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Records of the Office of Operations Evaluation
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Records of the Office of Operations Evaluation

  • WB IBRD/IDA OPE
  • Fonds
  • 1957 - 2004 (predominant 1968 - 2004)
  • 1957 - 2004 (predominant 1968 - 2004)

Fonds consists of records related to activities undertaken by the Operations Evaluation Department in support of its function as the Bank's independent operations evaluator. The majority of the records in this fonds are working files for project evaluations (Project Performance Audit Reports [PPARs] or Performance Audit Reports [PARs]) produced by the OED; these files are generally accompanied by Project Completion Reports (PCRs) or Implementation Completion Reports (ICRs) that were produced by operations departments and submitted to the OED. Working files for other OED evaluation products include: Impact Evaluation Reports (IERs); Country Assistance Reviews (CARs); Country Assistance Notes (CANs); Country Assistance Evaluations (CAEs); and special evaluation studies. Records related to annual reviews of Department evaluations are also included as are records related to Department annual reports. Publication files for OED periodicals, OED Processes, and Lessons & Practices are also included.

The fonds also consists of records created and received by the Department's Directors-General (DGO), Directors (OEDDR), and division directors. These records generally relate to: policy and procedure development; reporting; Department, Bank, and external projects, committees, and commissions; communications and dissemination of reports; operations management; and Department administration.

Office of Operations Evaluation

Records of the Director, Operations Evaluation Department

The records in this series contain the reports, correspondence, and studies compiled by the Directors of OED (OEDDR). The Director is selected by the Director-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), and is responsible for the overall management of the OED. Principal functions include:

  • assisting the Director-General in making periodic assessments of the adequacy and effectiveness of the operations evaluation system in light of the institutional objectives of the World Bank;

  • carrying out reviews of the Bank's completion reports and other self-evaluations, performance audits on selected completed projects, impact evaluations, and evaluation studies focusing on operational programs, policies, strategies, and processes;

  • assisting member countries to develop their own operations evaluation capacities; and

  • disseminating evaluation findings both within the Bank and to the wider development community.

The series contains the records of Christopher R. Willoughby, who was the first Director of OED. Primarily consisting of memoranda, these records document the early development of the operations evaluation function and of the Operations Evaluation Department in the 1970s. Also contained in this file are records of subsequent OED Directors from the 1980s and 1990s. These records relate to a variety of topics.

Memoranda Files of Director Christopher R. Willoughby

This sub-series is a collection of memoranda and related records compiled by Christopher R. Willoughby who was among the first employees of the Operations Evaluation Unit and was appointed the first director of the Operations Evaluation Department in July 1973.

  • The first set of files consists of memoranda (dated November 1970 - November 1972; February - April 1973; and February - August 1975) sent to President Robert McNamara from Christopher R. Willoughby and also John Adler, who was director when the Operation Evaluation Unit was established in 1970. The memoranda concern the early workings of Operations Evaluation including: the decision to begin with an in-depth look at the Bank's work in one country, Colombia, and in one sector, electrical power; the development of the format for these first two reports; progress reports on the work of the unit and on the development of future work programs; and the relationship between evaluation and supervision. Some of the original memoranda to McNamara were returned to Operations Evaluation marked with a red stamp indicating President has seen. One long memorandum for the record summarizes the January 1971 visit with the Colombia Operations Evaluation team of Dr. Lauchlin Currie who headed the Bank's General Survey Mission to Colombia in 1949. Included in this first set of files are handwritten notes and memoranda for the record summarizing meetings Willoughby and others had with McNamara.

The second set of files consists of memoranda (dated April 1970 - February 1976) sent and received by Willoughby and his copies of key memoranda documenting the development of the operations evaluation function and the changing position of the Operations Evaluation staff within the Bank. Included are Willoughby's handwritten drafts and final copies of the key issuances affecting Operations Evaluation and his notes from key meetings. One folder contains Willoughby's drafts of a September 29, 1975 memoranda from Mohamed Shoaib, Vice President, Operations Evaluation Division, outlining the history of the evaluation function from 1971 to 1975.

