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Measuring Results

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Since adopting the Comprehensive Development Framework in 1998 - the World Bank's policy on how it delivers aid to the countries it works with - more emphasis has been given to evaluating the results of its lending programs in terms of how they impact on people and their needs, rather than by measuring input levels. The Bank has developed several tools to carry out this task. These include evaluations that focus on the effectiveness of individual projects and more wide-ranging reviews which look at the Bank's work in whole countries and whole economic or social sectors of operation. Under the Bank's Disclosure Policy, many of these reports and evaluations are available to the public.

Evaluations of individual projects include:

  • Implementation Completion Reports: These are prepared at the end of every World Bank loan disbursement period (anywhere from one to ten years) and identify accomplishments, problems and lessons-learned. The report, prepared by Bank operational staff, is submitted to the Bank's Board of Executive Directors for Information purposes.
  • Project Performance Assessment Reports: These rate projects on their outcome (taking into account relevance, efficacy, and efficiency), sustainability of results, and institutional development impact. One in four completed projects (or about 70 a year) is chosen for a Project Performance Assessment Report, which takes Operations and Evaluation Department staff about six weeks to produce and normally includes a field mission.
  • Impact Evaluation Reports: assess the economic worth of projects and the long-term effects on people and the environment. These "second looks" at projects are performed five to eight years after the close of loan disbursements.
  • Inspection Panel Reports: Review claims by affected parties that the Bank failed to follow its operational policies and procedures with respect to the design, appraisal and/or implementation of a Bank-financed operation.

Evaluations that look at development activities more broadly than those that focus on single projects include:

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