Country Program Evaluation: Bolivia (1990-2002)

Jul 2004
The following paper (RE-297) is a review of the Bank's experience in Bolivia from 1990 to 2002. It is produced at a time when the country is faced with a critical fiscal scenario, and in the aftermath of substantial social tensions that have led to the resignation of former President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada. This is relevant for the evaluation because it exemplifies a marked departure from the macroeconomic and political stability that the country enjoyed for the twelve years that are reviewed here. This background gives rise to the question: Given the period of economic stability, why has the country not achieved expected growth, fiscal and poverty levels? Furthermore, given the extensive reform agenda proposed and executed in Bolivia, with the full support of the Bank and other agencies, why does the country face many of the same challenges that it faced in the 1980s? The evaluation did not produce an unequivocal answer to these questions. However, it does provide findings that shed light on them.