Subject Files of the Directors, Operations Evaluation

This sub-series contains reports, correspondence, and studies compiled by the Directors of OED (OEDDR). Most of the files contain comments from OED staff members and/or the director on draft documents from other Bank employees. Filed under General Comments on Review of Field Staff Benefits are OED comments on various Bank documents, 1995-1998. Key topics covered by other files include: OED staff views on the dissemination and use of OED findings (filed under Dissemination); ratings of the Narmada and Kedung Ombo Completion Reports (filed under Narmada); reports of the Joint Audit Committee Informal Subcommittee on OED Reports; a select review of OED by the Internal Auditing Department planned for 1996; plans for an OED study of NGOs; OED collaboration with the Economic Development Institute (now WBI); joint OED/Operations Policy Department reports on the quality of economic analysis in staff appraisal reports for projects approved 1993 - 1997 (filed under Economic Analysis, Econ III and Econ IV and Economic Analysis: Correspondence); a 1996 proposal for simplified project documentation for investment operations (filed under Simplified Documentation); and OED staff retreats for December 15-17, 1987, November 29-December 1, 1989, June 26-28, 1991, and September 8-10, 1993. These retreat files contain agenda and schedules, copies of documents discussed at the retreats, copies of presentations, and post-retreat evaluation forms.

Filed under Portfolio Management are: memoranda regarding funding arrangements for OED studies and on borrowers' interest in ex-post evaluations; OED staff comments on the draft Wapenhans Report and on the draft chapter concerning OED; and copies of minutes of the Task Force Steering Committee on which Eberhard Kopp served. Filed under Streamlining Bank Procedures are memoranda and correspondence Kopp compiled in 1985 and 1986 before he became OEDDR Director and while he was a member of Working Group #3 of the Task Force on Streamlining Bank Procedures.

Shared Records of the Director-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), and the Director, Operations Evaluation Department (OEDDR)

Series consists of files of both the Director-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), and the Director, Operations Evaluation Department (OEDDR). The records document OEDDR and DGO interaction with: staff in other parts of the Bank; U.S. officials in the General Accounting Office, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of the Treasury who were interested in the evaluation function within the Bank; and officials in industrialized nations, NGOs, and international aid organizations who were responsible for, or interested in, monitoring and evaluation processes.

Correspondence with Industrialized Nations Regarding Evaluations

This sub-series contains correspondence and other records exchanged between OED staff and officials located in industrialized countries who were responsible for, or interested in, monitoring and evaluation processes. Included is correspondence with officials in the Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Ireland, Greece, Austria, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most of the correspondence is with the Director of OED, the Director-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), and the DGO's advisors, Robert van der Lugt and Pablo Guerrero, who were responsible for developing evaluation capacity in member countries. The correspondence concerns: requests for information regarding OED's evaluation policies and procedures or assistance in conducting an evaluation; exchanges of evaluation methodologies; international seminars on evaluation; visits of OED staff to other countries to conduct an evaluation or to attend an evaluation conference or seminar; and visits toOED of evaluation officials from abroad. Included are copies of other countries' studies, reports, and manuals regarding evaluations and evaluation methods.

The U.S. correspondence is with officials in the U. S. Agency for International Development (AID), the General Accounting Office (GAO), and the Department of Treasury; most are copies of records that are presumably located elsewhere in OED and Bank records. The US AID correspondence primarily concerns exchanges of policy papers, studies and reports onevaluation guidelines. The GAO correspondence relates to 1977, 1981, and 1991 congressionally required GAO reviews of the independent evaluation system of the Bank and a 1996 GAO review of the overall role of the World Bank in a post-Cold War environment.

The earliest GAO file contains documents assembled by OED Director Christopher R. Willoughby in 1973 and 1974 following release of the 1973 GAO report on U.S. participation in World Bank. Included in the file are a number of documents from Bank PresidentRobert McNamara, Vice President Mohamed Shoaib, the U.S. Executive Director Charles O. Sethness, and Willoughby, discussing the audit and evaluation functions in the Bank and proposed changes in the structure and function of Operations Evaluation.

