“My village is beautiful and I have lived here all my life. Even though life can be hard, I don’t want to go away.” Eight-year-old Zannati lives on the front lines of climate change in her cyclone-ravaged coastal village of Nishanbaria on the Bay of Bengal. When she speaks, you feel her determination and see the fire in her eyes.
The embankment holding back the sea, part of 480 kms of embankment repaired and reconstructed by the World Bank, is the only protection her village has from cyclones.
Shabash Bangladesh (Bravo Bangladesh) – a photo exhibition showcasing development results in Bangladesh – tells the story of Zannati and many other Bangladeshis, serving as a visual backdrop to the first Country Performance and Results Review (CPRR) in Dhaka on April 13, 2011.
The CPRR was the first high-level review to take stock of the results being achieved under the Bank’s FY11-14 Country Assistance Strategy (CAS). This event was part of wider efforts to instill a results culture across the Bangladesh program, from the project level during implementation support, to the portfolio and strategy levels. It was also an important step in enhancing the Bank’s accountability for results.
Guest of Honor at the CPRR, the Honorable Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, Minister of Finance, Government of Bangladesh, commended the World Bank for its increasing openness: “Last year, the World Bank conducted consultations throughout the country to hear from Bangladeshis about our challenges and priorities, and then launched the Country Assistance Strategy to the general public. One year on, they are carrying through with increased transparency and accountability in delivering development results in Bangladesh.”
The CAS was brought to life through extensive consultations with stakeholders, including civil society, and the input of multi-sectoral CAS pillar teams (or results teams). One year after the CAS approval, these results teams reconvened on half-day workshops last February where innovative tools to monitor CAS outcomes were piloted. Each results team prepared a candid assessment of the CAS milestones, and proposed solutions to the challenges arising in delivering results.
These assessments found that progress was notable in areas such as increasing educational enrolment, improving health, expanding renewable energy, promoting public-private partnerships and providing critical infrastructure like rural roads and water supply.
This first review of progress toward results found that most milestones were on-track. However, insufficient data hampered a full assessment nearly half the time.
“This review shows that Government and development partners need to strengthen systems and capacity to monitor progress toward results to ensure that our joint actions are leading to desired outcomes in terms of poverty reduction, economic growth and social welfare” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director in Bangladesh. “Going forwards, the Bank will ramp up efforts within our portfolio to improve national M&E systems and capacity.”
“Shabash Bangladesh” offered a visual backdrop for the analysis of progress towards development outcomes. Opening on March 13, 2011 at the World Bank Dhaka Office, the photo exhibition attracted government representatives, civil society members and the media, who joined in commemorating the vitality of a nation that is transforming itself from within.
The exhibition showcases the stories of ordinary people who strive everyday to overcome odds with drive and determination
Like eight-year-old Zannati, who has seen her village devastated by cyclones twice in her young life, but shows remarkable optimism and determination to continue school and live a normal life even in the face of adversity.
Shabash Bangladesh, indeed.