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Report/Evaluation Type:Project 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 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 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.

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 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.

Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Sao Tome, Principe: Internet and Mobile Connectivity (Central African Backbone Program APL 1A and APL 2) (PPAR)

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This Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help Show MoreThis Project Performance Assessment Report (PPAR) assesses the development effectiveness of the Central Africa Backbone Project Adaptable Program Loan (APL) 1A implemented in three countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic and Chad; and the Central Africa Backbone Project APL 2 implemented in Sao Tome and Principe. The objectives of the projects were to help to increase the geographical reach and usage of regional broadband network services and reduce their prices to end-users. Ratings for these projects are as follows: Outcome is unsatisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank and Borrow performance are both moderately unsatisfactory. For APL 2, the ratings are: Outcome was satisfactory, Risk to development outcome is substantial, Bank performance is satisfactory, and Borrow performance is moderately satisfactory. Lessons from the projects include: (i) A thorough political economy assessment and high-level national and regional commitment are key ingredients for complex regional ICT projects. (ii) The experience from the Central Africa Backbone APL 1 and 2 project shows that public private partnership arrangements are difficult to implement in multiple countries, particularly when countries have asymmetrical needs and incentives with respect to increasing competition for the provision of international and national capacity. (iii) Technical assistance for the preparation of legislation and sector strategies is only the first step to creating an enabling environment for the ICT sector. (iv) Assessing and funding the capacity needs of Regional Economic Communities is important for project coordination and implementation, so that they can carry out their functions effectively. (v) In weak capacity environments, it is beneficial that the projects build the needed institutional capacity for the Borrower to further / implement the crucial reforms and to ensure sustainability of the investments in the country.

Ethiopia: Sustainable Land Management Project I and II (PPAR)

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Serious long-term degradation of communal areas and farmlands results in substantial losses to the economy. The combination of fragile soils, steep slopes, agroclimatic conditions, environmentally unsustainable intensification of agriculture, and traditional cultivation techniques practiced by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia over many decades has led to excessive soil erosion and land degradation Show MoreSerious long-term degradation of communal areas and farmlands results in substantial losses to the economy. The combination of fragile soils, steep slopes, agroclimatic conditions, environmentally unsustainable intensification of agriculture, and traditional cultivation techniques practiced by smallholder farmers in Ethiopia over many decades has led to excessive soil erosion and land degradation. Two sequential projects were designed and implemented to achieve the SLMP’s objectives. Sustainable Land Management Project Phase I (SLMP I) introduced SLM practices in selected areas of the country to rehabilitate previously uneconomical and unproductive degraded areas within 45 critical watersheds situated in six regional states. SLMP II sought to scale up this support by expanding the geographical coverage to 135 watersheds and continued addressing poor farmland management practices, rapid depletion of vegetation cover, unsustainable livestock grazing practices, and land tenure insecurity. SLMP II also sought to integrate new activities targeting land productivity, deforestation, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Ratings for the Sustainable Land Management Project I are as follows: Overall outcome is satisfactory, Risk to development outcomes is moderate, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, Borrower performance is moderately satisfactory, and Quality of M&E is negligible. For Sustainable Land Management Project II, they are as follows: Overall outcome is satisfactory, Overall efficacy is substantial, Bank performance is moderately satisfactory, and Quality of M&E is modest. Lessons from these projects include: (i) Watershed management programs can lead to significant land restoration outcomes when appropriate structural and biological measures are introduced to treat the affected landscape with active participation of the local community. (ii) Area closures are relevant for the restoration of degraded lands but require increased investments for alternative supply of forages to convince the local communities to forgo livestock grazing and other benefits during the process of natural regeneration. (iii) Farm productivity growth requires arresting both the on-site and off-site soil erosion to prevent the degradation of farmlands and enable investments in modern farm inputs. (iv) Effective demonstration of upfront economic and livelihood benefits is fundamental for smallholder farmers to protect and maintain the SLM practices introduced on their lands through project support. (v) In drought-prone areas, small-scale irrigation is the key enabler for translating the benefits of land restoration into reduction in household vulnerability to climate shocks through income diversification and protection against droughts. (vi) Market-oriented agroforestry interventions (for example, Acacia decurrens) that provide sustainable income for smallholders can be vital ingredients in creating incentives for the adoption of biological measures for land restoration and improving household resilience to climate shocks.

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 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.

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.

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 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.

