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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused Validations
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Mozambique - Country partnership strategy for the period FY08-FY11 : IEG CPSCR review

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This review examines implementation of the Fiscal Years 2008-11 Mozambique Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), and evaluates the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The strategy was implemented by IDA, IFC and MIGA, and this review covers their joint program. The World Bank Group (WBG) strategy in Mozambique was organized around three pillars: (i) increasing accountability and public voice; (ii) Show MoreThis review examines implementation of the Fiscal Years 2008-11 Mozambique Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), and evaluates the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The strategy was implemented by IDA, IFC and MIGA, and this review covers their joint program. The World Bank Group (WBG) strategy in Mozambique was organized around three pillars: (i) increasing accountability and public voice; (ii) ensuring equitable access to key services; and (iii) promoting equitable and broad-based growth. IEG rates the overall outcome of the WBG strategy in Mozambique as moderately unsatisfactory. With support from several external development partners, including IDA, Mozambique has made progress in improving budget planning at the central and district levels, in establishing information technology systems that bolster the government's fiduciary systems, and started to give communities a say in the budget process. These improvements, however, have yet to translate into better governance indicators. The main lesson stemming from this review is that the WBG's development effectiveness rests on active and effective management of the country strategy and operations, and not only on a dedicated and strong country staff. Efficient monitoring and evaluation of the strategy and taking the opportunity of a CPSPR to update the objectives and interventions to changing circumstances and exogenous developments are crucial components to enhance the development effectiveness of the WBG and of its staff. These functions, however, are the purview of senior management.

Lao People's Democratic Republic - Country assistance strategy completion report (CASCR) for the period FY2005-FY2011 : IEG review

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This review examines the implementation of the FY 2005-2008 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and the FY 2009 CAS Progress Report (CASPR), and assesses the CAS Completion Report (CASCR). The strategy covered only IDA's assistance program, and accordingly, this review focuses only on IDA and its program. IEG rates the overall outcome of IDA's strategy in Lao PDR as satisfactory, giving special Show MoreThis review examines the implementation of the FY 2005-2008 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and the FY 2009 CAS Progress Report (CASPR), and assesses the CAS Completion Report (CASCR). The strategy covered only IDA's assistance program, and accordingly, this review focuses only on IDA and its program. IEG rates the overall outcome of IDA's strategy in Lao PDR as satisfactory, giving special weight to the successful implementation of the transformative NT2 project. Lao PDR is implementing NT2 successfully, without any significantly adverse social or environmental impacts. The improved capacity being created by NT2 is allowing Lao PDR to expand its electric power plans significantly, albeit without support from IDA. On other aspects of the strategy, Lao PDR is becoming better integrated with its neighbors and the rest of the world through trade, with prospects of joining the Asia Free Trade Area (AFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO). Lao PDR has a mixed record on social indicators, but data is scant. Indicators show better access to education and a reduction in under-five mortality, but little progress in quality of education and completion rates. Major health indicators are lacking, especially those focused on the poor. In supporting vulnerable and remote communities, progress is being made through the Poverty Reduction Fund (PRF), a successful project that may be scaled up. IEG concurs with the lessons in the CASCR, with one proviso. While agreeing with the CASCR on the benefits for IDA of taking calculating risks in supporting transformational projects, IEG highlights the need to find pragmatic ways of complying with the social and environmental safeguards.

Ukraine - Country partnerhsip strategy for the period FY08-FY11 : IEG CPSCR review

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This review examines the implementation of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008- 2011 Ukraine Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) of FY 2908 and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY 2910, and evaluates the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The strategy was joint between IBRD, IFC and MIGA and this review covers the program of the three institutions. IEG rates overall outcome of the WBG´s strategy as Show MoreThis review examines the implementation of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008- 2011 Ukraine Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) of FY 2908 and the CPS Progress Report (CPSPR) of FY 2910, and evaluates the CPS Completion Report (CPSCR). The strategy was joint between IBRD, IFC and MIGA and this review covers the program of the three institutions. IEG rates overall outcome of the WBG´s strategy as moderately unsatisfactory. IEG concurs with the lessons of the CPSCR, and underscores two additional points. First, with political uncertainty and frequent changes in governments, the timely use of the CPSPR to update the objectives of the strategy and adapt them to the new political environment appears essential—just as the CPSPR was used to adapt the World Bank Group (WBG) strategy to the global financial crisis, another exogenous development. For instance, several aspects of the approach to energy in the WBG strategy appeared to have lost the necessary political backing and objectives could have been revised. Second, the WBG could align its strategy more closely with that of the country, to avoid weak ownership from becoming an obstacle to effectiveness. This appears to have been the case with the emphasis on the efficiency of service delivery, which was differed from Ukraine's focus on the quality of the services.

