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Special Studies (sectors)

2023: Evaluation of the Agribusiness Strategy 2019–23 and early results of its implementation

The EBRD has been supporting agribusiness sector for the last 30 years. Its Agribusiness Strategy 2019–2023 came during a period of low food prices and had to show flexibility in light of the various challenges, including COVID and the war in Ukraine. While the Agribusiness Strategy expires in 2023, this report evaluates the early results of the implementation of the Agribusiness Strategy from 2019 to 2021. It assesses to what extent the EBRD has been successful in implementing it. As EBRD is developing a new Agribusiness Strategy, this mid-term evaluation and its recommendations aim to inform the discussions of an upcoming strategy, ahead of a comprehensive evaluation of the Agribusiness Strategy 2019-2023 in 2024.

2014: Evaluation of the 2010 agribusiness sector strategy

This study evaluates the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of the EBRD’s 2010 Agribusiness Sector Strategy as implemented from 2011 to 2013. The 2010 Strategy was shaped by both global considerations and Bank-specific priorities. Global food security – the main theme – provided a wider context for strengthening food supply/security in the Bank’s region; while Bank-wide initiatives (such as early transition countries and sustainable energy) were incorporated to overlay the main theme.

2008: Agribusiness operations

This study looks at the EBRD's policies in the agribusiness sector and makes a number of recommendations towards the formulation of a new and improved sector operations strategy. Combining careful analyses of performance ratings across countries and agribusiness sectors with case studies and lessons learned, the study provides a comprehensive review of the EBRD's rationale and operations and puts forward a sound premise for the Bank's future engagements in this sector.

2011: Sustainable Energy Initiative

This Study evaluates the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) Phase I (2006-08). It assesses how well the EBRD has implemented the SEI I objectives through its investment operations and how this has furthered the Bank’s transition impact and core transition mandate objectives on a country and regional basis in the energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change sectors.

2002: Energy efficiency

Covers the Bank's performance to enhance energy efficiency in projects and in other activities. The study identifies the Bank's impact in the region and aims to improve future performance

2007: Post-privatisation funds

This study examines the general use and value of these funds and analyses the performance of six such funds in detail. In outlining the PPF's work programmes and assessing their performance along different indicators, this study finds a number of useful insights and recommendations applicable to private equity operations in general.

2006: Regional Venture Funds Programme

A special study evaluating the Bank's investment in 11 new private equity funds with the ultimate aim of attracting further capital from private investors

2002: EBRD's Investment in Equity Funds

The EBRD is the leading fund investor in the region. This study addresses transition impact and sustainability.

2016: Special Study EBRD's Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities (SEFFs)

This study is an evaluation of the design, implementation and impacts of the EBRD’s Sustainable Energy Financing Facilities (SEFFs) from 2004 to 2013. The €2.4 billion SEFF portfolio includes 27 facilities across 20 countries of operations, working with 90 local financial intermediaries. The facilities are packages of credit lines and grant financed technical assistance to participating financial intermediaries and sub borrowers to support energy efficiency and small scale renewable energy investments. The facilities often include incentive payments to ultimate beneficiaries – small and medium sized enterprises and households. This study examines the extent to which SEFFs have met objectives and contributed to transition impact, and suggests ways to enhance performance going forward.

2012: Synthesis paper- Financial sector operations - a synthesis of insights and findings

This report draws out patterns of themes, insights and pragmatic responses from EvD financial sector evaluations of recent years, as well as from other relevant sources. The material is organised into four subject areas that seem most closely to reflect recurring topical issues of relevance to the Bank’s interventions in the financial sector going forward – governance, due diligence, monitoring and evaluation, and SME sector and micro-finance issues. The report also highlights a number of issues pertinent to the SME and micro-finance sector, drawing on recent papers from the IFC, World Bank and IMF. It concludes by identifying two key areas through which increased focus by the Bank could improve operational effectiveness going forward.

