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Report/Evaluation Type:Country Focused ValidationsProject Level Evaluations (PPARs)
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Benin: Ninth and Tenth Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PPAR)

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Benin was a low-income country with a gross domestic product per capita of $1,291 at the time of preparation of the Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) 9 and 10 series in 2014. Its economy was driven by agricultural production (of cotton in particular) and reexport and transit trade with Nigeria. As a result, Benin’s economy was vulnerable to trade policy changes or economic downturns in Show MoreBenin was a low-income country with a gross domestic product per capita of $1,291 at the time of preparation of the Poverty Reduction Support Credit (PRSC) 9 and 10 series in 2014. Its economy was driven by agricultural production (of cotton in particular) and reexport and transit trade with Nigeria. As a result, Benin’s economy was vulnerable to trade policy changes or economic downturns in Nigeria. The development objectives of this series were to: (i) promote good governance and high-quality public financial management, and (ii) strengthen private sector competitiveness. Ratings for the Ninth and Tenth Poverty Reduction Support Credit project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome was substantial, Bank performance was unsatisfactory, and Borrower performance was not applicable. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) Relevant lessons from previous operations need to be taken on board when designing new DPF operations. (ii) Prior actions need to be substantive, that is, be critical to reforms with value added. (iii) The World Bank should design projects with a clear understanding of the likely “winners and losers;” failure to do this makes it more likely that projects will not be implemented as planned or sustained over time. (iv) Distributional impact analysis from DPF-supported reforms should inform the design of operations.

Nepal: Shunaula Hazar Din – Community Action for Nutrition Project (PPAR)

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Improvements in child nutrition in Nepal have lagged behind the country’s economic, social, and human development progress over the past decades. At the time of project design in 2011, Nepal ranked among the top countries with the highest national prevalence of stunted growth (40 percent) in children under the age of five, and the country was not on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal’ Show MoreImprovements in child nutrition in Nepal have lagged behind the country’s economic, social, and human development progress over the past decades. At the time of project design in 2011, Nepal ranked among the top countries with the highest national prevalence of stunted growth (40 percent) in children under the age of five, and the country was not on track to reach the Millennium Development Goal’s target of reducing the rate of malnutrition by half. Improving child nutrition is essential for enhancing human capital accumulation, boosting economic growth, and reducing poverty, since the consequences of undernutrition for young children last through adulthood and reduce their potential to learn and to contribute to society. The project was the World Bank’s first stand-alone lending operation in support of Nepal’s nutrition agenda. The project name, “Sunaula Hazar Din,” which means “golden 1,000 days,” reflects the importance of the period from conception to 24 months of age as a window of opportunity to prevent undernutrition before it surfaces. The project’s objective was to improve practices that contribute to reduced undernutrition of women of reproductive age and children under the age of two. At entry, the project covered 15 districts (out of 75 districts in the country), selected based on levels of stunted growth and poverty. A second objective was added in 2015, after the devastating earthquake that struck the country in April, to provide emergency nutrition and sanitation response to vulnerable populations in earthquake affected areas. The project was then operational in 23 districts. Ratings for the Community Action for Nutrition Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was substantial. Lessons from the project include: (i) A community-driven implementation approach may not enforce the multisectoral design approach of the project to address the multiple determinants of nutrition. (ii) Equal RRNI-cycle time frames across the menu of goals can slant the selection of goals toward those for which technical know-how is already available, and hence overshadow the spirit of flexibility of the CDD approach. (iii) In settings with limited human resources, the implementation of innovative operations such as RRNIs requires a robust operational planning that takes into account a steep learning curve, strong preparatory arrangements that address weak capacities at entry, and adequate project readiness at entry. (iv) Good collaboration with specialized development partners in emergency relief facilitated the effective responses that maintained the focus on nutrition and on the original intent of the project. (v) Good collaboration with specialized development partners in emergency relief facilitated the effective responses that maintained the focus on nutrition and on the original intent of the project. (vi) In CDD projects that support the achievement of goals yet to be chosen by communities, and which are thus unknown at the outset, additional efforts to collect more granular baseline data at the ward level can facilitate the assessment of the project achievements at completion.

