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Topic:Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation
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Myanmar CLR Review FY15-19

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This review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), FY15-FY17, and updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated June 2, 2017, which extended the CPF period by two years to FY19. This CPF followed the end-2012 Interim Strategy Note (ISN) that resumed WBG operations after a hiatus of about 25 years. To support the Government’s development efforts, the WBG implemented a major expansion of its activities (a seven-fold increase in the Bank’s portfolio), possibly beyond what the country could absorb. Nevertheless, this support contributed to good progress on farming productivity; on access to electricity, telecommunications, health, education, and finance; and on the business climate. IEG agrees with the lessons drawn by the CLR. These are reformulated and summarized as follows: (i) In an environment of constrained implementation capacity, projects with diverse objectives and multiple implementing agencies may become unwieldy and lead to delays in project implementation. (ii) A results framework that excludes the program’s cross-cutting issues will impede assessment of success in addressing these issues. (iii) Use of country systems, support of key reform champions, and joint analytical work are among the factors that build trust with counterparts and stakeholders. (iv) Access to and coordination of trust fund resources will encourage effective implementation and collaboration across development partners. (v) Good and timely data is critical for evidence-based policy dialogue and timely response to country developments. (vi) A “one WBG” approach is critical to leverage WBG instruments toward specific objectives such as access to electricity. Seventh, more careful attention to indicators, including their sources, baselines, targets and time frames will facilitate program monitoring. (vii) A “disconnect’ between written implementation rules and actual practices in Myanmar, e.g., on procurement, may cause implementation delays. IEG adds the following lesson: Joint Implementation Plans (JIPs5) can improve the effectiveness of the “one WBG” approach noted by the CLR lessons. WBG CPFs normally intend collaboration across the Bank, IFC, and MIGA, but more often than not, CPFs do not spell out how such collaboration is to happen. Myanmar’s CPF JIP to improve access to electricity helped ensure that joint work would materialize. IEG rates the CPF development outcome as Moderately Satisfactory and WBG performance as Good.

World Bank Group Support to International Development Association Countries for Integration into Global Value Chains (Approach Paper)

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The rise of global value chains (GVCs) in the past two decades has dramatically altered the world economy. Lower transport and communication costs and falling barriers to trade have allowed firms to organize production processes into discrete tasks that can be performed in different countries. This has given rise to a finer international division of labor and greater gains from specialization, Show MoreThe rise of global value chains (GVCs) in the past two decades has dramatically altered the world economy. Lower transport and communication costs and falling barriers to trade have allowed firms to organize production processes into discrete tasks that can be performed in different countries. This has given rise to a finer international division of labor and greater gains from specialization, which opens opportunities for developing countries to participate in global production networks without having to master the entire production process. About 80 percent of global trade occurs through GVCs (UNCTAD 2013). Integration into GVCs helped many fast-growing economies increase exports, create jobs, acquire technologies, develop skills, and improve productivity. These countries have experienced the steepest declines in poverty (WTO 2017). The purpose of this evaluation is to shed light on what worked and why in Bank Group support to IDA countries’ efforts to enhance integration into GVCs. To this end, the evaluation will (i) take stock of Bank Group engagement with IDA countries on GVCs, (ii) assess the contribution of Bank Group support to enhancing GVC participation and benefits, and (iii) identify the main factors that have influenced the Bank Group’s ability to contribute to GVC-related outcomes.

Bangladesh: Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program - Strengthening Auditor General’s Office (PPAR)

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This is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s project on Bangladesh: Strengthening Auditor General’s Office. The project was selected as part of a pilot initiative by IEG to improve the relevance of the instrument. The PPAR draws lessons from the World Bank’s experience in the context of a challenging public financial Show MoreThis is a Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) by the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank’s project on Bangladesh: Strengthening Auditor General’s Office. The project was selected as part of a pilot initiative by IEG to improve the relevance of the instrument. The PPAR draws lessons from the World Bank’s experience in the context of a challenging public financial management, governance, and political economy environment. The original project development objectives were to (i) strengthen the institutional arrangements of the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (OCAG), (ii) enhance the quality and scope of audits, and (iii) enhance the institutional capacity of the Financial Management Academy (FIMA). Reflecting government reluctance to enact the underlying legal changes required by the operation, the project development objectives were revised in 2014 to (i) strengthen the quality, scope, and follow-up of audits; and (ii) create a cadre of internationally accredited professionals in OCAG. Ratings for the Strengthening Public Expenditure Management Program - Strengthening Auditor General’s Office project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately unsatisfactory. Lesson from the project include: (1) Inadequate assessment of political economy risks to key reforms contributed to unrealistically ambitious project design and targets, leading to shortcomings in implementation. (ii) The project sought to implement a politically sensitive policy reform through the use of technical assistance. The objective could have been more effectively pursued through a different instrument, possibly a development policy operation. (iii) The ability for a pilot to effectively demonstrate the potential of a new way of doing business requires commitment to a systematic assessment of the pilot experience and the dissemination of lessons learned.