The Department of Treasury file concerns the department's 1971-1973 interest in the evaluation function of the Bank and Treasury's support of the GAO recommendation for the establishment of an independent review body to evaluate the Bank's activities.

Shared Subject Files of the Directors-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), and the Directors, Operations Evaluation Department (OEDDR)

The files in this sub-series contain documents maintained by both DGO and OEDDR, and much of the content of this series is duplicated elsewhere, especially in the files for OED studies and process reviews.

Most of the files relate to the work of OED, but some, which concern non-OED matters, contain records from other Bank units that were forwarded to the DGO/OEDDR for comment or as a result of a general distribution to high-level Bank staff. Most of the files fall under one of two general headings: 1) Management and Oversight and 2) External Affairs. The Management and Oversight files concern issues involving the President, Executive Directors, members of the Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE), and Bank Vice Presidents. Included are: correspondence with CODE members; copies of reports from OED that went to CODE and to the Executive Directors; intra-OED correspondence regarding preparation for meetings with CODE members and the Executive Directors; OED's response to a draft of the 1996 audit of OED by the Internal Auditing Department; agenda and minutes of OVP (Operations, Vice Presidents) meetings and retreats; intra-OED correspondence regarding the DGO's comments on records and topics to be discussed at OVP meetings; correspondence with Managing Directors and copies of records to be discussed with the Directors; files documenting OED preparations for briefings and/or briefing papers provided to President Wolfensohn on his arrival at the Bank and prior to some of his overseas trips; OED's contributions to the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Bank and comments from the DGO and OED staff on draft chapters of the Brookings Institution's history of the Bank; and agenda and background documents relating to the 1995 OED management team retreats. Under Clusters are files coordinating work on a study (or a broad area of interest) assigned to a specific OED Division (i.e., OEDCM, OEDCR, and OEDST).

Under External Affairs are files concerning the DGO's and OEDDR's interaction with, or reports regarding: IFC and MIGA staff; international aid organizations; evaluation organizations; the US General Accounting Office; the World Commission on Large Dams; NGOs; the Multilateral Development Banks; the members of the DAC Expert Group on Aid Evaluation (filed under OECD-Development Assistance Committee); and other Bank units and departments. Filed under Liaison with other OED Units - OEDDR is a chronological file of correspondence, 1988 - 1996, between the DGO and OEDDR or between OEDDR and other Bank units.

Policies and Procedures

This series consists of records related to the development of policies and procedures for the OED. Policies and procedures for OED programs and work products were developed in intra-OED correspondence, staff meetings, retreats, committees, and working groups and via Bank-wide task forces, committees, issuances, and operational manuals. The majority of the series consists of records created and received by the OED Directors-General (OEDDG) and OED Directors (OEDDR) that relate to the development of Department policies and procedures. Most of these guidelines relate to the creation of OED work products, such as audit reports, impact evaluation reports, Country Assistance Reviews and Evaluations, and special evaluation studies.

The series also consists of records documenting meetings of the Department Management Team (DMT) as well as records related to Departmental Management Team retreats.

Subject Files of the OED Directors (OEDDR) Relating to Policies and Procedures Affecting OED Programs

The files in this sub-series, compiled by the Directors of OED (OEDDR), outline the policies and procedures affecting OED programs and work products. Included in the first segment (1970 - 1994) are files concerning: the Project Completion Report / Project Performance Audit Report (PCR/PPAR) evaluation system and the pass-through procedures for PCRs that began in 1982; the dissemination and use of OED findings; the various revisions of the Procedural Guidelines for Operations Evaluation Staff and of the chapters in the Operational Manual regarding Project Completion Report / Implementation Completion Report (PCR/ICR) guidelines and project supervision in the Bank; the development and use of the Project Information Form (PIF); the development of OED's evaluation seminars; and the role of environmental issues in Bank evaluations. One file (Lessons Learnt from Project Performance Audit Reports - Agriculture) contains the OEDDR's copies of memoranda dated December 1980 to July 1986 from the Assistant Director ofthe Agriculture and Rural Development Department (AGR) to AGR division chiefs outlining the lessons learned from reviews of Agricultural PCRs and PPARs. Another file (Operations Evaluation Department - General) contains copies of key documents in the history of OED from 1970 to 1988.

