Publication: Kazakhstan Country Program Evaluation FY04-13: An Independent Evaluation

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Independent Evaluation Group
Kazakhstan made steady progress on poverty reduction and social development during the review period, driven by impressive economic growth and rising hydrocarbon prices. Yet, the country continues to grapple with a number of systemic challenges, including: a lack of progress on economic diversification and anticorruption; a dominant role of the state in the economy; a lack of skills in the labor force; and a legacy of environmental problems inherited from the Soviet era. The quality of the Bank Group dialogue with the government was exceptionally high throughout the evaluation period. The Bank Group has established itself as a trusted adviser to the government, with a proven track record of timely delivery of high-quality technical and policy advice, including cabinet-level ‘brainstorming sessions’ and the client-funded Joint Economic Research Program (JERP). Implementation of the JERP suggests that it could become a powerful tool for strengthening the partnership, advancing the reform agenda, and gradually building up the lending program. At the same time, the fully demand-driven nature of the program imposed limitations on the Bank in defining strategic priorities in its advisory work, disseminating findings, and engaging local partners. Looking forward, the Bank Group will need to (i) link the JERP with concrete sector investments and advance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) tools to track its effectiveness; (ii) disclose the main policy recommendations; (iii) engage local partners and civil society to advance transparency and accountability and build capacity; (iv) select and prepare of a set of analytical products independently and in line with the World Bank Group’s global development mandate; and (v) be more selective and strategic in sector engagement.
Independent Evaluation Group. 2015. Kazakhstan Country Program Evaluation FY04-13 : An Independent Evaluation. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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