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  1. Delivery Challenges and Development Effectiveness : Assessing the Determinants of World Bank Project Success

    Ortega Nieto, Daniel
    Washington, D.C. : The World Bank, 2022

    Can an implementation-driven analysis of project success be used as a more granular instrument for assessing the effectiveness of World Bank project By focusing on how projects perform, this paper attempts to capture variation hitherto unexplored in the aid effectiveness literature. This offers greater precision for diagnosing implementation challenges throughout the project cycle, producing a cross-cutting instrument that reaches across country-, time-, and sector- based approaches. Using data from the Global Delivery Initiative's "Delivery Challenges in Operations for Development Effectiveness" database and indicators from more than 5,000 lending projects (1995 - 2015), the paper examines project performance and the achievement of development objectives across 42 specific delivery challenges. Bayesian model averaging is used for a holistic assessment of the relative impacts of each challenge alongside a battery of structural and contextual covariates. The findings show that issues of project design, ineffective monitoring, and weak organizational capacity have systematically hindered the World Bank's performance and achievement of the indicators. Conversely, while financial instability and weaknesses in stakeholder engagement can hinder success, their identification and treatment ultimately improves project performance

    Online World Bank eLibrary

  2. The case for case studies : methods and applications in international development

    Cambridge ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2022

    "Preface This volume was conceived, as we suspect are many such ventures, during an informal conversation - in this instance, in Berlin in December 2014, at the launch of the Global Delivery Initiative. All three of us were engaged with different aspects of international development, and producing or using case studies with some frequency, but we found ourselves noting that while case studies remained widely deployed across the social sciences, and that expressions such as 'the case of' were ubiquitous even in everyday speech, case studies per se remained in something of a residual methodological space - they were popularly conceived as 'qualitative', for example, yet one could find many instances in which the constituent elements of a given 'case' in economics were exclusively quantitative (or in medicine, for example, physiological; or in law, jurisprudential). If a singular case was indeed primarily qualitative, the key question asked by Christian Lund - 'Of what is this case?' - still remained to answered, which logically meant that the case had to be connected in some way (empirically, theoretically) to broader instances or manifestations of a phenomena. Was this a 'typical' case? A randomly selected case? An outlier? How does one know? Moreover, if a common critique of case studies was either that their underlying methodological quality was highly variable (selection bias! selecting on the dependent variable!), or that generalizing from them was at best problematic, then there surely needed to be a serious scholarly response to such concerns. Can causal inferences reasonably be drawn from a single case? If so, under what conditions? In development practice, when and how can policymakers reasonably presume that a demonstrably successful intervention in one context might generate similarly impressive outcomes elsewhere, or if massively 'scaled up'? For their part, social science methodologists have in fact made impressive advances on these fronts in recent years, yet much of this analysis remains disconnected from development practice and/or grounded in comparative 'cases' of large meta-categories of country characteristics - 'democracy', 'revolutions', 'constitutions', 'rule of law' - that is not the unit of analysis at which the vast majority of practitioners think and act about development problems and solutions (which is: how to design and implement particular policies/projects that will achieve particular development objectives for particular groups in particular places despite numerous constraints and likely active political opposition). In short, we discerned two serious mismatches: first, between the ubiquity of case studies and their rather 'loose' methodological moorings; and second, between the epicenter of serious scholarly activity advancing the methodological frontier of case study research ('producers') and the place where most users ('consumers') of case studies - at least in development policy and practice - actually resided. Narrowing these twin gaps, then, became the mission of this book. While it draws on our collective experience at the nexus of development research and practice, we like to think that the underlying issues are more broadly relevant. As such, we hope readers engaging with case studies from many different starting points - disciplinary base, epistemological orientation, sectoral specialization or practical concerns - will find issues of significance for them discussed in this volume. More generally, we hope the ideas, strategies and challenges outlined herein prompt further advances from both researchers and practitioners, on the basis of more fruitful and informed dialogue between them - if only because the kinds of questions in play here, as elsewhere, are unlikely ever to be solved by a lone genius"--This book seeks to narrow two gaps: first, between the widespread use of case studies and their frequently 'loose' methodological moorings; and second, between the scholarly community advancing methodological frontiers in case study research and the users of case studies in development policy and practice. It draws on the contributors' collective experience at this nexus, but the underlying issues are more broadly relevant to case study researchers and practitioners in all fields. How does one prepare a rigorous case study? When can causal inferences reasonably be drawn from a single case? When and how can policy-makers reasonably presume that a demonstrably successful intervention in one context might generate similarly impressive outcomes elsewhere, or if massively 'scaled up'? No matter their different starting points - disciplinary base, epistemological orientation, sectoral specialization, or practical concerns - readers will find issues of significance for their own field, and others across the social sciences. This title is also available Open Access.

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