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    Enhancing the Effectiveness of the World Bank’s Global Footprint: An Independent Evaluation
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2022-04-11) World Bank
    *May 5, 2022: New version includes Green Sheet* The World Bank aims to further expand and adjust its global footprint by the mid-2020s, especially in lower-income countries and those affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). This first-of-its-kind evaluation assesses the effectiveness of the World Bank’s past decentralization efforts in a systematic way to inform the new expansion of the World Bank’s global footprint. Decentralization refers to the World Bank’s efforts to expand its global footprint by moving more staff, especially staff with operational and decision-making duties, to the field. The report examines the benefits and challenges of staff decentralization and makes recommendations to improve its process and outcomes, while also preserving the Bank’s global nature, which is one of its comparative strengths.
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    Results in the Latin America and Caribbean Region 2021, Volume 17
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-10) World Bank
    As a direct consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021was a year of enormous challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The region faced a daunting health emergency, for which it was ill prepared, and then endured the devastating social and economic costs of the crisis. LAC’s daunting challenge was to begin its social and economic recovery while still battling the pandemic. The World Bank supported these efforts and made a record contribution to the region’s countries, helping to mitigate the damage, protect the most vulnerable and support reconstruction efforts. The road to full recovery will still be long, and the region must continue to move toward more inclusive and resilient growth, deepening its capacity to absorb shocks and offering a greater well-being to its population. The briefs contained in this book showcase the many ways that both active and recently closed World Bank-financed projects are supporting the region’s efforts to overcome the current health crisis, and helping to lay foundations for long-term development, with inclusive growth, human capital creation and greater resilience. To promote inclusive growth, efforts were made to ensure that the benefits of investments in key sectors reach everyone. In the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, for example, a US$190 million loan helped finance investments in water supply and sanitation infrastructure, reducing water rationing for 900,000 people in Recife and connecting 70,000 people to the sewerage network. In northern Argentina, with a US358.8 million dollars loan from the Bank, investments were made along 418 kilometers of provincial roads, improving access and mobility for the area’s rural populations and indigenous communities. Human capital investments are fundamental for development. They help provide people with the tools they need to prosper and take advantage of available opportunities in a time of uncertainty and deep transformation in the world of work.
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    Addressing Country-Level Fiscal and Financial Sector Vulnerabilities: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Contributions
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-07-21) Independent Evaluation Group
    More than a decade has passed since the global economic and financial crisis rocked the world. A clear lesson that emerged from it was the importance of identifying and addressing country-specific vulnerabilities ex ante to build resilience when a shock occurs. The 2020 global economic and health crisis caused by COVID-19 serves as a yet another stark reminder of the importance of proactively managing vulnerabilities to shocks. The purpose of this evaluation is to assess World Bank Group support to client countries to build resilience to exogenous shocks through the systematic identification of fiscal and financial sector vulnerabilities and through efforts to support the reduction of these vulnerabilities. Given the importance of protecting the most vulnerable from shocks, this evaluation also looks at the extent to which the Bank Group has helped client countries adapt their social safety nets so that they can be effectively scaled up in a crisis. It aims to inform the design of future Bank Group strategies, operations, diagnostics, and knowledge products that can help reduce country-level fiscal and financial sector vulnerabilities. Its lessons may also help the effort to “build back better” after the COVID-19 pandemic through contributions to increasing resilience by strengthening fiscal and financial buffers and institutions.
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    Albania Country Program Evaluation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04-09) Independent Evaluation Group
    This evaluation assesses the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s country engagement in Albania over the period Fiscal Years 11-19. The Bank Group made a substantial contribution to many reforms relevant to Albania’s development priorities, including Albania’s EU accession goals. Bank Group support was effective in improving fiscal management and social protection, strengthening the financial sector, and expanding waste management and irrigation. The program was responsive to opportunities, but it could have been more selective in its engagements. Findings suggested that analytical work should be used more extensively to build consensus and capacity for reforms and new lending should be more selective. Albania had transitioned to a market-oriented middle-income economy by year 2008. However, the economic slowdown in the wake of the global crisis led to a reversal in poverty reduction. The crisis led to several key economic reforms, not all of which have been sustained after the recovery.
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    Results in the Latin America and Caribbean Region 2021, Volume 16
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) World Bank
    This book showcases the many ways in which the World Bank is pushing the medium-term sustainable development agenda forward while dealing with the pressing health emergency response and the economic and human capital recovery challenges. Though hard and dramatic for millions of people across the region, the pandemic crisis now offers a unique opportunity to rethink the future of Latin America and the Caribbean.
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    World Bank Support for Public Financial and Debt Management in IDA-Eligible Countries: An Independent Evaluation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-03-17) Independent Evaluation Group
    Sound public financial management and public debt management are critical to informing and implementing fiscal policy and to achieving the World Bank Group’s twin goals. When support for these two areas is complementary, public finance and debt management (PFDM) ensures that scarce public resources are used efficiently and for their intended purposes, including to finance growth-enabling spending and investment, and that debt burdens are sustainable and managed within acceptable cost and risk parameters. The importance of PFDM has increased significantly in International Development Association (IDA)-eligible countries in the face of rising debt vulnerabilities coupled with the heightened needs and reduced revenue associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This evaluation provides an assessment of World Bank support to IDA-eligible countries for PFDM between FY08–17.
