Private Schools (Approach Paper)

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Private sector is a key partner in meeting education challenges. The strategic context that frames this evaluation emanates from IFC’s development and strategy objectives in supporting private provision of education that began with its 1999 entry strategy in the education sector up to its 2018 education business plan. This evaluation will assess the extent to which IFC investments in K-12 Show MorePrivate sector is a key partner in meeting education challenges. The strategic context that frames this evaluation emanates from IFC’s development and strategy objectives in supporting private provision of education that began with its 1999 entry strategy in the education sector up to its 2018 education business plan. This evaluation will assess the extent to which IFC investments in K-12 private for-profit education over the period 2000 to 2020 align with (i) key education quality features identified in the literature and quantitative analysis of education data and (ii) IFC’s strategic objectives in education. The evaluation aims to provide information to aid IFC decision-making on future investments to K-12 private education by identifying under what conditions, if any, should IFC invest in K-12 private education going forward.

Jamaica: Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Loan (PPAR)

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Jamaica is highly exposed to natural disasters. The negative impacts on economic development and social well-being are exacerbated as approximately 82 percent of Jamaica’s population lives within 5 kilometers of the coast, increasing the relative vulnerability of residents, major infrastructure, and the housing stock. Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica on August 19, 2007, causing economic Show MoreJamaica is highly exposed to natural disasters. The negative impacts on economic development and social well-being are exacerbated as approximately 82 percent of Jamaica’s population lives within 5 kilometers of the coast, increasing the relative vulnerability of residents, major infrastructure, and the housing stock. Hurricane Dean made landfall in Jamaica on August 19, 2007, causing economic losses of roughly $329 million. The hurricane resulted in significant and extensive damage to primary and early childhood schools, community-based health clinics, and parochial and agricultural feeder roads in directly impacted parishes. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Jamaica’s Ministry of Finance confirmed that the recovery would require financial support from multiple sources, both national and international. In that context, the government of Jamaica approached the World Bank to support reconstruction works in poor communities affected by Hurricane Dean. The general aim was the reestablishment of prehurricane living conditions in these communities through the implementation of specific local infrastructure projects that would directly improve the conditions of the most vulnerable populations. Given the ongoing emergency, the World Bank and the government of Jamaica agreed to sign an emergency recovery loan to expedite the disbursement of resources. Additionally, the World Bank and the government of Jamaica agreed that the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) would be the implementing agency. Ratings for the Hurricane Dean Emergency Recovery Loan are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was moderate, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lessons from this project include: (i) Using existing agencies with a proven track record can be an effective approach for implementing emergency response projects. (ii) When designing rehabilitation works, close consultation with users can ensure the provision of better services. (iii) Expectations need to be managed as there are limits to how much progress can be made on disaster risk reduction or emergency preparedness under an emergency operation.

How can teachers continue to grow and contribute to quality learning outcomes?

