Country Program Evaluation: Panama (2010-2014)

May 2015
This Country Program Evaluation (CPE) is the third independent evaluation of the country program of the Inter-American Development Bank (the Bank) with Panama. Past evaluations covered the periods 1991-2003 (RE-305), when the country was transitioning to full control of its prime economic asset, the Panama Canal, and the Canal Zone territory and infrastructure, and 2005-2009 (RE-359), a period characterized by extraordinarily good macroeconomic performance and significant fiscal reform. This CPE spans January 2010 to December 2014, years marked by an ambitious public investment program and a strong reduction in unemployment and poverty, although accompanied by income inequality.According to the Bank's Protocol for Country Program Evaluations (RE-348-3), the main goal of a CPE is to provide information on Bank performance at the country level that is credible and useful, and that enables the incorporation of lessons and recommendations that can be used to improve the development effectiveness of the Bank's overall strategy and program of country assistance. Like other CPEs, this evaluation seeks to examine the Bank's relationship with the country from an independent perspective, strengthening accountability and facilitating learning to serve as an input to the new Country Strategy under preparation for 2015-2019.
To prepare this document, OVE interviewed the Bank's main counterparts among Panama's authorities, project execution units, civil society and the private sector, multilateral agencies with presence in Panama, and Bank staff in Panama and at Headquarters. OVE also visited Bank-supported projects to assess implementation progress and challenges.
The evaluation portfolio includes all operations approved over the review period, together with those approved previously but implemented during the review period. Chapter 1 examines Panamas economic and social development over 2010-2014 and considers the countrys medium-term prospects. Chapter 2 analyzes the strategic and financial relevance of the Bank's program and assesses implementation effectiveness. Chapter 3 discusses the results achieved in the six strategic sectors identified by the 2010-2014 Country Strategy and assesses the use of country systems. Chapter 4 presents concluding remarks and recommendations. The annexes provide details of the portfolio and include figures that support OVE's analysis.