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    State Your Business!: An Evaluation of World Bank Group Support to the Reform of State-Owned Enterprises, FY08-18
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-12-03) Independent Evaluation Group
    State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) play a major role in many developing and emerging economies, where governments use them to achieve economic, social, and political objectives. SOEs deliver and extend access to services, fill gaps in markets, develop key sectors or regions, and provide employment. However, SOEs’ mixed institutional mandates and their political importance often pose performance, financial and governance challenges. This is IEG’s first systematic assessment of the Bank Group’s support for the reform of SOEs, looking at what works and the factors of success. It parallels Bank Group efforts to provide more integrated support to SOE reform in client countries and to empower staff with new tools. The evaluation focused on five major types of SOE reforms in the financial and energy sectors: (i) Corporate governance improvements; (ii) Business and operational reforms; (iii) Measures to strengthen competition and regulation in SOE markets; (iv) Privatization and other ownership reforms (including PPPs); (v) Macro, fiscal, and public financial management (PFM) reforms. The evaluation includes findings about the impact of competition on SEO performance; corruption control and its effect on SEO reform; the success of World Bank Group sequential and complementarity interventions; and about other factors that aid success such us client commitment, collaboration, strong design features, solid results frameworks and monitoring, and early risk identification. Based on the findings and lessons of experience drawn from this evaluation, IEG offers Management two recommendations to enhance the Bank Group’s support to SOE reform: (i) The World Bank Group should apply a selectivity framework for SOE reform support that considers country governance conditions, control of corruption, and sector and enterprise-level competition; and (ii) The World Bank Group should apply the MFD and its embedded Cascade approach for SOE reform.
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    Public Utility Reform: What Lessons Can We Learn from IEG Evaluations in the Energy and Water Sectors?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-01-30) World Bank
    This synthesis provides a review of operationally relevant findings and lessons from World Bank-supported utility reforms in the energy and water sectors, as identified in IEG evaluation products. The report summarizes the IEG evidence of what worked and what did not work, and why, in WB support of public utility reforms in its client countries. It identifies two fundamental areas of utility reform – improving institutional accountability and strengthening financial viability. The first involves measures to reform institutional arrangements, policies, and regulations; sector planning, utility management, capacity, and skills; and creating the framework for private investment. The second requires strengthening cost recovery, commercial viability, and operational efficiency. The report compares the effectiveness of Bank instruments (DPOs and IPFs) across selected financial viability targets. It identifies lessons for each sector and cross-cutting lessons for both energy and water operations centered on promoting financial and operational discipline (regardless of private or public ownership), and institutional governance and accountability.
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    Knowledge Flow and Collaboration Under the World Bank’s New Operating Model: An Independent Evaluation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019) Independent Evaluation Group
    This evaluation reviews how well the World Bank's operating model has enabled knowledge flow and enhanced collaboration to deliver integrated solutions. The evaluation also looks at the incentives and behaviors the model inculcates. Evidence comes from both sides of the matrix.The evaluation finds that certain aspects of the operating model have shown value, especially its enabling of global knowledge flow. This is the effect of setting up GPs that operate more globally than before and GTs that provide useful strategic directions and coherence to cross-cutting priorities. The World Bank is able to provide integrated solutions addressing clients' important development problems because of the leadership of Country Directors supported by Program Leaders.However, evidence from the early years of implementing the model indicates that its structure and processes tend to inhibit collaboration and cause inefficiency, fragmentation, and internal competition. The interface between GPs and Regions has weakened. Some GPs lack coherent and systematic approaches to managing and investing in knowledge. There are concerns with insufficient contestability in the quality assurance process for operations and ASA products. If left unaddressed, these issues pose risks to the World Bank's ability to deliver for clients.IEG acknowledges management's proactive course correction of the operating model. The evaluation finds that this could be enhanced by continuously collecting and reviewing data on organizational effectiveness.These findings have led to six recommendations: (1) Strengthen the approach to knowledge in the GPs and GTs with clear goals, roles, and mechanisms, budgets commensurate with mandates, and metrics for knowledge uptake, quality, and influence; (2) improve budgeting systems to better incentivize knowledge flow and collaboration; (3) better link the GPs and Regions to improve coordination and enhance responsiveness to clients; ( 4) ensure a stronger and more consistent use and role of the Program Leaders as a mechanism for cross-sectoral collaboration, integrated solutions, and complex client dialogue; (5) review the existing quality assurance arrangements to improve the quality of knowledge embedded in advisory and financing services; and (6) ensure there is ongoing monitoring of the operating model and more continuity in change management efforts to enhance the organization's ability to attain its knowledge flow and collaboration goals.
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    Mexico Country Program Evaluation: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Support to Mexico (2008–17)
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2018-06-27) Independent Evaluation Group
    This evaluation assesses the development effectiveness of the Bank Group’s country program in Mexico between 2008 and 2017 to inform the next CPF (FY19). The country program evaluation (CPE) will deepen knowledge on what has and has not worked and provide timely feedback on upcoming operational choices. The report will inform not only the Bank Group’s Mexico Country Management Unit and Mexican government but also a wider Bank Group audience, focused on middle-income countries (MICs) and other development practitioners. The evaluation examines the relevance and effectiveness of the Bank Group program in Mexico in its core areas, and also, as a methodological innovation, examines four overarching areas: (i) the extent to which the Bank Group contributed to identifying Mexico’s binding development constraints and to promoting sound policy choices; (ii) Bank Group contributions to Mexico’s results in reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity; (iii) the effectiveness of Bank Group use of lending, knowledge, and convening power services in shaping its role; and (iv) the extent to which Bank Group support to Mexico’s development innovations was beneficial to the Bank Group’s knowledge base and to other Bank Group member countries. Overall results reflect both program results in core areas and the answers to the overarching questions. The overview of this report is also available in Spanish.