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Pictured above: A teacher with his students in class Kenya, April 2017 Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
The first two blogs in this series discussed the importance of good teachers and how such teachers are “made” by quality training, both before they enter the profession and while they are practicing it. The second blog specifically discussed factors that support preservice training and how these factors are reflected in projects supported by the World Bank Group. In this final blog of the series Show MoreThe first two blogs in this series discussed the importance of good teachers and how such teachers are “made” by quality training, both before they enter the profession and while they are practicing it. The second blog specifically discussed factors that support preservice training and how these factors are reflected in projects supported by the World Bank Group. In this final blog of the series, we look at World Bank Group assistance for in-service training, which can be vital to supplement and improve teachers’ instructional practices and knowledge. We also look at how quality can be maintained and sustained when scaling up pilot training programs, a frequent undertaking in World Bank Group projects. The argument for supporting in-service training Even where preservice teacher training is high-quality, in-service training is needed to ensure that teachers are up-to date with the latest in pedagogy and changes in curricula. Where preservice training is of variable quality, in-service training can be even more critical for efforts to improve learning outcomes for students. World Bank Group task team leaders (TTLs) interviewed for IEG's recent report, Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training said that programs should address both preservice and in-service systems to ensure greater overall alignment. IEG’s analysis suggests that projects approved more recently are beginning to take this dual approach. This is important, because while the two systems are conceptually different, they are linked. If preservice training is inadequate, in-service training is needed to address shortcomings in teachers’ pedagogical and content knowledge. In the second blog, we noted that intervening in preservice training can be challenging, due to sensitivities in the political economy and government reluctance to invest in this training. Perhaps for these and other reasons, the World Bank Group has engaged more often to support in-service training. In fact, 68 of the 110 projects approved under the supervision of its Education Global Practice between fiscal year 2013 and FY18 with some element of support for the professional development of teachers exclusively supported in-service training. How World Bank Group support reflects characteristics of quality in-service training IEG’s review of the literature found four essential features of quality in-service training: adequate duration, discipline-specific content, active and applied learning based on teachers’ needs and capacity, and follow-up support to provide opportunities for feedback and reflection. Adequate duration. In-service training in projects supported by the World Bank Group met at least the minimum requirement for duration. Where data were available, IEG found that projects generally supported 50–60 hours of training over 5–20 days, typically at a time when students were on recess. This aligns with expected minimums for such training in the literature. Discipline-specific content. In-service training supported by the World Bank Group tended to focus more on pedagogical training and less on subject matter training, which may be associated with the need to address shortcomings in preservice preparation. In line with findings from the literature, TTLs interviewed by IEG recognized a need for greater focus on discipline-specific content, given the often-limited capacity of teachers to teach numeracy, literacy, and science. Active learning. Effective in-service training is characterized by a focus on teachers’ ability to foster skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. IEG’s fieldwork confirmed this broader focus in World Bank Group-supported in-service training. For example, an impact evaluation found that teacher training in fostering these skills provided under the Vietnam Escuela Nueva Project contributed to a positive effect on the socioemotional skills of children enrolled in supported schools. Consistent with TTL reports, IEG also found some training programs that embodied adult learning principles but, overall, an uneven application of learning that addressed adult learning styles, which suggests room for improvement in this area. Follow-up support. Changes in approach demanded of teachers can be significant and are seldom simple, and teachers often start at a disadvantage due to their skill levels and gaps in their preservice training. TTLs interviewed by IEG recognized the importance of coaching/mentoring and reported that they were being encouraged to include coaching in operations. Fieldwork identified some cases where participation of teachers from the same school or grade level in training was encouraged to promote peer learning or collaborative work as part of workshops, or a cascade approach to in-service training. But this was not systematic, which suggests a need for greater commitment by all stakeholders to enhance training through more sustained follow-up. Effective scaling-up of successful projects The literature suggests that effective in-service training needs to reflect key features of the enabling environment (such as management, governance, and finance), and that training can be more effective when it is part of a larger reform effort and is aligned with standards and assessment and embedded in the local curriculum. Awareness of these and other factors is particularly important when considering the scaling up of training programs. Less complex forms of scaling up that focus on enlargement or increased numbers of programs without seeking to affect systems—known as horizontal scaling—typically require fewer and less intensive conditions for success. IEG case studies found that projects supported by the World Bank Group typically pursued horizontal scaling and have done so successfully—albeit supported by elements of local capacity that might not be equally available in less-developed countries. For example, scaling of training in Ghana under the Untrained Teachers Diploma in Basic Education project was implemented by teacher colleges and supported by improved certification requirements and data on the numbers of unqualified teachers. However, horizontal scaling that increases the breadth of training coverage without ensuring the depth and sustainability of the training engagement is less likely to achieve long-term changes in teaching practices. Most projects explored by IEG had no plan to extend training, particularly funding, beyond the life of the project. This may be associated with the World Bank Group’s short-term, project-based funding model. More involved, complex, and systemic scaling—known as vertical scaling—requires time and sustained attention and must be supported by influential champions and resources. Notably, the six cases of vertical training explored by IEG showed evidence that targets had been met for teachers trained in all cases, but the training was sustained by the government in only one instance. This brings us to the end of the series, and we thank you for staying the course! The core lesson is that good teachers and good teaching underpin quality learning outcomes, which are central to any education system and critical to human development. For more detail, including data and literature reviews, please visit Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training.   Pictured above: A teacher with his students in class Kenya, April 2017 Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch

What is the best way to train teachers before they start teaching?

