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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.

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.

South Africa CLR Review FY14-18

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South Africa is an upper middle-income country with a GDP per capita (2018) of US$6,354. GDP growth has remained slightly above one percent per year over the past decade, which has resulted in negative GDP growth per capita for every year starting 2015. This low growth has exacerbated already high unemployment (up from 25.1 percent of labor force in 2014 to a projected 28.6 percent in 2019 – and Show MoreSouth Africa is an upper middle-income country with a GDP per capita (2018) of US$6,354. GDP growth has remained slightly above one percent per year over the past decade, which has resulted in negative GDP growth per capita for every year starting 2015. This low growth has exacerbated already high unemployment (up from 25.1 percent of labor force in 2014 to a projected 28.6 percent in 2019 – and considerably higher for youth), poverty, and inequality. The government’s vision throughout the CPS period was outlined in the 2030 National Development Plan (NDP) of 2012 that identified three key priorities: raising employment through faster economic growth, improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation, and building the capacity of the state to play a developmental, transformative role.

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