Niger - Completion and learning review for the country partnership framework and country partnership strategy for the period FY13-FY16 : IEG review

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Niger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of Show MoreNiger is a landlocked and sparsely populated country in the Sahel region of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with significant deposits of uranium, gold, coal, and petroleum. Given its reliance on mining and oil exports, the country is exposed to external economic shocks directly and indirectly through the impact on its main trading partner, Nigeria. During the CPS period, GDP grew at a yearly average of 5.2 percent and its population at 3.9 percent. The country's average GNI income per capita was $395, considerably well below the SSA average of $1,642. The deterioration in the primary budget deficit led to an increase in the public debt over GDP driven by an ambitious public investment program. Poverty incidence declined from 53.7 percent in 2005 to 44.5 percent in 2014, but remained stagnant in rural areas at 51.4 percent, while it dropped to 8.7 percent in the capital city and other urban areas. The 2016 UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gender Inequality Index ranked Niger amongst the lowest in the world, 187 out of 188 and 157 out of 159 countries, respectively. Niger has suffered from conflict in neighboring countries. Niger hosts around 340,000 refugees and internally displaced persons. Climate change is affecting (rain-fed) agriculture, the source of income for most of its population. After a military coup in 2010, the new government elected in 2011 issued a Plan for Social and Economic Development (PDES) which identified five programmatic areas: (i) strengthening the credibility and efficiency of public institutions; (ii) creating the conditions for inclusive, sustainable and balanced development; (iii) food security and sustainable agricultural development; (iv) competitive and diversified economy for accelerated, inclusive growth; and (v) promotion of social development. The government envisaged rapid economic growth, high levels of public investment, and greater connection to the external world.

Belarus - Completion and learning review for the period FY18-FY22 : IEG review

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This review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1 Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group's Completion and Learning Report (CLR) covers the period of the original Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), FY14-17, and the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) discussed at the Board on June 30, 2016.Belarus is an upper middle-income country.During 2014-16 the economy contracted at an average annual rate of -1.6 percent, compared with an average growth of 1.8 percent for the ECA region.The CPS corresponded well with the government's stated development objectives and was aligned with the government's Program of Social and Economic Development for 2011-2015 which has since been followed by a 2016-2020 Development Program and Action Plan. The CPS program had three pillars: (i) improving competitiveness of the economy by supporting structural reforms, including reducing the role of the state, transforming state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector, promoting private and financial sector development and integration into the global economy; (ii) improved efficiency and quality of public infrastructure services, enhanced and sustainable use of agricultural and forestry services, and increased public goods benefits; and (iii) improved human development outcomes through better delivery of education, health and social services.

Nicaragua - Completion and learning review for country partnership framework for the period FY13-FY17 : IEG review

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Nicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent Show MoreNicaragua is a lower middle-income country with a GNI per capita of $2,050 in 2016. Nicaragua’s annual economic growth increased from 3.3 percent during the prior CPS period (2008-2012) to 4.9 percent during the CPS period under review (2013-17). Growth was sustained by an adequate macro and fiscal environment and responded to higher growth of the US economy, from 0.9 percent to 2.2 percent between the two CPS periods. Growth helped reduce poverty rates, from 42.5 percent in 2009 to 29.6 percent in 2014 and 24.9 percent in 2016. Better social conditions are reflected in Nicaragua’s Human Development Index, which improved from 0.636 in 2013 (ranked 132nd among 187 countries) to 0.645 in 2015 (ranked 124th among 188 countries). However, inequality (the GINI Index) increased, from 44.2 in 2009 to 46.6 in 2014. The poverty rate in rural areas (50.1 percent in 2014) remains higher than in urban areas (14.8 percent in 2014), and 45 percent of Nicaraguans are at risk of falling into poverty if hit by a shock.