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A third year student at ENI-NKTT (L'Ecole Normale des Instituteurs de Nouakchott) teaches a fourth grade Arabic class at Ecole Annexe primary school; Nouakchott, Mauritania. Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch
The first blog in this series discussed the importance of good teachers and how such teachers are “made.” It also examined factors underpinning quality teacher training, a critical driver of quality learning that is, in turn, a key outcome for any education system. This time, again drawing on a recent report by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- Show MoreThe first blog in this series discussed the importance of good teachers and how such teachers are “made.” It also examined factors underpinning quality teacher training, a critical driver of quality learning that is, in turn, a key outcome for any education system. This time, again drawing on a recent report by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training, we focus on the World Bank Group’s support for initial or preservice teacher training, what it has emphasized, and what may require more emphasis to align with the literature and evidence. The scale of support for preservice teacher training Between fiscal year 2013 and FY18, more than half (110 of 207) projects approved under the supervision of the World Bank Group’s Education Global Practice provided some support for the professional development of teachers. The majority supported in-service teacher training (the subject of the third blog in this series) and 40 supported the more complex area of preservice training, that is, from the initial stages of teachers’ career to their entry into the profession. World Bank Group task team leaders (TTLs) interviewed by IEG for this report explained that the greater emphasis on in-service training was principally due to obstacles and constraints that can arise with preservice training. These include sensitive and complex political economy issues related to preservice institutions, as well as the much larger investment of time and resources required to intervene in such training, which government clients are often unwilling to take on. It should be noted that teacher training projects—like World Bank Group–supported education projects more generally—are implemented more often in low- and lower-middle-income countries, where the need is greatest. How projects engage with the factors that support quality preservice training Among the 40 World Bank Group operations that supported preservice training, 70 percent (28 projects) focused on coursework and had a lesser focus on the other three factors—screening mechanisms, practicums or “practice teaching” and quality assurance. All of these consistently have been identified as key elements that support quality delivery of training. One project addressed all four factors, as shown in the figure. Screening mechanisms. The literature is clear that the use of various quality screening mechanisms across all teacher training tends to support quality learning outcomes. For example, in the Dominican Republic Support to the National Education Pact, an assessment of candidates’ capabilities was used at their entry into preservice training to tailor programs and otherwise provide remediation when candidates did not have the competencies to successfully participate in available training. In most of the nine World Bank Group operations that addressed screening, preservice institutions often relied on a single requirement for entry, such as level of completed education. This most likely reflected a desire not to deter candidates in situations where student enrollments were growing. Thirteen of the operations referred to interventions designed to improve the attractiveness of the teaching profession, a positive step toward ensuring a longer-term pipeline of quality candidates into the profession. Coursework. Among the 28 operations that addressed coursework, IEG’s report found a mostly balanced attention to subject matter and pedagogical skills. Attention to both clearly is important, as even the basics of content and teacher preparation cannot be assumed in poor countries. Recent World Bank Group Service Delivery Indicator studies found that few primary teachers demonstrated mastery of primary-level content—a finding also highlighted by IEG’s analysis. Thus, the initial selection mechanisms have far-reaching consequences for teacher coursework, because a more capable trainee cadre is likely to already have completed higher-level coursework in the subject matter. While coursework must be grounded in relevant curricula, it also needs to be delivered by qualified teacher educators who can impart relevant skills over an adequate time period, backed up by suitable materials. About half of the 40 operations provided some capacity development to teacher educators that was focused on pedagogical methods. About 70 percent supported soft infrastructure, including teaching materials such as textbooks, videos, and information and communication technology, and half of the projects financed infrastructure or renovations for preservice training institutions. Practicums. Among the 15 World Bank Group projects that focused on practicums, the intensity of support varied and that variation also was observed in data analysis. For example, among Latin American countries participating in the Third Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study, extremely low percentages of teachers reported a practicum as part of their training in some Central American countries, in comparison with countries in South America. World Bank Group support for practicums was extensive in some instances, such as the Mauritania Basic Education Sector Support Project in Africa. However, in interviews, TTLs described the approach to practicums in many low-income countries as “sink or swim,” in which trainees were given too much autonomy too soon and without a qualified mentor. In these cases, there is a need for clearer national policy that defines practicum features, as well as systematic guidance about responsibilities for both the teacher training centers and the schools where the practice takes place. Quality assurance. The literature and available data showed that countries with weak accreditation systems either had no effective control over training institutions or relied on voluntary participation mechanisms. TTLs concurred and noted that countries may have had no accreditation mechanism, or that those in place often were subjected to political interference. TTLs cautioned against accrediting a flawed system. They espoused instead effective monitoring and accreditation mechanisms that regulate providers of teacher education programs, to ensure their adherence to training standards and to remove political influences. These mechanisms also can regulate entrance and exit examinations to ensure quality. Next: In-service training One consequence of the low quality of preservice training systems is the need to use in-service training to compensate for underprepared or unqualified teachers. In the final blog in this series, we will look at World Bank Group support for in-service training and at the factors relevant to scaling up teacher training programs that, in their pilot phase, showed promise. Read IEG's report: Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training Pictured above: A third year student at ENI-NKTT (L'Ecole Normale des Instituteurs de Nouakchott) teaches a fourth grade Arabic class at Ecole Annexe primary school; Nouakchott, Mauritania.Credit GPE/Kelley Lynch

