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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12) Girishankar, Navin ; DeGroot, David ; Desai, Raj ; Stout, Susan ; Wescott, ClayCambodia is one of the world's most open economies, sustaining high levels of growth in an environment of relatively weak governance. Emerging from a legacy of genocide and civil conflict, the country has sought to address human and social capital deficits across sectors, weaknesses in public finance, and corruption. Despite improvements in access to basic services, governance constraints persist and may threaten gains from economic integration. Over the 2004-10 period, the Bank's engagement on Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) issues in Cambodia was not defined by a single, overarching priority or entry point (such as core public sector management, natural resource management, or service delivery). Rather, the Bank was opportunistic, opting to support the government's GAC efforts across multiple sectors and institutions. The relevance of this opportunistic approach is judged to be moderately relevant. The Bank's objectives on public financial management (PFM) were highly relevant given Cambodia's nontransparent and weak public expenditure management and limited capacity. The Bank's response to sectoral governance weaknesses such as red tape, inefficiencies, and other forms of rent-seeking in customs is rated modest given the need for the government to implement its World Trade Organization commitments. The Bank's project level engagement is rated as moderately relevant. As a basis for reinstating suspended projects, portfolio-wide measures included the use of an Independent Procurement Agency (IPA) for the International Development Association (IDA) procurements, and the implementation of Good Governance Frameworks (GGF) for all IDA projects.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12) Wescott, Clay ; Desai, Raj ; Talvitie, AnttiAzerbaijan is a secular, majority-Shiite, oil and gas-rich country whose per-capita income quadrupled in real terms during the period 2004-10. While rising incomes have reduced poverty, steps towards a more secure, diversified economy are held back by a public sector that rests on vested interests, patronage-based incentive structures, and ingrained patterns of behavior that include significant rent extraction, particularly from the non-oil economy, with minimal checks and balances from Parliament, the private sector, and civil society. Bank engagement in Azerbaijan at the country level focused on areas which had government support. Some modest results have been achieved, even though in many cases modern laws and practices were adopted without adequate plans for implementation. At the project level, the Bank has supported the strengthening of project implementation units (PIUs) and tools for monitoring, and governance and institutional filters have signaled that Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) processes need to be embedded in the Bank projects. At the sector level, the Bank's work was highly relevant in supporting oil revenue transparency, primary education, roads, and the development of safeguards. It was substantially relevant in public financial management, and private sector development and procurement. Bank engagement was moderately relevant in decentralization, civil service reform, and accountability institutions.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12) Wescott, Clay ; Desai, RajMoldova has suffered over the last two decades from rising poverty, territorial secession, armed conflict, and the spillover effects of a regional financial crisis, with declining population size and life expectancy, and an economy approximately one-half of what it was in 1990. The return of the Moldovan Communist Party (PCRM), which won two major elections after 2001, contributed to increasing centralization of governmental authority along with a reform agenda that emphasized greater state control over the economy, fiscal support to state enterprises and collective farms, land consolidation, economic protectionism, and the tolerance of monopolies in industry and energy. At the same time, the government has increased social expenditures, and taken major steps to improve public financial management. Bank engagement was moderately effective at the country and project levels, and substantially effective at the sector level. There was progress in several aspects of public financial management (PFM). Regulatory streamlining has reduced costs to business, although resistance to civil service reform has left much work to be done. The Bank has also helped achieve progress on Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) issues in primary education, roads, and private sector development. Education progress is highly uneven across regions, for example, overweight trucks continue to tear up roads, and private investment is not enough to make a dent in high unemployment. A graduated approach to country systems and road sector technical audits help address GAC issues at the project level. The overall impact of GAC strategy implementation was moderate. The GAC committees set up at the regional and sectoral Bank department levels are particularly useful mechanisms for disseminating practices from the GAC Council. Staff has been proactive in using Country Governance and Anticorruption (CGAC) resources. However, three applications for window one funding were not approved, reducing the ability of this small program to seize opportunities.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-12) Wescott, Clay ; Breeding, Mary ; Breeding, Mary E.Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest and most densely populated countries, and subject to annual cyclones and flooding. Despite these challenges, it benefits from strong economic growth, good performance on health and education, and poverty reduction, alongside weak governance and pervasive corruption. The reasons include strong macroeconomic policy, pro-poor spending, credible elections, export growth and remittances, improved capacity for managing natural disasters, and a stronger civil society than comparable countries. After over a decade of intense engagement with the Bank on governance, Bangladesh adopted in 2006 a governance-oriented Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) with four main objectives: to improve implementation capacity; to 'tackle corruption' by fully operationalizing the Anti-Corruption Commission; to lay the foundation for comprehensive legal and judicial reform; and to strengthen 'voice, empowerment and participation.' The choice of a wide range of instruments and areas of intervention was appropriate, given the political instability at the time of 2006 CAS preparation. The Bank signaled it was ready to engage in all areas, and could scale up or pull back depending on emerging political and bureaucratic commitment. The 2006 CAS yielded mixed results, and the subsequent Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) has been more selective on GAC issues. At the project level, governance has been a key priority, in line with the South Asia region's heavy emphasis on GAC-in-Projects. Investments in GAC-in-primary education, a local government project, anti-corruption efforts in the power sector, and projects strengthening the investment climate have yielded positive results. Investments in GAC-in-roads projects have had mixed results in terms of effectiveness. GAC activities were mainly adopted prior to the 2007 GAC strategy. Although Bangladesh was a Country Governance and Anticorruption (CGAC) country, the country team chose not to use CGAC funds because the country had already been intensively using GAC approaches well before the GAC strategy was adopted.