Mongolia CLR Review FY13-21

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This review examines the implementation of the FY13-FY17 Mongolia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which was endorsed by the World Bank Group (WBG)’s Board of Executive Directors in April 2012, updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of December 2016 (which extended the CPS by six months) and further revised in the PLR of November 2019. At that time, the CPS period was extended Show MoreThis review examines the implementation of the FY13-FY17 Mongolia Country Partnership Strategy (CPS), which was endorsed by the World Bank Group (WBG)’s Board of Executive Directors in April 2012, updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) of December 2016 (which extended the CPS by six months) and further revised in the PLR of November 2019. At that time, the CPS period was extended retroactively by three years until December 31, 2020. The CPS had three Focus Areas: (1) enhance Mongolia’s capacity to manage the mining economy sustainably and transparently; (2) build a sustained and diversified basis for economic growth and employment in urban and rural areas; and (3) address vulnerabilities and growing inequality through improved access to services and better service delivery, safety net provision, and improved disaster risk management. The CPS objectives were well aligned with the country’s own development goals as set out in various government programs and strategies.

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.

Indonesia CLR Review FY16-20

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This review of the World Bank Group (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) FY16-20, as updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR). The review covers WBG activities since July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 and not since July 1, 2016 as stated in the CLR. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, with a Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF) FY16-20, as updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR). The review covers WBG activities since July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2020 and not since July 1, 2016 as stated in the CLR. Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous nation, with a population of 271 million (2019) across over 6000 inhabited islands. During the CPF period (and up to the COVID pandemic) the economy grew steadily, underpinned by solid macro-economic fundamentals, with an annual GDP growth rate (2016-19) of 5.1 percent. The 2020 SCD Update notes that the poverty rate declined to an all-time low of 9.4 percent in early 2019 and that incomes for the lower 40 percent have climbed, but that the pace of poverty reduction has been only 0.3 percentage points per year post 2010, against 0.6 percentage points per year in 2003-2010. Indonesia’s Gini coefficient declined from 38.6 in 2016 to 37.8 in 2018. The 2015 SCD identified three key pathways to shared prosperity: strong economic and jobs growth, improved access to key services, and better natural resource management.

Jamaica: Rural Economic Development Initiative (PPAR)

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The national poverty rate in Jamaica declined over the two decades prior to appraisal, but rural poverty remained stubbornly high. The Government of Jamaica recognized that if the country was to achieve its goal of “Developed World” status, as indicated in the Government’s Vision 2030 plan, economic development in rural areas needed to keep pace with that experienced in urban areas. In 2008, the Show MoreThe national poverty rate in Jamaica declined over the two decades prior to appraisal, but rural poverty remained stubbornly high. The Government of Jamaica recognized that if the country was to achieve its goal of “Developed World” status, as indicated in the Government’s Vision 2030 plan, economic development in rural areas needed to keep pace with that experienced in urban areas. In 2008, the Government requested World Bank support for a project that would promote rural economic development and income generation by improving access to markets for small-holder farmers and by encouraging rural tourism development. Unusual among the Bank’s productive alliance projects, the present project sought to combine both agriculture and tourism, reflecting the unique circumstances of Jamaica’s rural landscape and the potential for agriculture to engage more with the tourism sector, a major contributor to foreign currency receipts. The Bank also determined that the rural agriculture and tourism sectors offered the most significant potential for rural growth and development. The resulting Bank project, the Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI), was designed to stimulate rural economic growth and increase rural incomes. Ratings for the Rural Economic Development Initiative are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was negligible. This assessment offers the following issues: (i) For complex productive alliance projects involving the selection of multiple rural subprojects and the introduction of new private-sector market concepts to rural communities, substantial investment to ensure project implementation readiness during project preparation can contribute to a faster and more effective project start. (ii) For productive alliance projects introducing modern technologies and new business management practices into rural populations, ensuring adequate skills and capacity in the implementing agencies will enhance the achievement of results. (iii) Technical assistance supporting private sector market approaches can be critical for linking rural agricultural and tourism operations to new and evolving markets.

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.

Malawi: Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project, and Agricultural Development Program Support Project (PPAR)

