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Mexico CLR Review FY14-19

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This review of Mexico’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period FY14-FY19 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of January 26, 2017. Mexico is an upper-middle-income country with a gross national income (GNI) per capita (in current US$) of US$9,180 in 2018. During 2014-18, the average annual GDP growth rate Show MoreThis review of Mexico’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period FY14-FY19 and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of January 26, 2017. Mexico is an upper-middle-income country with a gross national income (GNI) per capita (in current US$) of US$9,180 in 2018. During 2014-18, the average annual GDP growth rate was 2.2 percent in a show of resilience in the face of a complex external environment. In the first half of 2019, economic growth came to a virtual halt owing to policy uncertainty, tight monetary conditions and budget under-execution as well as slowing global manufacturing activity. Over the longer term, Mexico’s economic growth has been below the level needed to converge toward advanced country economies. The country’s per capita GDP, which is closely related to productivity, stands at 34 percent of U.S. per capita GDP compared with 49 percent in 1980.2 Poverty rates (share of individuals living on less than the 2011 PPP US$1.90 per day poverty line) fell from 3.8 percent of the population in 2016 to 2.2 percent in 2016. There was a small decline in the Gini index from 48.7 percent in 2014 to 48.3 in 2016. IEG’s Country Program Evaluation for Mexico (2018) indicates that Mexico’s multidimensional poverty index for the extremely poor fell from 11.3 percent in 2010 to 7.6 percent in 2016, helping reduce the overall index from 46.1 percent to 43.6 percent. At the same time, income growth of the bottom 40 percent was below the population mean.

Kazakhstan CLR Review FY12-17

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The Republic of Kazakhstan is a land-locked upper middle-income country with a nominal GNI per capita of $7960 in 2017. The country depends on oil, with production and exports of hydrocarbon accounting for 21 percent of GDP and 62 percent of exports in 2017. Average annual GDP growth declined from 6.5 percent during 2006-2011 to 3.6 percent during the CPS period (2012-17), primarily due to Show MoreThe Republic of Kazakhstan is a land-locked upper middle-income country with a nominal GNI per capita of $7960 in 2017. The country depends on oil, with production and exports of hydrocarbon accounting for 21 percent of GDP and 62 percent of exports in 2017. Average annual GDP growth declined from 6.5 percent during 2006-2011 to 3.6 percent during the CPS period (2012-17), primarily due to deteriorating oil prices after 2013. The fall in oil prices reduced the growth of non-oil activities and the associated gains in wages and employment. Per capita GDP grew at 2.1 percent during the CPS period and contributed to reduce the poverty headcount ratio at national poverty line from 5.5 to 2.5 percent of the population between 2011 and 2017. Income distribution improved, with the Gini index falling from 0.28 in 2011 to 0.275 in 2017. The Human Development Index improved from 0.765 in 2010 to 0.800 in 2017. Kazakhstan key development challenges and goals set in the Strategy 2030 and Strategy 2050 include strengthening macroeconomic management (including strengthening of non-oil sources of revenues), reducing the state presence in the economy, strengthening regional economics through infrastructure and agricultural value chains, ensuring equal access to high quality education, enhancing social protection, managing natural resources, policy regarding water resources and improving governance and public sector capacity.

Republic of Congo CLR Review FY13-17

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The Republic of Congo is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method in current $) of $1,480 in 2017. Oil production had been the main driver of growth and source of government revenues, with average annual GDP growth of 5.8 percent during 2008-2012. The poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 per day (2011 PPP, percent of population) had been declining, from 50.2 percent in 2005 Show MoreThe Republic of Congo is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita (Atlas method in current $) of $1,480 in 2017. Oil production had been the main driver of growth and source of government revenues, with average annual GDP growth of 5.8 percent during 2008-2012. The poverty headcount ratio at $1.90 per day (2011 PPP, percent of population) had been declining, from 50.2 percent in 2005 to 37 percent in 2011. However, poverty reduction occurred mainly in urban areas, with rural areas experiencing an increase in the poverty rate. There was little change in the Gini coefficient between 2005 and 2011. During the CPS period, oil prices dropped, resulting in a decline in average annual GDP growth to 1.4 percent during 2013-2017. The Systematic Country Diagnostic (2018) for the Republic of Congo estimated the poverty rate to have declined further to 35 percent in 2016. The human development index improved from 0.57 in 2012 to 0.61 in 2017. The overarching objectives of the CPS were to promote economic diversification and improve outcomes in public services with three pillars: (i) competitiveness and employment; (ii) vulnerability and resilience; and (iii) capacity building and governance.