Mongolia: Governance Assistance Project (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Governance Assistance Project (GAP) of the International Development Association (IDA) in Mongolia (P170780). The project was approved in March 2006 in the amount of special drawing rights 9.7 million (equivalent to US$14 million), funded by an IDA grant. Following two extensions, it closed on December 31, 2014. This assessment aims Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) evaluates the Governance Assistance Project (GAP) of the International Development Association (IDA) in Mongolia (P170780). The project was approved in March 2006 in the amount of special drawing rights 9.7 million (equivalent to US$14 million), funded by an IDA grant. Following two extensions, it closed on December 31, 2014. This assessment aims to review whether and how the operation achieved its intended objectives. The PPAR also examines the long-term sustainability of GAP support, such as the extent to which the GAP’s main achievements have been sustained more than four years since the project’s closure. This report provides additional evidence and analysis of relevant data for a more complete picture of the project outcomes and the factors that influenced them. By reviewing developments from 2014 to 2019 (after the project closed), it offers an opportunity for a longer-term perspective on the factors affecting outcomes. Ratings for this project are as follows: Outcome as satisfactory, risk to development outcome was modest, bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. This PPAR offers the following lessons: (i) In a low-capacity environment, introduction of basic technical solutions and application of incremental step-by-step reforms can be an effective strategy. (ii) Implementation risks related to project complexity and multiple government implementing agencies can be successfully managed if there is strong leadership from the core government agency (such as the Ministry of Finance) and an experienced and empowered Project Coordination Unit. (iii) Technical assistance projects with multisectoral coverage require significant supervision support. Lack of budget can limit the ability of the World Bank to provide the specialized technical inputs needed to help the client make better design and implementation choices.

What is blended finance, and how can it help deliver successful high-impact, high-risk projects?

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What is blended finance, and how can it help deliver successful high-impact, high-risk projects?
An introduction to an effective tool to crowd in private sector financing where it is most needed.An introduction to an effective tool to crowd in private sector financing where it is most needed.

Morocco: First and Second Transparency and Accountability Development Policy Loan (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses two International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans (First and Second Transparency and Accountability Development Policy Loans, known as Hakama 1 and 2) made to Morocco during 2013–16 and totaling approximately $407 million. The first operation was approved in October 2013 and the second in October 2015. The European Union and Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses two International Bank for Reconstruction and Development loans (First and Second Transparency and Accountability Development Policy Loans, known as Hakama 1 and 2) made to Morocco during 2013–16 and totaling approximately $407 million. The first operation was approved in October 2013 and the second in October 2015. The European Union and the African Development Bank provided parallel financing in the form of budget support; the European Union and World Bank also provided technical assistance. The development objectives of the loans were to strengthen mechanisms promoting transparency and accountability in the management of public resources, and to support legal reforms fostering open governance in Morocco in line with the new Constitution. Ratings are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Risk to development was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Borrower performance was satisfactory. Lesson from these projects include: (i) Improved knowledge management and better use of knowledge enhance operational quality. (ii) Monitoring and evaluation require attention both at the design stage and during implementation. (iii) Greater transparency and better information management are needed to sustain dialogue as World Bank teams and counterparts change. (iv) It would be helpful to assess a cluster of mutually reinforcing World Bank operations jointly.