Much of the second segment (1985 - 2001) contains documentation regarding the Bankwide ICR Process Review Working Group which was co-chaired by OED Director Elizabeth McCallister and was established in December 1997 to make the ICR process more efficient, effective, and timely. The records for the working group include agenda and minutes of meetings, various drafts of the group's final report, comments on the drafts, and intra-OED correspondence on the workings of the group. Other files contain: correspondence concerning changes in the PIF and instructions for completing the form; intra-OED correspondence regarding the discrepancy between OED and Regional project ratings (PPAR-Project Ratings); internal OED e-mail discussions of the ICR review process and the development of the ICR Evaluation Summary form; intra-OED correspondence regarding specific ICR reviews; draft ICR guidelines and comments on them; revisions to the OED handbook, Procedural Guidelines for Operations Evaluation Staff (Guidelines - Amendments); the drafts of a style manual standardizing the format for OED reports; and a proposal for dealing with the workflow problems associated with ICR bunching, i.e. the receipt of the majority of ICRs during the months of May, June, and July. Filed under PPAR - General is a copy of July 1995 Performance Audit Guidance, which was prepared by the OED Audit Guidance Working Group in 1995.

Subject Files of Directors-General, Operations Evaluation, Relating to Policies and Procedures Affecting OED Programs

This sub-series contains correspondence and reports of the DGO that established policies and procedures regarding OED's programs and work products. Most of the records were compiled by Robert Picciotto, but a few early files contain correspondence of Directors-General Shiv Kapur and Yves Rovani. Much of the DGO's correspondence is with the Director of OED and OED staff or with Pablo Guerrero, special advisor and assistant to the DGO. The files contain information regarding: OED procedures and criteria for reviewing Project Completion Reports (PCRs) and Implementation Completion Reports (ICRs) (under ratings and PCR review process); evaluation capacity training for OED staff, other Bank staff, and external Bank partners (under training); procedures and standards for Country Assistance Reviews (CARs) and Country Assistance Notes (CANs) (under country assistance work); OED special studies and OED impact evaluations; the format and content of new OED issuances and tools designed to disseminate lessons learned from OED's evaluation work (under Lessons & Practices, Evaluation in the World Bank [WB] booklet, Policy Ledger, and Evaluation Text Base); revisions of the Project Information Form (PIF) and instructions for using it; the disclosure and publication of evaluation results; and the PCR (and later the ICR) backlog in each region. Filed under Initial Executive Project Summaries (IEPS) are OED procedures for reviewing IEPSs for proposed operations and copies of OED comments on specific IEPSs and responses from the Regions regarding the OED comments.

Much of this sub-series consists of the DGO's copies of records from a number of working groups and task forces that affected the work of OED. Particularly extensive are the records regarding the Task Force on Evaluation Capacity Development (ECD) in Developing Countries which was established in 1992 to design mechanisms to assist member countries in enhancing their post evaluation capacities. Pablo Guerrero was the DGO/OED member on the Task Force. A file labeled PCR Task Force contains copies of records relating to three groups established to review the PCR process: 1) the Committee on the Revision of the PCR, Audit, and Pass-Through Procedures which met in 1986; 2) the Working Group on Project Completion Reports which was established in January 1988 and sent its report to the Joint Audit Committee (JAC) in January 1989; and 3) the joint OED/Operations Review Panel on Project Completion Reporting which was established in November 1990 and sent its report to JAC in June 1991. Other groups whose work is documented in these files are the Bankwide ICR Process Review Working Group, which met in 1998 to make the ICR process more efficient, effective, and timely, and the Working Group on Evaluation Dissemination, which was established in fiscal year 1994 to review the Bank's experience in incorporating evaluation results into new operations. It issued its final report in June 1996.

