Country Program Evaluation: Guyana (2008-2012)
The 2008-2012 Country Program Evaluation for Guyana concludes that the Bank's strategy was aligned with the development objectives and economic priorities of the government. Nevertheless, its program has produced mixed results. In infrastructure, progress was achieved by consolidating the primary road network and extending the electrical grid to unserved areas; however, efforts to reduce losses in the electricity sector did not meet their target. In competitiveness, the financial and judicial sectors benefitted from institutional and structural reforms, and the business environment was strengthened through the adoption of streamlined procedures. However, key initiatives to deepen the financial market and increase access to credit have met with less success. Gains have also been made towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; however, the absence of updated data in the social sectors hinders the evaluation of results. The average age of the loan portfolio is 4.56 years, the oldest in the Bank. With the launch of the Low Carbon Development Strategy, Guyana has an opportunity to benefit from global commitments for rainforest conservation and climate change. The Bank should continue to support new initiatives that lie within the LCDS, and should work closely with Guyana to enhance its national capacity to monitor and report the results. Although Guyana has shown the greatest improvement among D-2 countries in terms of its Country Institutional and Policy Evaluation score, FSO resources available to the country under the current program were 32% less than the allocation under the previous program. The sustainability of the Bank¿s work and its relevance in Guyana could be affected by a further reduction in future FSO allocations. The CS emphasized the strengthening and use of national systems by Bank projects. Several operations use the Integrated Financial Management System for accounting, and the intention is to use this for all new Bank-funded operations. Given the findings in this CPE, OVE recommends that the Administration: (i) take advantage of the current period of stability and growth to support Guyana on its path toward becoming a green economy; (ii) seek to leverage declining FSO resources; and (iii) continue strengthening Guyana's national systems.