2011: Leasing activities

This study assesses the relevance, efficacy, efficiency and impact of the EBRD’s leasing activities from inception through the end of 2008 in the EU and ETC countries. The data was gathered in 2009, during the downturn caused by the global financial crisis that impinged sharply on the leasing industry. The Bank’s 1999 FSOP did not lay out a clear set of policy objectives for the EBRD’s leasing sector activities, so the study used key EBRD policy documents and Board approvals of leasing projects to define the EBRD’s de facto core policy objectives. From them it can be gathered that the EBRD’s primary policy objective for leasing sector projects was to improve access to finance for SMEs.

2007: Financial sector operations policy

This study examines the EBRD's financial sector operations policies and financial sector performance. Assessing a wealth of material, this provides a thorough and critical review of the EBRD's activities in the financial sector, including bank lending, equity funds and TC operations. The study concludes with policy recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of future EBRD interventions in the financial sector.

2006: Achieving the Bank's Environmental Mandate Through Financial Intermediaries

The report looks at the effectiveness of the financial intermediaries in implementing the Bank's policies and procedures and how the sub-projects have improved environmental quality in line with the Bank's requirements. 

2013: Telecommunications sector review

This review presents the results of an independent evaluation of the implementation of the telecommunications section of the 1999 Telecommunications, Informatics and Media Operations Policy, examining telecom projects signed by the Information, Communication and Technologies team from 2006-2011 (the "Evaluation Period"). It then presents issues and ideas of use in the preparation of a new sector policy.

2006: Telecommunications, informatics and media sector policies from 1992 to 2005

An evaluation that considers all telecom projects and TC operations signed between 1991 and 2005, rating the overall sector performance in terms of relevance, efficacy, efficiency and integrated impact at sector level.

2022: EBRD Public Sector Operations: Mobilising Private Sector Participation in Infrastructure

This evaluation provides a strategic review of EBRD’s Public Sector Operations (PSO), which is almost exclusively financing infrastructure. EBRD’s Sustainable Infrastructure Group (SIG) finances energy, transport, and municipal infrastructure in countries of operation (COOs) using a combination of debt, equity and technical cooperation (TC) grants. The evaluation assesses EBRD’s PSO contribution to structural and institutional change in its COOs that facilitated transition Impact (TI). The evaluation period is 2010-2020.

The evaluation is based on a Theory of Change (TOC), which identifies demand for public sector finance and assesses EBRD’s supply response. Objectives and results frameworks are drawn from EBRD strategies and financing documents. The evaluation looks at inputs (markets, products, policies, staff and finance). Results are assessed looking at benefits (relevance of objectives, and effectiveness of outputs, outcomes and impacts), and costs to EBRD (efficiency), relative to targets in results frameworks.  Due to constraints arising from the Covid Crisis, it was not possible to make field trips to COOs to interview stakeholders. The study draws on desk research and remote interviews.

2022: Sustainable Infrastructure Operations in Advanced Transition Countries

The purpose of this evaluation is to provide evidence-based analysis contributing to: i) institutional accountability by evaluating the characteristics of the past operations against expectations; and, ii) institutional learning by offering insights relevant for the development of future strategies and project design.

It is structured around the three sub-sectors of Sustainable Infrastructure – Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure (MEI), Transport sector operations, and Energy sector operations. At the same time it focusses specifically on three individual Advanced Transition Countries, each of which had a critical mass of operations in one of the chosen sub-sectors. The objective was to be able to identify both common features and cumulative effects in the individual country contexts that are the Bank’s stated benchmark for transition progress. The selected sub-sector/country clusters were: i) MEI operations in Croatia; ii) Transport operations in Hungary; and, iii) Energy operations in Poland.

2018: Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility – Thematic evaluation

Large infrastructure financing gaps in EBRD countries of operation have long been identified as a key challenge and opportunity for the Bank. There is an increasing recognition that traditional government funding and methods are not sufficient to close growing gaps, and increased private sector engagement is now widely understood to be essential.

The EBRD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (IPPF) was a high profile initiative approved by the Board in October 2014 to scale up infrastructure support. As a “delivery mechanism to improve the efficiency, quality and replicability of infrastructure projects,” the IPPF is meant to help governments build an infrastructure project pipeline using additional and improved project preparation support along with policy dialogue. 