Records of Retreats for the Departmental Management Team and for the DGO/OED Staff

This sub-series contains records documenting Departmental Management Team retreats for: July 1996; March, October, and November 1998; October 2000; and the retreats for the entire DGO/OED staff for October 1997, October 1998, January 1999, and January 2000. The content of the files for each retreat varies, but the more complete files include: intra-OED correspondence planning the retreat; copies of invitations sent to non-OED retreat speakers; handwritten notes documenting the retreat proceedings; retreat agenda; copies of articles provided as background reading and of documents to be discussed at the retreat; paper copies made from computer-assisted presentations; and post-retreat issuances summarizing specific retreat sessions and containing typed versions of the flip charts generated during retreat sessions.

Agenda, Minutes, and Other Records of Weekly Departmental Management Team Meetings

This sub-series contains records documenting the weekly meetings of the Departmental Management Team (DMT) which consisted of the Director of OED, the directors of the OED Departments, and some support staff. The files generally contain handwritten notes of the meeting's proceedings, meeting agenda, copies of documents discussed at the meetings, and typed minutes of the preceding meeting. The typed minutes are columnar in format and for each topic covered show a summary of the discussion, the follow-up action required, the staff member responsible for the action, and the expected date of completion for the action. The files for many of the 2002 meetings do not contain minutes.

Notes, Agenda, and Other Records of Departmental Staff Meetings

This sub-series contains records documenting departmental staff meetings which were attended by all DGO/OED managers, regular OED staff, OED consultants, and temporary OED staff. The files contain: agendas; copies of documents discussed at the meetings; paper copies made from computer-assisted presentations; and handwritten notes of the meeting proceedings.

Annual Reviews and Annual Reports

The series consists of records created and received by the Directors, Operation Evaluation Department (OEDDR), and the Directors-General, Operations Evaluation (DGO), which relate to the creation of Annual Reviews of OED evaluations as well as Annual Reports on Operations Evaluation (AROE).

In September 1975, the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) began issuing a report known as the Annual Review of Project Performance Audit Results (ARPPARs) as a means of disseminating the results of the project performance audits it conducted. This review presented in summary the major findings of the audit reports for completed projects and the Bank's response to them. The findings of the ARPPARs were discussed by the Executive Board's Joint Audit Committee (JAC) and JAC's findings were then reviewed by the full Board. By July 1981, a selective system of performance auditing was implemented in OED in keeping with the increase in the number of projects funded. In 1986, the report was renamed the Annual Review of Project Performance Results (ARPPR), and by 1989, the ARPPR was replaced by the Annual Review of Evaluation Results (ARER) which provided a comprehensive summary of evaluation findings. By 1997, the name of the report had changed once again to the Annual Review of Development Effectiveness (ARDE). In the ARDE, OED used the outcomes of evaluations of completed operations to provide a longer view of performance trends. Records in this series that relate to these types of Annual Reviews include drafts, correspondence, memoranda, press releases, comments, and meeting minutes.

The first Annual Report on Operations Evaluation (AROE) covering the period July 1975 - June 1976 was published in October 1976. The main purpose of the report was to indicate the status of evaluation work in the Bank and to comment on the main findings of evaluation activities. Subsequent reports reviewed the independent evaluation work performed within OED and the self-evaluation conducted by the Bank's operating departments (for example, the AROE for 1985 covered OED evaluation activities and evaluations conducted within the International Finance Corporation [IFC], the Economic Development Institute [EDI], and the Bank's economics and research staff). The format of the AROE was determined by the DGO and the plan for developing the report was made in consultation with OED. Drafts of the report were circulated to Bank managers for comments and the final version was submitted to JAC for consideration by the Bank's Board of Executive Directors in conjunction with JAC's own report on evaluation and the ARPPAR (later ARER and ARDE). Records in this series that relate to the creation of AROEs include correspondence, memoranda, initiating notes and outlines, drafts, comments, and meeting minutes.

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