Moldova - Completion and learning review for country assistance strategy for the period FY14-FY17 : IEG review

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Moldova is a small, lower-middle income economy with a GNI per capita of $2,240 in 2015 (a decline from 2014). In 2015, the economy suffered from an adverse external environment, a summer drought, and a banking crisis, but IMF reports that the economy expanded by 4.1 percent in 2016. After 1999, the country has had a high economic growth and significant progress in reducing poverty and boosting Show MoreMoldova is a small, lower-middle income economy with a GNI per capita of $2,240 in 2015 (a decline from 2014). In 2015, the economy suffered from an adverse external environment, a summer drought, and a banking crisis, but IMF reports that the economy expanded by 4.1 percent in 2016. After 1999, the country has had a high economic growth and significant progress in reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity, with 4.8 percent growth in consumption among the bottom 40 percent in 2009-14, compared with 1.3 percent for the entire population. The 2016 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) notes that the national poverty rate shrank from 26 percent in 2007 to 11 percent in 2014. The poverty reduction in Moldova has been driven largely by remittances and pensions. The country ranked 107 out of 188 countries on the 2015 Human Development Index, representing a very modest improvement from 2010. Moldova’s ranking on the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) declined significantly on Control of Corruption (from around 29 in 2011 to 17 in 2015). IEG ratings are as follows: development outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, and World Bank Group (WBG) performance was fair. Two main lessons from this review: First, that caution is called for in moving rapidly to focus on budget support and results based operations under circumstances where there is concern about the quality of systems and controls in financial management and procurement. Second, that results frameworks would need to be designed with outcome indicators that clearly measure the achievement of the stated objectives, taking into account country context and WBG interventions.

Turkey - Completion and learning review for the period FY12 - FY16 : IEG review

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Turkey is an upper middle income country with a GNI per capita of USD 9,950 dollars in current US dollars (2015).The government set out its objectives in the Ninth Development Plan for 2007-13 and the 2012-14 Medium-Term Program. Four priorities stood out: (i) pursue sound macroeconomic and structural fiscal policies to maintain stability and reduce vulnerabilities, (ii) improve the investment Show MoreTurkey is an upper middle income country with a GNI per capita of USD 9,950 dollars in current US dollars (2015).The government set out its objectives in the Ninth Development Plan for 2007-13 and the 2012-14 Medium-Term Program. Four priorities stood out: (i) pursue sound macroeconomic and structural fiscal policies to maintain stability and reduce vulnerabilities, (ii) improve the investment climate and labor market to increase competitiveness and create jobs, especially for women and youth, (iii) reform education, health service provision, and social welfare to increase productivity and promote equal opportunity, and (iv) continue reforms of energy and water sectors, and invest in increasing energy efficiency. In support of the government's objectives, the WBG Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) pursued reforms in three areas for enhancing competitiveness and employment, improving equity and public services, and deepening sustainable development. The CPS was extended by one year to include FY16, in part to allow the CPS period to be aligned with the political cycle, as parliamentary elections were scheduled for mid-2015.The CPS supported the government's priorities and was adjusted during the PLR to reflect changing priorities, although the adjustment was not robust enough to reflect economic vulnerabilities. The program areas were selective, but program objectives were unfocused owing to their many dimensions, which diminished the program's impact. Development policy operations and project lending were complemented by economic and sector work and technical assistance; however, the non-lending portfolio was spread thinly over many areas.In Focus Area 1, there was limited progress in increasing domestic savings and enhancing external resilience while progress was mixed on the investment and business climate objective. The objective on sustaining macroeconomic stability, domestic savings, strengthen exports and external resilience had multiple dimensions not reflected in the two outcome indicators that covered a narrow range of the objective. Corporate governance was improved through more extensive firm audits, and enhanced reporting and disclosure requirements. In Focus Area II performance was adequate, with some progress on gender equality and a more inclusive labor market, and evidence of improved equity in the provision of health services. While work remains to be done in health to improve client satisfaction, broad measures of health outcomes show progress in improving health outcomes during the program period. In Focus Area III, good progress was made in increasing the supply of energy and use of renewable energy, mixed progress on improving the sustainability of Turkish cities, and limited achievements in strengthening environmental management and adaptation to climate change.

Pacific Islands - Completion and learning review for regional partnership framework for the period FY11-FY17 : IEG review

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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.

Cameroon - Completion and learning review for country partnership framework for the period FY10 - FY14 : IEG review

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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.