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The World Bank has been supporting the government of Malawi in its effort to promote sustainable growth in agricultural productivity. The Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project (IRLADP) supported irrigation farming through the integrated provision of hardware, mainly irrigation infrastructure, and software, mainly local and institutional capacity building. The Show MoreThe World Bank has been supporting the government of Malawi in its effort to promote sustainable growth in agricultural productivity. The Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project (IRLADP) supported irrigation farming through the integrated provision of hardware, mainly irrigation infrastructure, and software, mainly local and institutional capacity building. The Agricultural Development Program Support Project (ADPSP) addressed the efficiency of decision-making at the institutional agricultural policy and farm input–productivity level. The objective of the Project Performance Assessment Report is to assess how the farm-level support of both projects contributed to sustainable increases in agricultural productivity among smallholder farmers (SHFs). Both projects fostered an integrated approach to increases in agricultural productivity by promoting the uptake of traditional measures to support supply (irrigation, modern inputs, and agronomic knowledge) together with complementary practices of improved land and water management. Ratings for the Irrigation, Rural Livelihoods and Agricultural Development Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was substantial. Ratings for the Agricultural Development Program Support Project are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Overall efficacy was modest, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation is modest. This assessment offers the following lessons: (i) An integrated and participatory approach to agricultural development can initiate sustainable productivity growth among SHFs. In the context of a SHF-dominated agricultural sector and low productivity, traditional support measures of input supply are needed to close agronomic yield gaps. (ii) Agricultural projects with a supply-side focus on productivity growth that ignore market linkages are unlikely to provide the right agribusiness mind-set or incentives for farmers to sustainably invest in longer-term agricultural productivity. (iii) A government’s insufficient capacity and resources for agricultural sector development make it difficult to maintain an innovative but intensive demand-driven approach to service delivery in agriculture. (iv) Sustainable land and water management practices require a comprehensive approach that goes beyond irrigation or demonstration plots. (v) For projects preparing an Agriculture Sector-Wide Approach, monitoring production outcomes without a counterfactual does not allow an understanding of what is driving the anticipated productivity increases.

Bhutan CLR Review FY15-19

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This review of the World Bank Group (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) FY15-19, as updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 8, 2017. Bhutan is a small, land-locked, lower middle-income country. Between 2015 and 2019 the annual real GDP growth has varied between 6.2 percent and 3.7 percent. The country’s Show MoreThis review of the World Bank Group (WBG) Completion and Learning Review (CLR) covers the period of the Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) FY15-19, as updated in the Performance and Learning Review (PLR) dated May 8, 2017. Bhutan is a small, land-locked, lower middle-income country. Between 2015 and 2019 the annual real GDP growth has varied between 6.2 percent and 3.7 percent. The country’s economic growth was bolstered in recent years by investments in hydropower. Gross National Income (GNI) per capita is now only ten percent below the threshold for upper middle-income countries. Between 2007 and 2017 the poverty headcount ratio (measured at the US$3.20 poverty line in 2011 purchasing power parity terms) dropped from 36 to 12 percent of the population. The CPS noted that Bhutan needed to sustain macroeconomic stability while creating a business environment to promote private sector growth and job creation. The hydro-led growth had created some short-term macroeconomic imbalances, which called for careful management of fiscal and monetary policies. At the same time, it was critical to provide a better investment climate that would be more conducive to private sector development, diversification of the economy and job creation. Also, Bhutan’s large stock of natural capital called for increasing its sustainable contribution to the economy, while protecting the environment and human well-being. Related challenges included rapid urbanization, low agriculture productivity, limited infrastructure, difficult topography, and vulnerability to disaster and climate change. The 2020 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) confirmed these development challenges.

Niger: Community Action Program and Community-Based Integrated Ecosystem Management Project Phase I and II (PPAR)

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The World Bank has played a key role in helping Niger to further its rural decentralization aims. The World Bank has supported the implementation of the rural code throughout its history. It approved the Natural Resource Management Project (1995–2003) to help Niger jump-start the code implementation and followed it with the Community Action Program (2004–20), a three-phase adjustable program loan Show MoreThe World Bank has played a key role in helping Niger to further its rural decentralization aims. The World Bank has supported the implementation of the rural code throughout its history. It approved the Natural Resource Management Project (1995–2003) to help Niger jump-start the code implementation and followed it with the Community Action Program (2004–20), a three-phase adjustable program loan designed to empower local governments and communities to progressively achieve their collective local development aims in a participatory and sustainable way. This Project Performance Assessment Report assesses the first and second phases of the Community Action Program (CAP-1 and CAP-2). Ratings for the First Phase of the Community Action Program are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was satisfactory, Borrower performance was satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. Ratings for the Second Phase of the Community Action Program are as follows: Outcome was moderately satisfactory, Overall efficacy was substantial, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, Borrower performance was satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was substantial. Lessons from both projects include: (i) Land and resource restoration projects should support—and make evident how they are supporting—existing customary flexible tenure arrangements to ensure distributional benefits among resource users and to mitigate conflict risks. (ii) The success of natural resource restoration depends on the extent to which private or communal resource users are compensated over reasonable, short-term time frames for abstaining from using those resources until the long-term public benefits of resource restoration are achieved. (iii) Projects that support land and resource restoration can ensure that women benefit by addressing participation barriers linked to social and cultural norms. (iv) Socioeconomic and anthropological analyses, conducted before project elaboration, can support the gender aspects of production and marketing better.