Ukraine: First and Second Programmatic Financial Sector Development Policy Loan (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report evaluates a programmatic series of two development policy loans (DPLs) to Ukraine of $500 million each that were provided as part of an urgent international effort to assist the country when Ukraine’s financial sector teetered on the edge of collapse in 2014. A perfect storm had affected the financial system when the geopolitical situation had descended Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report evaluates a programmatic series of two development policy loans (DPLs) to Ukraine of $500 million each that were provided as part of an urgent international effort to assist the country when Ukraine’s financial sector teetered on the edge of collapse in 2014. A perfect storm had affected the financial system when the geopolitical situation had descended into deep crisis arising from the Euromaidan political upheaval, the Russian Federation’s annexation of Crimea, and the armed separatist movement in the eastern part of the country that initiated open, armed conflict that at times resembled a full-scale war. The exchange rate virtually halved between the end of 2013 (Hrv 8.13 to 1 U.S. dollar) and the end of 2014 (Hrv 15.8 to 1 U.S. dollar), inflation accelerated to 24 percent, the public sector fiscal deficit exceeded 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), and public debt—including guarantees—spiked to 70 percent of GDP. Ratings for the First and Second Programmatic Financial Sector Development Policy Loan are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome was high, Bank performance was satisfactory, and Borrower performance was moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the projects include: (i) Close coordination among donors is critical for DPLs to maximize the effectiveness of a jointly designed reform program. (ii) The design of DPLs needs to focus on all relevant issues, potential weaknesses, and gaps in reform measures. (iii) The presence of task teams in the field can be a critical factor in promoting financial sector reform. (iv) Weak public understanding of financial sector reforms indicates a need to expand outreach efforts to enhance political sustainability. (v) Sustainable reform is difficult to achieve in countries that have corrupt power structures and court systems. Under such circumstances, it is an open question whether World Bank assistance risks providing additional resources for rent seeking rather than support for reforms.

China CLR Review FY13-17

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China, with a population of 1.4 billion, is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $8,690 in 2017. During 2013-2017, the economy grew annually at 7.1 percent on average, slower than the previous CPS period of 11.0 percent. A long period of economic growth put pressure on the environment and raised serious sustainability challenges. China is now contributing around 30 percent to Show MoreChina, with a population of 1.4 billion, is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $8,690 in 2017. During 2013-2017, the economy grew annually at 7.1 percent on average, slower than the previous CPS period of 11.0 percent. A long period of economic growth put pressure on the environment and raised serious sustainability challenges. China is now contributing around 30 percent to the world’s GHG emissions, partly because it is the largest consumer of carbon for electricity. Significant gains in poverty reduction continued during the CPS period. Absolute poverty, measured at $1.90 per day (2011 PPP), dropped from 1.9 percent in 2013 to 0.5 percent in 2018. Poverty and vulnerability in China are concentrated in rural areas and lagging regions in Central and Western China. The welfare of the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution has increased steadily. The Gini coefficient dropped to .46 in 2015 after having risen to a high of .5 in 2008. China’s Human Capital Index (HCI) stands at 0.67 and ranks 45th amongst 158 countries. The CPS had two focus areas: (i) supporting greener growth; and (ii) promoting more inclusive development as well as a cross-cutting theme of advancing mutually beneficial relations with the world.

Cabo Verde CLR Review FY15-17

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During the CPS period, Cabo Verde’s economy grew annually by an average of 3.2%, an improvement over the average 0.83% growth during 2012-2014. The percentage of the population below the national poverty line fell from 58% in 2001 to 35% in 2015. Cabo Verde’s UN Human Development Index rose from 0.647 in 2015 to 0.654 in 2017, and its rank increased from 132nd of 187 countries Show MoreDuring the CPS period, Cabo Verde’s economy grew annually by an average of 3.2%, an improvement over the average 0.83% growth during 2012-2014. The percentage of the population below the national poverty line fell from 58% in 2001 to 35% in 2015. Cabo Verde’s UN Human Development Index rose from 0.647 in 2015 to 0.654 in 2017, and its rank increased from 132nd of 187 countries in 2013 to 125th of 189 countries in 2015. Development challenges during the CPS period stemmed from the continuing effects of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. The government responded to the crisis with an ambitious counter-cyclical investment program, leading to increased deficits and reversing a previously declining trajectory of public debt. Major ongoing constraints included lack of human capital (workforce skills), insufficient connectivity (transport, communications, and electricity) among the country’s ten islands; weak public sector performance; poor business climate; and lack of resilience to trade volatility and to climactic and geological hazards.

The International Finance Corporation’s Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: Results and Lessons

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The International Finance Corporation’s Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations: Results and Lessons
This report takes stock of available evidence regarding the effectiveness of IFC’s support in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS).This report takes stock of available evidence regarding the effectiveness of IFC’s support in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCS).