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Belize CLR Review FY12-15

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Belize is a small and open, upper middle income country that is highly exposed to natural disasters and terms of trade shocks. The country had a population of 359,287 in 2015 with a GNI per capita of US$4,490. The country experienced a decline in its GDP growth from 3.7 percent in 2012 to 1.0 percent in 2015, but the average growth during the review period was 2.5 percent,higher than the LAC Show MoreBelize is a small and open, upper middle income country that is highly exposed to natural disasters and terms of trade shocks. The country had a population of 359,287 in 2015 with a GNI per capita of US$4,490. The country experienced a decline in its GDP growth from 3.7 percent in 2012 to 1.0 percent in 2015, but the average growth during the review period was 2.5 percent,higher than the LAC average of 1.5 percent and at par with the rest of the world. Poverty is a rural phenomenon in Belize, reaching 55 percent compared to 28 percent in urban areas in 2009.Overall, the latest poverty estimates indicate that 42 percent of the population lived in poverty in 2009. Income inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient increased from 0.42 in 2009 to 0.53 in 2013. In 2015, Belize ranked 103 (of 188 countries) on its Human Development Index compared to its rank of 96 (of 187 countries) in 2012. The government’s medium and long-term development strategies as reflected in the NationalPoverty Eradication Strategy and Action Plan, 2009-2013 (NPESAP), the Medium-Term Development Strategy (MTDS, 2010-2013) and Horizon 2030 articulated the priority areas ofgovernment to include sustainable environment and natural resource management, environment and disaster risk management, macroeconomic and fiscal management, government transparency and accountability, growth and sustainability, and human development. The major challenges the country faced during the CPS period include natural disasters, terms of trade shocks, rising fiscal deficits and debt accumulation. This is the first Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Belize following the Bank’s re-engagement in 2009 through an Interim Strategy Note (ISN-FY 09-11), after a long hiatus (2001-2009). The Bank suspended its program in the country in 2001 due to fiscal and governance concerns. The CPS had three focus areas (i) policies and strategies for mainstreaming of natural resources and climate resilience; (ii) institutional capacity strengthening for natural resource management and climate change; and (iii) investments to strengthen climate resilience. The Bank concentrated on achieving sustainable natural resource-based growth and enhanced climate resilience, leveraged its limited IBRD envelope through trust fund resources and collaboration with other development partners.

Vietnam CLR Review FY12-16

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Vietnam is a lower middle income country with a GNI per capita income of $ 1,990 in 2015. During the review period, the country continued to experience rapid GDP growth averaging 5.8 percent, compared to 4.3 percent for the East Asia and Pacific region as a whole. The poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (which had been 58 percent in 1993) dropped from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 13. Show MoreVietnam is a lower middle income country with a GNI per capita income of $ 1,990 in 2015. During the review period, the country continued to experience rapid GDP growth averaging 5.8 percent, compared to 4.3 percent for the East Asia and Pacific region as a whole. The poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (which had been 58 percent in 1993) dropped from 17.2 percent in 2012 to 13.5 percent in 2014, with the remaining poverty being largely a rural issue (18.6 percent in 2014 versus 3.8 percent in urban areas), and mostly among ethnic minorities. Vietnam’s ranking on the UNDP Human Development Index also continued to improve – from 128th in 2011 to 115th in 2015 – compared to neighboring Lao PDR and Cambodia which are currently ranked around 140th place. However, economic inequality as measured by the GINI index is improving quite slowly – from 38.7 in 2012 to 37.6 in 2014. This is the first WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Vietnam after it had become a lower middle-income country in 2009. The CPS was well aligned with the government’s objectives and stated development goals. It supported the implementation of the government’s Socio- Economic Development Strategy (SEDS, 2011-20) as this was operationalized in the Socio- Economic Development Plan (2011-15). The SEDS focused on structural reform, environmental sustainability, and the then emerging issues of macro-economic stability, with three core areas: promoting human resources and skills development, improving market institutions, and infrastructure development. At the time of the CPS, Vietnam had undergone a systemic transformation towards a more market oriented economy and with high economic growth and significant poverty reduction. Vietnam had, however, begun to find it more difficult to maintain high growth levels together with macroeconomic stability, and poverty was increasingly being concentrated in ethnic minority communities. The country’s aspirations to avoid the middle income trap and become a successful middle income country would require strengthening of the economy’s competitiveness, and environmental impacts of development needed to be better managed. In line with these concerns, the WBG through the CPS and the Progress Learning Review (PLR) focused on partnering with Vietnam to help the country achieve success as a middle income country with three focus areas: Competitiveness, Sustainability, and Opportunity. These important aspects - addressed in the CPS program - continue to be relevant, as shown in the 2016 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD).

Kosovo CLR Review FY12-16

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Kosovo is a lower middle income country with GNI per capita of $3,702 in 2016. Due to its recent turbulent past, Kosovo is considered a fragile and conflict affected country. About 30 percent of the population lived in poverty and about 10 percent lived in extreme poverty in 2011. Inequality remains high, but has been declining: the Gini coefficient has changed from 31.8 in 2009 to 26.7 in Show MoreKosovo is a lower middle income country with GNI per capita of $3,702 in 2016. Due to its recent turbulent past, Kosovo is considered a fragile and conflict affected country. About 30 percent of the population lived in poverty and about 10 percent lived in extreme poverty in 2011. Inequality remains high, but has been declining: the Gini coefficient has changed from 31.8 in 2009 to 26.7 in 2013. Employment rates are the lowest in Europe: 29.7 percent in 2012 and 28.0 in 2016. The country’s human development index (HDI), at 0.741 in 2015, is one of the lowest in the Balkan region, next to Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, both ranked 85th among 188 countries. At the time of the CPS preparation, Kosovo’s key development challenges were to create employment of good quality and mitigate accumulated environmental damage. After the armed conflict ended in 1999, the economy grew at about 6 percent per year until 2009, but growth slowed down to 3.5 percent during 2009-2011 and to 3.2 percent during 2012-2016. An inadequate and inconsistent supply of energy remains the key bottleneck to development. Environmental issues have become more prominent as the mitigation cost rises and the country seeks to meet EU’s environmental standards.

Togo CLR Review FY08-17

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This is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Togo covering two Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs) for the period, FY08-FY10; and FY12-13. In line with the CLR, IEG does not rate the overall development outcome and the WBG’s performance due to data limitations. After Togo became independent in 1960, income per capita almost doubled Show MoreThis is a validation of the Completion and Learning Review (CLR) for the World Bank Group’s (WBG) engagement in Togo covering two Interim Strategy Notes (ISNs) for the period, FY08-FY10; and FY12-13. In line with the CLR, IEG does not rate the overall development outcome and the WBG’s performance due to data limitations. After Togo became independent in 1960, income per capita almost doubled to reach $534 in 1980, driven by open and market oriented policies, a boom in phosphate prices and efforts towards a more effective public administration. However, these gains were reversed during the next two decades. In the 1980s, the country followed a more inward looking economic policy and, during the 1990s, it entered a period of political tension and economic instability. Togo fell into internal and external debt service arrears including with the World Bank. Political stability returned gradually beginning in the mid-2000s and the international development community returned. Economic growth during the last decade has averaged four percent. Despite a solid growth performance, poverty declined only slightly, from 61.7 percent in 2006 to 55.1 percent in 2015. Income per capita is yet to reach the level the country had achieved in 1980. Togo’s ranking in the Human Development Index has fallen from 95th out of 124 countries in 1980 to 166th out of 187 countries in 2013. Togo recently experienced negative macroeconomic developments that brought the share of public debt over GDP from 32 percent in 2010 to 80.8 percent in 2016 financed by both domestic and external borrowings. Successful efforts at increasing public revenues from 18.8 percent of GDP in 2013 to 21.0 percent in 2015 were not enough to cover fast-growing public investments on infrastructure. Efforts at bringing the fiscal accounts under control are underway. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved on May 5, 2017, a new three-year arrangement for Togo under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) for SDR176.16 million to support the country’s economic and financial reforms.

Mauritius CLR Review FY07-15

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Mauritius is a small country of about 1.3 million people which evolved from a poor sugar economy at the time of independence in 1968 into a successful upper middle-income country today largely through trade-led development. While absolute poverty declined from 8.5 percent in 2007 to 6.9 percent in 2012, inequality has increased and the Gini coefficient rose from 0.34 to 0.37. Good economic Show MoreMauritius is a small country of about 1.3 million people which evolved from a poor sugar economy at the time of independence in 1968 into a successful upper middle-income country today largely through trade-led development. While absolute poverty declined from 8.5 percent in 2007 to 6.9 percent in 2012, inequality has increased and the Gini coefficient rose from 0.34 to 0.37. Good economic management has helped the country successfully weather several adverse external developments, but could not prevent a decline in GDP growth rates in recent years. Because good economic growth and rapid progress in human development went hand in hand in the past, both the government plans and the WBG's Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) agreed that the lowered growth rate was the country's main challenge. Hence, the main theme of the WBG strategy was to increase the competitiveness of the economy while protecting the vulnerable. The CPS was organized around the government's four focus areas (or pillars) of reform: (1) fiscal consolidation and improved public sector efficiency; (2) improving trade competitiveness; (3) improving the investment climate; and (4) democratizing the economy through participation, social inclusion and sustainability. At first, there was good synergy between the government reform plans and the CPS. However, the coalition government that came to power after 2010 slowed down the implementation of the reform agenda. The WBG was slow to recognize this and, hence, the WBG program was no longer as well aligned with the government agenda as in earlier years. On balance, IEG rates the overall development outcome as moderately satisfactory.

Peru CLR Review FY12-16

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Peru is a Middle-Income Country (MIC) with a GNI per capita of US$6,130 in 2015. During the review period, the country’s average GDP growth was 4.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the LAC region. Peru has been successful in reducing poverty. For example, national poverty declined from 59 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2015. Inequality also declined per the Gini index from 52.1 in 2004 Show MorePeru is a Middle-Income Country (MIC) with a GNI per capita of US$6,130 in 2015. During the review period, the country’s average GDP growth was 4.4 percent, compared to 1.5 percent in the LAC region. Peru has been successful in reducing poverty. For example, national poverty declined from 59 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2015. Inequality also declined per the Gini index from 52.1 in 2004 to 44.4 in 2015. However, there are governance challenges at the subnational level due to the unfinished decentralization agenda. ed on overcoming social gaps and enhancing productivity, while maintaining a sound macro framework. The World Bank Group (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which covered the period FY12-16, was prepared within this context. The CPS had four strategic objectives (or focus areas): (i) increased access and quality of social services for the poor; (ii) connecting the poor to services and markets; (iii) sustainable growth and productivity; and (iv) improved public sector performance for greater inclusion. The WBG supported these areas using a wide-range of instruments, including investment operations, policy lending, and analytical work and advisory services. The CPS’s four strategic objectives reflected the Government’s development goals. At mid-term of the CPS, the government shifted its priorities towards productivity and competitiveness.

Mozambique CLR Review FY12-15

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Mozambique is a low income country with a GNI per capita of $1,120 in 2014. The country experienced rapid growth over the last 25 years, but high poverty rates persist, particularly in the rural areas. Data from the National Statistics Institute show that the poverty headcount ratio fell from 70 to 46 percent between 1996 and 2014. The country’s reliance on capital intensive investments led to Show MoreMozambique is a low income country with a GNI per capita of $1,120 in 2014. The country experienced rapid growth over the last 25 years, but high poverty rates persist, particularly in the rural areas. Data from the National Statistics Institute show that the poverty headcount ratio fell from 70 to 46 percent between 1996 and 2014. The country’s reliance on capital intensive investments led to rapid economic growth but generated relatively few jobs and their ties to the rest of the economy are limited. Unemployment rate remained at 22.6 percent in 2012-2014. The country ranks low in Human Development Index: 180 out of 188 countries. Natural hazards hit the country frequently and hard, and are likely to worsen with climate change. The government’s Action Plan to Reduce Poverty for 2011-2014 (Plano de Acção de Redução de Pobreza -PARP) sought to confront these problems and the WBG’s Country partnership Strategy (CPS) addressed some of these challenges under the pillars of competitiveness and employment (Focus Area I), vulnerability and resilience (Focus Area II), and a foundation pillar, governance and public sector capacity (Focus Area III). In April 2016, the government acknowledged to the IMF that it had borrowed an amount in excess of $1 billion in commercial terms during 2012-2015. The disclosure weakened investors’ confidence in the country’s macroeconomic stability, and contributed to further depreciating the metical. These two factors combined raised the country’s debt to GDP ratio from 60 percent in 2014 to 120 percent in 2016.