What makes a good teacher? (Hint: commitment and training)

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A teacher trainee helps out in the class two classroom by passing out textbooks. As part of her training she will spend three weeks observing and working with each teacher in the school. Sandogo “B” primary school, District 7, Ouagadougou.Credit: GPE Kelley Lynch
We all instinctively recognize a good teacher when we meet one—someone who brings the subject matter to life, makes it relevant, supports critical engagement, and so much more. Many of us can name at least one teacher who made a big difference in our educational journey. Perhaps that is why writers and movie makers—from the musty days of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Blackboard Jungle, to Sidney Poitier Show MoreWe all instinctively recognize a good teacher when we meet one—someone who brings the subject matter to life, makes it relevant, supports critical engagement, and so much more. Many of us can name at least one teacher who made a big difference in our educational journey. Perhaps that is why writers and movie makers—from the musty days of Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Blackboard Jungle, to Sidney Poitier in To Sir with Love to Meryl Streep in Music of the Heart, to Robin Williams in Dead Poet’s Society and Richard Dreyfuss in Mr. Holland’s Opus—have found success in relating stories of the profound effect that good teachers can have on learning and on the lives of their students. While the personal and vocational qualities that characterize all good teachers are important, other factors also inform the making and nurturing of good teachers, including quality training. In this three-part blog series drawing on the findings of IEG’s Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training we first discuss what underpins effective teacher training then, in subsequent blogs, we look at World Bank support for quality teaching. Of course, we recognize that context—governance, the policy environment, the quality of service delivery, resources, incentives—can also shape and influence how teachers are trained and the expectations under which they operate. Even allowing for this, the importance of training in producing quality teachers who contribute to quality learning outcomes cannot be underestimated. So, what do we know? First, we know that teacher effort and capacity are critical to student learning and educational outcomes. We also know, as highlighted in the World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize the Promise of Education, that quality learning is, or at least should be, central to any education system. Finally, we know that, in line with the World Bank’s Human Capital Project, education is critical for human development. Put simply, we know that the stakes are high. As such, and as illustrated below, support for professional development to improve teacher capacity—both pre-service and in-service—is a critical input in pursuit of education quality. Click to enlarge & download image Quality pre-service training relies, in the first instance, on screening and filtering mechanisms designed to ensure the selection of quality candidates. But the efficacy of these mechanisms is itself reliant on high demand premised on the attractiveness of teaching compared to other professions. The attractiveness of teaching rests on factors such as initial pay, career opportunities, incentive and support structures, classroom and school working conditions, as well as cultural aspects related to how society views teachers. To ensure the selection of quality of candidates, screening requires transparent and meaningful requirements to enter and exit pre-service institutions, such as examinations, grades, or graduation requirements. Coursework in both content and pedagogical knowledge that is grounded in the curricula of the schools where trainee teachers will eventually teach is clearly essential. This requires the availability of qualified teacher educators who can impart relevant skills. But it also needs to be supported by the necessary learning materials as well as the requisite duration and intensity of teacher training courses –determined with reference to context—to ensure the development  of effective teachers. Teaching involves the mastery and exercise of various skills, which makes practicum—the supervised practical application of a previously or concurrently studied field or theory—a critical component of well-rounded professional development. Effective practicums help teachers gradually assume more tasks and more responsibilities supported by monitoring and mentoring based on productive partnerships between training institutions and schools. This, in turn, should help create a trainee-centered experience that allows for formative assessment based on constructive feedback, accompanied by reflection and dialogue. Effective quality assurance mechanisms can underpin the entire education system through, for example, provision of accreditation for training institutions and support for certification and alternative preparation for teaching. More specifically, quality assurance can underpin quality, objectivity, and transparency for both pre- and in-service training systems. It can help ensure adherence to training standards, removal of political influence, and the exercise of effective control over the number of candidates entering the system. Quality assurance can also ensure regulation of screening mechanisms regarding, for example, the implementation and integrity of assessment and examinations, providing clear signals that such screening mechanisms are free from manipulation. Finally, quality in-service training can be vital in supplementing and improving teachers’ instructional practices and knowledge conducive to student learning. Quality in-service training observes adult learning principles, is implemented over an adequate duration, and offers sustained follow-up support through coaching or feedback that promotes reflection. It may be easier to ensure the presence of these characteristics in smaller pilot efforts, but it is imperative, if enhanced learning outcomes are the focus, that quality is maintained and sustained when in-service training is scaled up. In the second and third blog in this series we elaborate on what the World Bank has done to support pre- and in-service teacher training, where it has placed an emphasis, what it has done well, and where it might need to improve to scale-up training programs. Read IEG's report: Selected Drivers of Education Quality: Pre- and In-Service Teacher Training Pictured above: A teacher trainee helps out in the class two classroom by passing out textbooks. As part of her training she will spend three weeks observing and working with each teacher in the school. Sandogo “B” primary school, District 7, Ouagadougou. Credit: GPE Kelley Lynch

