Today at work, I found out about the IEG (Independent Evaluation Group) at the World Bank, which [according to colleagues] consists of long-time WB employees who are nearing retirement (and therefore aren’t scared of losing their managers’ approval) and who are in charge of evaluating the impact of the World Bank Group’s projects. The non-WB-side (public) version of the IEG website looks far more glamorous than the side I see (and also seems to be missing some of the reports), but it’s still a great tool for figuring out the strengths and weaknesses of the WB and similar institutions at a much more nuanced level than how NGOs evaluate the Bank and its impacts.
Some interesting takeaways on the agriculture end:
- “IFC investments in agribusiness had above-average development outcome ratings in Latin America and the Caribbean and Europe and Central Asia but have been weak in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
- “When input support programs succeed bumper crops, the temporary surplus is not always exportable—for example, in Malawi and Zambia; storage facilities are also poor.” (this is from a workshop rather than a report)
- “Failure of policy makers to view research as a long-term investment.”