On approval of the IPPF the Board requested a stock taking after three years and this interim review by the Evaluation Department is intended to assess IPPF’s performance against its wider objectives, identifying any early results and difficulties, and its potential to be a co-investment multi donor fund for specific countries and sectors.

2014: Private sector participation in municipal and environmental infrastructure projects - review and evaluation | Management Comments

This study provides a review and assessment of the Bank’s objectives and activities supporting private sector participation in municipal and environmental infrastructure (MEI) and services sector between 2001 and 2012. It explores the various channels through which these efforts were made, how strategy and operations evolved over the period, and how experience and results compared with expectations. The report’s main focus is on the private sector support dimensions of sector policies and country strategies, MEI operations classified as private, public with private sector components, and related technical cooperation activities.

2010: Municipal and environmental infrastructure operations policy review

This review of the current Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure Operations Policy, approved in 2004, is designed to provide lessons from past experience as input to the development of a new policy. Overall, EvD rates the Bank’s implementation of the 2004 Policy as ‘successful’.

2020: Cluster Review Mining Operations in Mongolia

This is an EvD cluster evaluation of the mining portfolio in Mongolia since EBRD operations began in 2006 and involved a review of the themes emerging from 14 private sector projects, worth €734m of net cumulative investment (€704m debt, €30m equity) and associated donor funded EBRD technical assistance, most of which was non-transactional. The mining sector in Mongolia is critical to the economy, representing around 27% of GDP, 19% of state budget, and 88% of exports, mainly to China. Top mineral exports are coal, followed by copper and gold.

The first period of EBRD investment, from 2006 to 2012, was characterised by a mining boom with the EBRD becoming closely involved, less risk adverse and more prepared to support small and domestic players. From 2012 to 2016, global commodity prices fell. Around half the existing portfolio ended up in Corporate Recovery in part due to the global commodity price slump, business conduct issues and lack of sponsor support.

The review makes three recommendations based on its findings, which cover evaluation of the biggest current operation, improvements more generally to project design for stronger delivery of the Bank’s transition mandate, and critically, development of an improved programme of policy dialogue and IFI collaboration.

2011: Extractive industries sector strategy review

Several of the EBRD countries of operations have major reserves of natural resources and the extractive industries sector is important to their economic development. The mining, oil and gas sectors are high profile in terms of global issues such as greenhouse gases and energy security, as well as problems related to integrity and corruption, environmental damage, and health and safety. This Special Study evaluates the implementation of existing EBRD policies, based on the performance of its investments in the extractive industries sector and transition challenges. The review follows a previous 2004 Evaluation Department review of the extractive industries sector, which called for a new natural resources policy. The Study assesses the existing policies, presents its findings, and makes recommendations for EBRD policies for extractive industries.

2004: Extractive Industries

This study covers the EBRD's past performance in extractive industries. It is based on the Natural Resources Operations Policy of 1999. The management response is included in Appendix G. A timetable for the preparation of the new Energy Policy is available in Annex 1. 

2023: Key lessons for green energy systems: Insights from Independent Evaluation

Globally, the energy sector is transforming rapidly. The green transition and the urgency of addressing the climate crisis is leading to significant changes in how energy systems operate. Lessons from evaluation can provide a valuable perspective on how to develop green energy systems that are sustainable, secure and affordable.

This knowledge paper focuses on providing evidence-based insights from evaluation on two central themes: the technical integration of intermittent renewable energy and building markets to set the right incentives. It draws lessons from the evaluations produced by Multi-Lateral Development Banks (MDBs) on their approaches to energy systems, supplemented with EBRD data and strategic documents outlining how MDBs approach energy systems.

2022: Cluster Evaluation – Solar Power Operations

This report contains a review of EBRD operations and policy dialogue in support of utility-scale solar projects until the end of 2020. Based on the assessment of a sample of 10 projects in six countries and a thorough portfolio analysis, the evaluation identifies trends, lessons and themes relevant to this sector.

