For the World Bank and its partners, the ever-present test is to deliver results-to lift people out of poverty and promote socially and environmentally sustainable development. Achieving such success in any individual country is increasingly intertwined with making progress on shared global challenges.
The Annual Review of Development Effectiveness (ARDE), and independent evaluation, presents evidence on the Bank's efforts in two important and connected areas: tracking outcomes of Bank projects and country programs; and progress in fostering global public goods, such as protecting the earth's climate and preventing the spread of dangerous communicable diseases.
Interview with Tom O'Brien Lead Evaluator on the 2008 ARDE (French and Spanish responses by Pamela Velez-Vega) Q: Why does the ARDE cover shared global challenges?Response (English) | Français|Español
Reducing poverty in any individual country is increasingly intertwined with making progress on shared global challenges-fostering global public goods such as climate protection and communicable disease control.
Development outcomes from Bank lending have improved over the medium term. But in FY07 over-optimism in the Bank's ongoing assessment of project performance rose sharply, while the share of projects rated moderately satisfactory or better dropped to 76 percent from 83 percent a year earlier.
Vigilance is needed to identify problem projects in real-time and ensure that the FY07 drop in performance does not foreshadow a persistent decline. Practical steps can be taken to better use M&E in projects and programs, including proper baseline information and clearer links between outputs and outcomes.
The Bank's country-based model has worked relatively well in fostering global public goods when national and global interests dovetail, and grants support country investments. But the greatest challenges, such as climate change, arise where local, national and global benefits-actual or perceived-diverge significantly. Here the country model comes under considerable strain.
To more effectively bridge the gap between global needs and country concerns, the Bank should consider: creating dedicated budgets and better incentives for country teams to work on GPGs; better deploying its global knowledge networks; and more powerfully using its standing to give greater voice to developing countries in the governance of global programs.
The performance of Bank projects in delivering development results has unquestionably improved over the medium term. In the three years to end-fiscal 2007, 80% of projects were moderately satisfactory or better in delivering their targeted results.
Project Performance has Improved Over the Medium Term
What are Shared Global Challenges? Preventing climate change, controlling communicable diseases, managing a fair trading system-shared global challenges are those major opportunities for the promotion of human well-being and poverty alleviation that require coordinated global action that cross borders. Individual actors at the local, regional, or national level do not have the incentive or wherewithal to take action, and so these global public goods—as they are called-—are chronically undersupplied even when there is widespread recognition of the urgency of worldwide collective action. MORE >