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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Bangladesh Country Assistance Evaluation, 2001-08(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-07) World BankBangladesh is among the World Bank's largest International Development Association (IDA) eligible borrowers, with a country portfolio of 21 active projects and net commitment of $1.9 billion as of FY08. The Bank's strategy has been to support government efforts to improve governance as a cross-cutting goal, while also improving the investment climate and empowering the poor. IDA's strategy for Bangladesh and its program during the period 2001-08 were relevant to the country's development needs, including improving governance and promoting structural reforms in order to consolidate gains in macroeconomic performance, exports, education, and health, and improve the prospects for successful future development. Bank assistance during the FY01-08 period was delivered under the FY01 and FY06 Country Assistance Strategies (CASs) and the FY03 CAS progress report. These largely reflected the Bank's search for more effective support for Bangladesh's efforts to sustain and enhance development, even as success in increasing exports and workers' remittances reduced the country's dependence on foreign assistance, and as awareness increased that governance issues needed to be addressed more broadly.
Nepal Country Assistance Evaluation, 2003–08(Washington, DC, 2009-05) World BankThe FY03-08 evaluation period was one of tumultuous political turmoil, conflict, and dramatic change in Nepal; today, prospects for sustainable peace are brighter, though still fragile. In such difficult and unpredictable conditions, formulating and implementing an effective development assistance strategy and programs were great challenges for development partners, including the Bank. To its credit, the Bank managed to remain constructively engaged in Nepal despite a challenging political and security context and has achieved some significant results on the ground. Nevertheless, the Bank's strategy was poorly adapted to the country's conflict situation and political instability, and until recently (FY08) underwent little adjustment in response to the rapidly-evolving conditions on the ground. Looking forward, Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) recommends that International Development Association (IDA) introduce greater realism into its strategy and program design and keep these flexible against a backdrop of a clear long-term vision, applying frequent course corrections in response to changing circumstances and consulting widely with national stakeholders and development partners. Other than through its existing portfolio of two hydropower projects, International Finance Corporation (IFC) did not make a significant contribution to Nepal's development over most of the review period. IFC's gradual re-engagement beginning in 2006 was successful, resulting in two Global Trade Finance Program (GTFP) investments, an investment in a domestic airline in 2008, a pipeline of investment projects in the financial sector, and a constructive dialogue with the government on the business climate.