Rwanda CLR Review FY14-20

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In summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress Show MoreIn summary, under the Rwanda CPS for FY14-FY20, the World Bank Group supported the government to address problems in areas and sectors that could help reduce poverty and improve shared prosperity. The CLR’s most relevant lessons are summarized as follows. First, government discipline and leadership enhance the effectiveness of official development assistance and the country’s ability to progress. Second, more qualified people working on financial management, procurement and safeguards is needed to enhance the impact of projects and program. Third, plans for agricultural modernization require considering interactions between the rural and urban labor markets to ensure migrating rural workers have gainful urban employment. Fourth, generating knowledge through ASA can help identify binding constraints and design policy reforms in a timely manner. IEG adds the following lesson: Poor results framework make it difficult to learn from a program’s experience, attribute results to the program and assess its achievements, and build knowledge that can guide future program design and implementation. To assess programs, build knowledge and guide future actions, the WBG needs to ensure CPF Results Frameworks have: (a) a clear and coherent results chain and (b) indicators that can be measured, are useful for assessing the achievement of objectives and are linked to the program’s interventions.. In Rwanda, the CPS results framework has shortcomings that makes it difficult to measure the achievement of some objectives, build knowledge and guide future WBG programs.

Madagascar: Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing (PPAR)

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The World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the Show MoreThe World Bank suspended operations in Madagascar in 2009 after a coup d’état and establishment of a de facto government. The unconstitutional regime change caused a prolonged period of political crisis, and together with the 2008 financial crisis, threatened to reverse a decade of sustained gains in social and economic indicators. The dearth of public financing for basic social services and the withdrawal of most donors during the protracted political crisis were especially concerning. The Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project was prepared in 2012 after the World Bank’s reengagement in Madagascar and before reentry of other partners. The project’s objective was “to preserve critical education, health, and nutrition service delivery in targeted vulnerable areas.” The project initially focused on five of Madagascar’s poorest and most vulnerable regions, where other donors were not active, and eventually extended nutrition services only to four additional regions (of 22 regions in the country). Ratings for the Emergency Support to Critical Education, Health, and Nutrition Services Project and Additional Financing are as follows: Outcome was highly satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. This assessment offers the following lessons, which focus on the challenges of further strengthening and sustaining a multisectoral approach to nutrition raised in this report: (i) A multisectoral approach, which delivers a range of services that benefit communities, can have a synergistic and impactful effect on the health and nutrition of mothers and children. (ii) The effectiveness and efficiency of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts are contingent on the ONN fully assuming its primary mandate of multisectoral coordination, with the full support and recognition of the public sector, at all levels of government, and in partnership with leaders and stakeholders in the political, administrative, religious, and traditional arenas and in the private sector. (iii) The roles and comparative advantages of the regions and districts in the strategic management and implementation of service delivery, including the support and encouragement of cross-sectoral synergies, will continue to be underexploited as long as the government’s structure is highly centralized. (iv) Successful mobilization of domestic and international resources, planning, programming, and priority setting—including managing the tensions between the goals of expanding nutrition coverage and strengthening existing services—will be difficult to achieve without investments in ONN capacity. Over and above the capacity strengthening needed, improved aid effectiveness and the sustainability of Madagascar’s nutrition efforts also depend on development partners working closely with ONN and the regions and supporting their development plans and priorities, and on an evolution from projects to program support. (v) The World Bank can play a pivotal role in supporting ONN to assume its multisectoral coordination role by advocating to the highest levels of government the importance of prioritizing nutrition as a means of achieving its development objectives and of allocating more budgetary resources to this end, and in supporting the decentralization process to empower regions. (vi) Emergency operations can provide an opportunity for embarking on broader development efforts, as shown by this project, whose interventions transcended recovery efforts. However, the inclusion of such development support without attention to sustainability can undermine gains postproject.