IEG Fast Track Brief

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Fast Track Briefs inform the World Bank Group (WBG) managers and staff about new evaluation findings and recommendations.

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    The World Bank’s Involvement in Global and Regional Partnership Programs: An Independent Assessment
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-03-10) Independent Evaluation Group
    The objectives of the Global and Regional Partnership Programs (GRPPs) that Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) has reviewed have been highly relevant. Most programs have had positive achievements in terms of outputs. The sustainability of a number of programs is threatened by weak resource mobilization strategies, failure to keep up with the changing global and regional context, and difficulties in demonstrating results at the outcome level. The Bank’s management and oversight of GRPPs shows strengths and weaknesses. Many task teams have brought extraordinary dedication and ownership to their programs. The Bank hasplayed to its comparative advantage in convening and mobilizing resources for new programs.But the implementation of the Bank’s strategic and policy agenda to promote effective partnershipshas essentially stalled over the last three years.The DGF has had a number of successes, but it is no longer the umbrella facility for the Bank’sgrant financing arrangements. During its strategic reorientation toward a “venture capital” model,the DGF should focus on building sustainable institutional arrangements for new programs that can survive the Bank’s financial exit and on securing multi donor financing from the outset.
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    Cost-Benefit Analysis in World Bank Projects
    (Washington, DC, 2010-06) World Bank
    Cost-benefit analysis used to be one of the World Bank's signature issues. It helped establish its reputation as the knowledge Bank and served to demonstrate its commitment to measuring results and ensuring accountability to taxpayers. It was the Bank's answer to the results agenda long before that term became popular. This report takes stock of what has happened to cost-benefit analysis at the Bank, based on analysis of four decades of project data, project appraisal and completion reports from recent fiscal years, and interviews with current Bank staff. This study draws two broad conclusions. First, the Bank needs to revisit the policy for cost-benefit analysis in a way that recognizes legitimate difficulties in quantifying benefits while preserving a high degree of rigor in justifying projects. Second, it needs to ensure that when cost-benefit analysis is done it is done with quality, rigor, and objectivity, as poor data and analysis misinform, and do not improve results. Reforms are required to project appraisal procedures to ensure objectivity, improve both the analysis and the use of evidence at appraisal, and ensure effective use of cost-benefit analysis in decision-making.
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    Mozambique Country Program Evaluation, 2001-08
    (Washington, DC, 2010-05) World Bank
    During the period FY01-08, the World Bank was Mozambique's largest development partner, providing over $1.3 billion in International Development Association (IDA) funds. The Bank's strategy, which was aligned with and sought to support the government's poverty reduction strategy, focused on three pillars: economic growth, including macroeconomic management, financial and private sector development, rural development, and infrastructure; poverty reduction and human development; and governance. The evaluation finds that the Bank's strategy for Mozambique and its program were relevant to the country's development needs. The Bank's program was generally aligned with those of other development partners that provide general budget support, especially after FY05. Harmonization of procedures with other development partners also progressed, although there is scope for further improvement. Going forward, Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) recommends that the Bank help Mozambique sustain high growth and re-shape its pattern to make additional gains in poverty reduction; give priority in analytic work to infrastructure, agricultural productivity, education quality, and HIV/AIDS; and support improvements in the efficiency of public expenditures.