Timor-Leste CLR Review FY13-19

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This review of the Timor-Leste’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the original CPS period (FY13-FY17), and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016. The PLR extended the original CPS period by one year to FY18 in order to synchronize the CPS strategy with the country’s political cycle. Timor-Leste is a lower Show MoreThis review of the Timor-Leste’s Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the original CPS period (FY13-FY17), and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016. The PLR extended the original CPS period by one year to FY18 in order to synchronize the CPS strategy with the country’s political cycle. Timor-Leste is a lower middle-income country, with an oil dependent economy. With oil reserves running low, the key challenges facing Timor-Leste are to achieve greater economic diversification and diminish reliance on public sector spending. At the beginning of the CPS period, the political environment was stable and oil prices high. The country was affected by a significant fall in oil prices that started in 2013, and political uncertainty adversely affected economic activity in 2017 and for most of 2018, as public expenditures fell by over one third. On the whole, growth was modest compared to East-Asia Pacific region peers, reflecting both the fall in oil prices and the political uncertainty towards the end of the program period.

IEG Work Program and Budget (FY20) and Indicative Plan (FY21-22)

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To maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an Show MoreTo maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an increased focus on outcomes, countries, clients, and beneficiaries in its work, and aim to foster a greater outcome orientation throughout the WBG. To achieve this strategic vision, IEG will focus its work program on the key development effectiveness questions that the institution and its clients are most concerned about. For each of these questions, we will strive to answer “why”, “how, “where”, “when”, and “for whom” specific interventions or programs have achieved results or not. By working more closely with operational units and other evaluation initiatives across the WBG, we will seek to significantly enhance IEG’s value added for the Board and WBG management. The work program will be anchored around a series of “streams”, building evidence over time on connected themes and trying to bridge between project, country, sector and strategic impact: Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV), Gender, Maximizing Finance for Development, Human Capital, Climate Change, Growth and Transformation. In addition, IEG will work along an ‘effectiveness’ cross-cutting stream, aimed at examining systemic issues in WBG effectiveness, as well as working towards building a stronger outcome focus for WBG operations and strategies.

Mobilizing Disruptive and Transformative Technologies for Development An Assessment of the World Bank Group’s Readiness (Approach Paper)

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The world is experiencing a technological revolution with far reaching implications for developing and developed countries. Technological disruption is not new, but the speed at which new technologies are emerging is unprecedented, and so is their diffusion across the global economy. Disruptive technologies can transform development – in both positive and negative ways – and result in new Show MoreThe world is experiencing a technological revolution with far reaching implications for developing and developed countries. Technological disruption is not new, but the speed at which new technologies are emerging is unprecedented, and so is their diffusion across the global economy. Disruptive technologies can transform development – in both positive and negative ways – and result in new paradigms for poverty reduction and boosting shared prosperity. Recognizing these positive and negative implications, and with a sense of urgency to position itself to help client countries mobilize disruptive technologies for their development, the Bank Group has adopted a new approach. This evaluation has a two‐fold purpose: first, to assess the Bank Group’s readiness in helping clients harness the opportunities and mitigate the risks posed by disruptive technologies; and second, to inform the implementation of the Bank Group’s new approach to disruptive technologies and its efforts to become a partner of choice in mobilizing disruptive technologies.