2021: Cluster Evaluation – Evaluation of Hydrocarbon Projects

This report contains a review of the Bank’s hydrocarbon operations. It includes the evaluation of a sample of six projects, which is presented in the broader context of the Bank’s past hydrocarbon operations and portfolio analysis. It seeks to identify trends, as well as common lessons and themes that are relevant to this sector by utilising findings from the sample assessment and taking into account other recent evaluations. The linkages and incorporation of hydrocarbons into selected country and sector strategies are examined, along with how other IFIs approach hydrocarbons and how the EBRD collaborated with them.

2011: Power and energy sector review

This Special Study reports the findings and recommendations from an independent evaluation of the implementation of a part of the EBRD’s Energy Operations Policy of 2006 covering the power and energy sector during 2003-10. An analysis of the operational priorities relevant to the power and energy sector set out in the Policy was conducted against the Bank’s seven transition impact indicators. The effectiveness of Policy implementation through power & energy team operations is rated, as is the efficiency of Policy implementation, investments and operations. Findings and lessons from past evaluations of power and energy sector projects are presented in an annex.

2005: Power Sector Review

This review is an evaluation of the EBRD’s past performance in the power sector, carried out by the Bank’s independent Evaluation Department. The EBRD’s Energy Policies of 1992, 1995, and 2000, and the power sector projects evaluated to date, form the basis of this review.

2006: Property Sector Policies

The study focuses on the objectives set out in the Property Sector Policies, how relevant the projects have been to those objectives, and the efficacy, efficiency and the transition impact of the projects. The Study makes several recommendations for consideration for its future work in this sector.

2021: EBRD Trade Facilitation Programme

The EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) was established in 1993 to support trade flows in Bank Countries of Operation through short-term facilities to provide liquidity. A new annual limit of €3.0 billion was agreed by the Board in July 2020. This evaluation provides background on trends in international trade and their major drivers, reviews other MDBs’ approaches to trade facilitation, and summarises the findings of previous evaluations of trade facilitation activities.

2010: Trade Facilitation Programme

A summary of the special study which takes a second look at the Trade Facilitation Programme from inception until October 2009. The Study assesses the performance of the programme under relevance, efficacy, efficiency and impact and in the course of this assesses the extent to which it has fulfilled or is continuing to fulfil its objectives; is contributing to the Bank’s transition impact mandate; and the extent to which implementation has been generally consistent with the broader policy and procedural context in which the Bank operates, taking into account the special nature of the EBRD as a multilateral development bank.

2004: Warehouse Receipt Programme/Agricultural Commodities Financing Programme

A special study evaluating the Bank's programmes in different countries of operations to move legal transition and institution building forward through the development of advanced agricultural commodities financing instruments and processes.

2003: Trade Facilitation Programme

Confirms the success and the positive transition impact of the Trade Facilitation Programme network, and recommends improvements.

2016: The EBRD's projects in the Russian rail sector

This study is an evaluation of the EBRD's projects in the Russian rail sector conducted between 1996 and 2013. The portfolio represents €1.8 billion in EBRD investments supported by €6 million in technical cooperation initiatives.

The projects are situated in the context of the overall reform programme in the Russian rail sector during the period. They are examined for their relevance to the EBRD's mandate, achievements and outputs and the efficiency with which they were implemented. Several findings and lessons are observed and recommendations made.

2011: Transport operations policy evaluation

The subject of this Special Study is the evaluation of the Bank’s Transport Operations Policy (TOP) – the first such exercise for the Bank’s transport sector – with a coverage that includes all Bank policies from 1992, 1997 and 2005. It includes analyses of the overall TOP implementation and related performances, and pertinent lessons and recommendations. It found that in the areas of additionality, fulfilment of objectives, and company financial performance the Bank's transport operations are matching the Bank’s average performance ratings, whilst project financial performance and environmental performance/change perform better than the Bank’s average, and transition impact, and Bank handling perform below the Bank’s average. Management comments were provided and accompany the full report below
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