Country Program Evaluation: Costa Rica (2006-2010)

Jun 2010
The Bank's country strategy with Costa Rica 2006-2010 correctly identified the country's main development challenges in 2006 (the baseline used by the Bank to prepare the strategy): the difficulty of forging linkages between the most dynamic sectors and the rest of the economy as a result of differences in productivity, the lack of infrastructure,asymmetries in the business climate, and problems of access to financing; the widening gap between the demands of the more dynamic labor markets and the education system's capacity to provide those workers; and weakening of the government's capacity to finance investments as a result of a low tax burden and expenditure rigidities. Those challenges are contained in the six primary development constraints identified by the Government of Costa Rica in its Plan Nacional de Desarrollo [National Development Plan] 2006-2010 (PND) and are validated by the Office of Evaluation and Oversight (OVE) using reports prepared by the Programa Estado de la Nación [State of the Nation Plan] and diagnostic assessments made by other authors: (i) inability to reduce the poverty rate in prior years and an increase in levels of inequality; (ii) inability of the economy to produce a sufficient number of formal, well-paid jobs; (iii) slow growth in years of schooling of the population and low enrollment in senior high school; (iv) deterioration of the public safety situation and an increase in crime and drug trafficking; (v) limited effectiveness of the government¿s actions; and (vi) poor condition of the country's transportation infrastructure. This evaluation assesses the degree to which the IDB was successful in supporting these objectives.