Lao People's Democratic Republic: Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric and Social and Environment Projects (PPAR)

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The Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2 HPP) was a major undertaking in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) when the country’s energy sector was nascent, the overall economy was transitioning from central planning to greater market orientation, and private participation was limited in the energy sector. The NT2 HPP was developed primarily to export electricity to Show MoreThe Nam Theun 2 Hydropower Project (NT2 HPP) was a major undertaking in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) when the country’s energy sector was nascent, the overall economy was transitioning from central planning to greater market orientation, and private participation was limited in the energy sector. The NT2 HPP was developed primarily to export electricity to Thailand to boost economic growth in Lao PDR in support of the implementation of the country’s Growth and Poverty Elimination Strategy. The project was also designed to be catalytic—a model to guide subsequent exploitation of the country’s extensive hydropower resources. Ratings for the Nam Theun 2 Hydroelectric Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was substantial. The NT2 HPP—given its scale, complexity, and significance—provides many lessons for consideration in future hydropower development initiatives: (i) A project design to capture more comprehensive development outcomes from hydropower, as recommended in the World Bank’s Water Working Note “Directions in Hydropower: Scaling Up for Development,” needs to balance its ambitions with the corresponding implementation capacity, particularly as it relates to experience with environmental protection and social development that may exceed the capabilities of many hydropower developers (World Bank 2009a). (ii) Strategically catalytic interventions, such as the NT2 HPP, can lead to transformational impacts when there is a commitment to and capacity for implementing follow-on actions such as replicating and mainstreaming its features. In the NT2 HPP, power financing through a PPP was catalytic in helping to develop the sector and fueling export-led growth. (iii) Bank Group (and other IFI) participation, including the use of guarantees, can be instrumental in mitigating risks and enhancing the private sector’s confidence to mobilize in nascent markets with unexploited potential and scalable investment opportunities. (iv) A government’s adherence to its commitment to implement a sound development strategy may be a more significant driver for achieving broader poverty alleviation outcomes than earmarking revenues for specific expenditures that are fungible within a general budget. (v) Hydropower can produce sizable global environmental benefits in terms of combating climate change, although the negative impacts that can arise from greenhouse gas emissions from storage reservoirs should also be accounted for.

Brazil: National Biodiversity Mainstreaming and Institutional Consolidation Project and Sustainable Cerrado Initiative (PPAR)

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Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world, holding an estimated one-fifth of all known flora and fauna species. It also contains a wide range of climate types in seven major biomes, including the vast Amazon and now largely depleted Atlantic rainforests, the Cerrado savanna (which covering 2 million square kilometers is second in size only to Amazônia), the semiarid Show MoreBrazil is the most biodiverse country in the world, holding an estimated one-fifth of all known flora and fauna species. It also contains a wide range of climate types in seven major biomes, including the vast Amazon and now largely depleted Atlantic rainforests, the Cerrado savanna (which covering 2 million square kilometers is second in size only to Amazônia), the semiarid Caatinga, the world’s largest Pantanal wetlands, and an extensive coastline. The National Biodiversity Mainstreaming and Institutional Consolidation Project (PROBIO 2) was funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). Its project development objectives were (i) to promote mainstreaming of biodiversity at the national level in key public and private sector planning strategies and practices, and (ii) to consolidate and strengthen institutional capacity to produce and disseminate relevant biodiversity information. The project development objectives of the Sustainable Cerrado Initiative (GEF Cerrado) were to enhance biodiversity conservation in, and improve environmental and natural resource management of, the Cerrado in Brazil’s territory through appropriate policies and practices. Ratings from the National Biodiversity Mainstreaming and Institutional Consolidation Project are as follows: Outcome was satisfactory, Overall efficacy was satisfactory, Bank performance was moderately satisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. Ratings for the Sustainable Cerrado Initiative are as follows: Outcome was moderately unsatisfactory, Overall efficacy was modest, Bank performance was moderately unsatisfactory, and Quality of monitoring and evaluation was modest. Lessons from the project include: (i) A critical element for the success of projects that seek to promote the mainstreaming of biodiversity across sectors, both public and private, is strong ownership and active participation across the project’s life by the institutions involved. (ii) A firm up-front understanding of the underlying political, economic, and territorial contexts of the geographic area in which a project is seeking to establish new or expand existing protected areas is essential to properly gauge the possibilities of achieving such an objective. (iii) Experience in Brazil (and elsewhere) has shown that government commitment to project objectives and design can shift significantly over time due to changes in administrations, both at the federal and state government levels. (iv) Learning from environment projects that use concessional financing, both successful and unsuccessful, can have policy implications that extend beyond the original project’s intentions.