Papua New Guinea CLR Review FY13-18

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This review covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY13-FY16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated July 1, 2016. At the PLR stage, the CPS period was extended by two years. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,340 in 2017. Oil and gas extraction has been the main driver of Show MoreThis review covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY13-FY16, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated July 1, 2016. At the PLR stage, the CPS period was extended by two years. Papua New Guinea (PNG) is a lower middle-income country with a Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of $2,340 in 2017. Oil and gas extraction has been the main driver of economic growth. During the CPS period, GDP growth varied considerably, from 0.3 percent in 2018 to 15 percent in 2014, due to volatility in commodity prices and disruption in the operations of three major mining and petroleum projects from a 7.5 magnitude earthquake in 2018. The country’s Human Development Index increased from 0.52 percent in 2010 to 0.544 in 2017, ranking 153rd among 189 countries in 2017. PNG rejoined the WBG’s Harmonized List of Fragile and conflict affected situation Countries (FCS) in FY17 and FY18. This list had excluded PNG since 2011. The World Bank Group’s (WBG) CPS had three pillars (or focus areas): (i) increased and more gender-equitable access to inclusive physical and financial infrastructure, (ii) gender equitable improvements in lives and livelihoods, and (iii) increasingly prudent management of revenues and benefits. IEG rated the CPS development outcome as moderately unsatisfactory, and the WBG performance as fair. The CLR provides three lessons: First, portfolio improvements require sustained engagement by all project teams, implementing agencies, and the Government, as well as stronger interagency coordination. Second, PNG’s institutional and social fragility places a premium on understanding political economy factors with a bearing on projects, and on monitoring and ensuring awareness of grievance redress mechanisms. Third, partnerships can help expand ASA, increase the WBG’s impact, and test new ideas.

Croatia CLR Review FY14-17

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This review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU Show MoreThis review of the Croatia's Completion and Learning Review (CLR) of the World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) covers the CPS period, FY14-FY17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of 2016.The World Bank Group program had three focus areas: (i) promoting fiscal consolidation, (ii) improving competitiveness to spur growth, and (iii) maximizing the benefits of EU membership. These were broadly congruent with the government's 2013 Economic Program, which covered fiscal consolidation with a particular focus on pension reform and rationalizing hospitals; growth and competitiveness through a sustainable development strategy based on the knowledge economy; and absorption of EU funds available to Croatia. The CPS addressed key challenges facing the country, including EU accession, and was congruent with the Government's 2013 Economic Program and aligned with the WBG's twin goals. The analytical work undertaken by the World Bank contributed to the 2018 Systematic Country Diagnostic Study (SCD), and addressed fiscal issues as well as issues in the justice system, energy, and smart specialization. Portfolio performance was comparable with the ECA region and the World Bank, but some interventions were affected by changes in government priorities.

North Macedonia CLR Review FY15-18

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The Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, Show MoreThe Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia) is an upper middle-income country which is small and land-locked. The World Bank Group's (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) had two pillars (or focus areas): (i) growth and competitiveness, and (ii) skills and inclusion. The CPS was broadly aligned with the government's 2014-2018 program, which sought increased growth and employment, international integration, reduced corruption and more efficient law enforcement, better inter-ethnic relations, and investments in education, innovation and technology. Specifically, the CPS supported the growth and employment, infrastructure, social protection, and education pillars of the Government's program and the government's efforts to stabilize public debt. The European Union (EU) accession agenda was a cross-cutting theme in the CPS. At the PLR stage, the CPS maintained its overall focus, albeit with some changes in emphasis, and was aligned with the new Government program (2017-20) that focused on growth, jobs, and social protection, among other areas.

Armenia: Energy Efficiency Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the development effectiveness of the Energy Efficiency Project in Armenia. The project was selected for a PPAR to learn from an innovative pilot project that influenced the design and experience of other energy efficiency projects and interventions. Energy efficiency is of strategic importance for the World Bank given its role in Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the development effectiveness of the Energy Efficiency Project in Armenia. The project was selected for a PPAR to learn from an innovative pilot project that influenced the design and experience of other energy efficiency projects and interventions. Energy efficiency is of strategic importance for the World Bank given its role in supporting climate change mitigation, which is a major corporate priority. The project development objective was to reduce energy consumption of social and other public facilities in Armenia and decrease greenhouse gas emissions through the removal of barriers to the implementation of energy efficiency investments in the public sector. The project was financed through a Global Environment Facility (GEF) grant and government funds totaling $10.7 million. The project was implemented in 2012–16. Ratings from the Energy Efficiency Project were as follows: Outcomes was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the project include: (i) Energy efficiency revolving funds can be market enablers by partnering with commercial and financial institutions, but there are few prospects for scale up and energy efficiency market transformation without the commitment of private businesses. (ii) Practical demonstration of the technical and financial feasibility of an innovative energy efficiency transaction program can only influence positive systemic change in the legal and regulatory framework if there is government commitment to the approach and long‐term funding. (iii) Appropriate legislation and regulation can provide incentives to undertake energy efficiency measures, but they are not sufficient without a strong government energy efficiency agency in place that is responsible for monitoring and enforcement. (iv) The design of a pilot project needs to go beyond demonstration effects and lay the foundation for sustainable operations over time.