World Bank Assesses Support to Low-Income Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
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The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group has released a report taking stock of the Bank's performance in low-income fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS).

While there are signs of improvement since 2001, the report finds that important constraints persist.

fcs_eval2 December 2013: The Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of the World Bank Group has released a report taking stock of the Bank’s performance in low-income fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS). While there are signs of improvement since 2001, the report finds that important constraints persist.

The evaluation was conducted in the context of the Bank’s new strategy emphasizing FCS support, and following the 2011 edition of its World Development Report (WDR), which focuses on conflict, security and development. FCS are home to around 370 million people, and have higher poverty rates, lower growth rates, and weaker human development indicators than other low-income countries. The Bank Group provides support to low-income FCS through its International Development Association (IDA).

The evaluation takes into account three strategic dimensions: building capacity of the state; building capacity of citizens; and supporting inclusive growth and jobs. Among the areas in which progress has been most challenging, the report notes: inclusive growth and job creation; investment climate support and private sector development; civil service reform; and tackling conflict-related effects on gender. The evaluation finds little evidence of progress on justice reforms, and calls for further clarity of the Bank’s role in security and justice.

On improving assistance to low-income FCS, the study recommends a better definition of FCS status. It also underscores the need for an adjustment in the World Bank Group Strategy by: improving the institutional sustainability of community development programs; addressing the effects of violence against women; and adapting the business models, incentives and systems of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) to the needs of FCS.

The IEG conducts studies independently of Bank Group management and reports to the Boards of Executive Directors. [IEG Press Release] [Publication: World Bank Group Assistance to Low-Income Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: An Independent Evaluation] [IISD RS Story on New World Bank Group Strategy]

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