Cameroon CLR Review FY10-14

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Cameroon is a lower middle income, resource-rich country with large potential. Due to its location, the country is the gateway to the economies of Central Africa and plays a central role in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The Bank's strategy was well aligned with country challenges and the government's own objectives, with the emphasis of the CAS program on governance Show MoreCameroon is a lower middle income, resource-rich country with large potential. Due to its location, the country is the gateway to the economies of Central Africa and plays a central role in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). The Bank's strategy was well aligned with country challenges and the government's own objectives, with the emphasis of the CAS program on governance, competitiveness, and public sector services. The program generally did address key challenges for the country, and was largely unchanged in the CAS Progress Report (CASPR), at which time the CAS period was extended to include FY14, but some indicators were dropped and others were weakened primarily in terms of time of delivery. The program aligned quite well to the twin goals, but the poverty dimension of the WBG program could have been even stronger, including the attention to inclusion – although with a poverty rate of 37.5 percent (2014) there is strong overlap between poverty and shared prosperity issues. The CAS program was reasonably well designed in light of country requirements and (significant) constraints, and proved to be quite stable with all nine objectives maintained in the CASPR. It addressed appropriate and important areas, and was designed for gradual and quite modest improvements. The CASPR addressed an important stepping-up of supervision and implementation support,and also a stronger focus on a few selected operations going forward. IEG draws three main lessons from this CLR: First, programs addressing governance need to provide a mix of interventions commensurate with the nature of the objectives, be structured realistically to conditions on the ground and Bank instruments. Second, indicators need to be designed keeping in mind the ability to monitor progress and to measure and assess end results. Third, Bank country program documents including CLRs need to pay clear attention where there are (as for Cameroon) significant indications of broader underlying fiduciary and governance issues. IEG also agrees with the following lessons from the CLR: Centralized approaches to strengthening governance need to be complemented with decentralized and sector-based approaches. The impact of investment lending is much higher when it is accompanied by sector policy and institutional reform which is possible only when government ownership is strong.

Pacific Island Countries CLR Review FY11-17

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This is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Show MoreThis is a summary of six CLR reviews covering the World Bank Group (WBG) programs for the Pacific Island Countries (PICs) of Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu. The summary is based on IEG’s individual country assessments of the completion and learning reviews prepared for each country. During the period under review, each country prepared a stand-alone Country Assistance/Partnership Strategy (CAS/CPS), in contrast to previous engagements that were done under an umbrella regional strategy for the Pacific Islands. Except for Tuvalu’s country program, all CPSs were joint programs between the Bank and IFC. The assessments are based on the original CPSs, since no Performance and Learning Reviews (PLRs) were undertaken for any of the countries. These countries have populations ranging from 10,000 (Tuvalu) to over 200,000 (Samoa)— Tuvalu is the smallest WBG member country. They are among the most remote and geographically dispersed countries in the world, and range from low middle income (Kiribati, US$3,390 GNI per capita in current dollars) to upper middle income (Tuvalu, US$6,120 GNI per capita in current dollars). Some of them joined the WBG as recently as 2010 (Tuvalu). The high cost of operating in these small, remote countries, and limited resources from IDA, constrained the World Bank Group to engage with them at the regional level or through multi-country platforms until 2008, when the governments of Australia and New Zealand decided to enter into funding partnerships with the WBG. These partnerships—combined with significant increases in IDA disaster risk management and climate change—gave the WBG the capacity to operate at scale in the Pacific Island Countries. For most of the countries—except Samoa and Tonga—this program was the first direct engagement with the WBG. All programs were financed by IDA and trust-funds, and some of the countries (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Tuvalu) had to be granted an exception for small islands to qualify for IDA funds in light of their high per capita income.

Guatemala CLR Review FY13-FY16

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This Review assesses the design and implementation of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guatemala covering the period FY13-16. Following the shared approach methodology, the program’s development outcomes are assessed based on the Performance Learning Review (PLR) which was undertaken towards the end of the CPS period in September 2015. Guatemala is a lower Show MoreThis Review assesses the design and implementation of the World Bank Group’s (WBG) Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) for Guatemala covering the period FY13-16. Following the shared approach methodology, the program’s development outcomes are assessed based on the Performance Learning Review (PLR) which was undertaken towards the end of the CPS period in September 2015. Guatemala is a lower middle income country and the largest economy in Central America. During the CPS period, Guatemala had been implementing prudent macroeconomic policies with a relatively stable GDP growth rate. However, shared prosperity, as measured by income growth among the poorest 40 percent of the population, declined during 2000-2014. Guatemala’s Gini coefficient of income and human development index in 2014 continued to lag the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region. Low public revenue collection limited the ability of the State to provide basic public goods and services, and to undertake public investment essential to achieving its development goals. Guatemala has weak institutional quality, scoring in the lowest quartile in three and below the median in all of the six Worldwide Governance Indicators, with no significant improvement over the last two decades. IEG rates WBG performance as Fair.