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Improving Development Results Through Excellence in Evaluation. Vinod Thomas, Director-General Evaluation Executive Directors’ Induction December 11, 2008. Origins of evaluation at the World Bank Group.

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improving development results through excellence in evaluation

Improving Development Results Through Excellence in Evaluation

Vinod Thomas, Director-General Evaluation

Executive Directors’ Induction

December 11, 2008

origins of evaluation at the world bank group
Origins of evaluation at the World Bank Group

“All large organizations,…if they’re honest with themselves, will admit that they have successes and failures. We should learn from these experiences of success and failure.”

-- Robert S. McNamara, World Bank

Operations Evaluation Department,

The First 30 Years

results poverty trends
Results: Poverty trends

Source: Chen, Shaohua and Martin Ravallion. (2008). The Developing World Is Poorer Than We Thought, But No Less Successful In The Fight Against Poverty, Policy Research Working Paper, Washington, DC: World Bank.

current set up for evaluation and control
Current set up for evaluation and control

Executive Directors

Independent Evaluation Group

Inspection Panel

Self Evaluation



World Bank Group





Internal Audit



ieg s clientele and stakeholders
IEG’s clientele and stakeholders
  • Client
    • The Board and CODE
  • Stakeholders
    • World Bank Group Management
    • World Bank Group staff
    • Development partners
      • MDBs, ECG, DAC, UNEG, NONIE, Bilaterals partners (NORAD, SDC, DFID)
    • Countries
      • Broader development community (NGOs, Academia, think tanks)
      • Governments (Evaluation Capacity Development)
ieg addresses both accountability and learning
IEG addresses both accountability and learning
  • Accountability
    • Is the Bank Group doing what it says? Is it achieving its objectives? Contributing to country outcomes? With what results?
    • How is the institution building on project and CAS results frameworks
  • Learning
    • What projects and programs achieve results – relevance, efficacy, and efficiency – and why?
    • How can M&E be strengthened in the Bank and in client countries?
ieg is on the front line of a one bank
IEG is on the front line of a One Bank
  • DGE oversees evaluation work on public & private activities for the 3 entities
  • IEG’s Leadership Team is fully integrated
  • An increasing number of evaluations are done jointly across 3 units (e.g., Guarantees, Environment)
  • We are seeking a greater integration of budgets and programs
  • IEG moved to a common space (October 2008)
1 projects world bank project performance
1. Projects: World Bank project performance
  • Development outcomes of lending have improved
  • Over-optimism impairs managing for results
  • Securing strong development outcomes at the country level is tougher
  • Improved focus on results requires better M&E, simpler results frameworks, and stronger evaluation knowledge

IEG Staff calculations, IEG Database as of December 5, 2008

ifc s project performance
IFC’s project performance
  • Improvements, with no apparent trade off between development results and IFC profitability
  • Better outcomes are distinguished by better work quality
  • Strong attention needed to work quality, portfolio risk and M&E as IFC continues to grow and decentralize
  • Additionality should be clearly mapped out in IFC’s strategies and measurement

IEG staff calculations, XPSR database

miga s project performance
MIGA’s project performance
  • MIGA has been effective in facilitating the flow of FDI to high risk sectors and countries
    • Constrained by a Convention which needs changing
  • MIGA needs to focus more on quality at entry and
  • MIGA needs to strengthen alignment of business with development impact
  • MIGA must scale up its ability to assess and report on results, with self-evaluation for learning and accountability

IEG staff calculations

2 country evaluations parallel country evaluations
2. Country evaluations: Parallel Country Evaluations
  • Ukraine
    • World Bank strategy should strive for greater selectivity—Priorities for governance and institutional development
    • IFC’s operations should increase coordination with the World Bank to address privatization challenges and replicate the design of successful advisory services
  • Indonesia
    • To address persisting poverty, the World Bank should help improve conditions for SMEs to grow and increase focus on good governance, infrastructure, and education.
    • IFC should play a stronger role in infrastructure and capital market development and strengthen the environmental supervision
3 thematic environment
3. Thematic: Environment
  • Findings
    • The WBG has made progress since 1990 as an advocate for the environment
    • But treatment of environmental issues in many WBG country programs remains weak due to major external and internal constraints
  • Recommendations
    • Fully integrate environmental sustainability into strategy and assistance programs
    • Support rigorous M&E of environmental impacts
    • Improve coordination among the Bank, IFC, MIGA and external partners
  • Findings
    • Guarantees have facilitated the flow of investment to high-risk sectors and countries
    • Overlap and competition between WBG agencies confuses clients
    • Weakness in the delivery of political risk mitigation instruments constrains their deployment
  • Recommendations
    • Improve the current system or adopt an alternative system across the WBG
    • Introduce greater flexibility of guarantee instruments in responding to client needs and market developments
4 corporate doing business indicators
4. Corporate: Doing Business Indicators
  • Findings
    • DBI have highlighted the issue of regulatory burden
    • They do not capture major aspects of business climate nor any benefits of regulation
    • Hence DBI ought not to be seen as a measure of country reform
  • Lessons & Recommendations
    • Don’t overstate the implications of the rankings
    • Improve the credibility of the indicators through data disclosure and transparency
    • Make reform analysis meaningful by making clear the partial and limited scope of coverage
5 global global public goods
5. Global: Global Public Goods
  • Findings
    • Meeting the shared global challenges will be crucial to reducing poverty
    • The Bank’s role, particularly where global and local benefits diverge, is crucial
  • Recommendations
    • Provide better incentives to provide global public goods at the country level
    • Require clearer organizational arrangements to link country, regional, and global initiatives
    • Give greater voice to developing countries in the governance of global programs
6 quick evaluation brief past financial crises
6. Quick Evaluation Brief: Past financial crises
  • Focus on growth and poverty from the outset
  • Emphasize not only speed & volume, but also quality of support
  • Seek selectivity, flexibility and adaptability of resources and response
  • Organize for early warning and preparedness
  • Stress coordination among partners
  • Focus on monitoring, evaluation and reporting
  • Going forward, build in the environment and climate change
four challenges for evaluation s effectiveness
Four challenges for evaluation’s effectiveness
  • Methodological: attribution and joint frameworks
  • Relevance under rapid change: forward looking results
  • Impact on results: follow-up by Board, Management
  • Timely knowledge sharing: internal and external
Thank You!

Improving Development Results Through Excellence in Evaluation