The changing dynamics of the forest sector and the global economy prompted World Bank President James Wolfensohn to launch the CEO forum and the World Bank/World Wide Fund for Nature Alliance. In parallel, Bank management launched a Forest Policy Implementation Review and Strategy process in which the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) was asked to contribute an independent evaluation of the Bank ' s 1991 Forest Strategy. OED evaluated implementation of the strategy as outlined in " The Forest Sector: A World Bank Policy Paper (1991), " Operational Policy 4.36, and Good Practice 4.36 (both issued in 1993). The evaluation reviewed lending and non-lending activities for the three organizations comprising the World Bank Group as well as for the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). Six country studies were carried out (Brazil, Cameroon, China, Costa Rica, India, and Indonesia) along with a global review, and six regional portfolio reviews. The OED studies analyzed the interactions among the Bank ' s Country Assistance Strategies, economic and sector work, policy dialogue, and Bank lending. The report identifies seven elements that would make Bank forest strategy more relevant and help it achieve its strategic objectives in the forest sector.




Lele, Uma; Kumar, Nalini; Husain, Syed Arif; Zazueta, Aaron; Kelly, Lauren. 2000. The World Bank forest strategy : striking the right balance. Washington, D.C. : The World Bank. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/2000/10/828326/world-bank-forest-strategy-striking-right-balance



managing global resourceIn this detailed investigation, Uma Lele explores why the loss of forests and biodiversity has been so rapid in some developing countreis (Brazil, Indonesia, and Cameroon) and not in others (China, India, and Costa Rica). She assesses future prospects for critically examining their policies, emergin national and international biodiversity.



In 1998, OED initiated a review of the World Bank's 1991 Forest Strategy, in order to assess its impact on World Bank lending and whether the strategy remained relevant. The 1991 Strategy had pursued a green agenda, by restricting the Bank from supporting production activities which entailed the logging of tropical moist forests. It had also promoted a participatory, consultative approach to forest sector activities. OED's evaluation included six country studies, including the China Study "From Afforestation to Poverty Reduction and National Forest Management".


Prepared for the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Office of Monitoring and Evaluation, the overarching finding of the study is that when evaluation units begin to report directly to the boards rather than to or through management, the profile and the role of the evaluation function in the organization increases. Boards begin to take greater interest in evaluations as a tool to improve oversight processes of the institution, as well as to enhance their own, and management performance and accountability. While such independent reporting to the boards is necessary, it is not sufficient. The formation of an evaluation committee to which the evaluation unit reports increases the quantity and the quality of the interactions between evaluation departments and boards and legitimizes the evaluation function of the board. The selected members who form the committee increase their understanding of the evaluation issues as they pertain to the strategic management and performance of the organization. By legitimizing the evaluation function, the explicit responsibility and accountability of the evaluation committee to the board thus increases impacts of evaluation units on board strategies and on management practices.

Two caveats are needed to substantiate this finding. First, the establishment of strong monitoring and self evaluation systems is a necessary foundation for independent evaluations to serve the learning function and create an evaluation culture in the organization. This finding suggests that whereas GEF would be well served by having an evaluation committee of the Council, there may be implications for GEF management regarding supervision, monitoring and self evaluation functions, and processes, as well as their relationship to the independent evaluation function. Second, the terms of reference of the evaluation unit determines the extent to which it can evaluate "out of the box" strategic issues facing the organization. Strengthening the evaluation function may not achieve the second objective without the necessary mandate to the evaluation units. These issues may well need to be explored further to draw lessons and implications for the GEF.