The World Bank’s Early Support to Addressing Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health and Social Response - An Early-Stage Evaluation

Publication language
Date published
15 Nov 2022
Research, reports and studies
COVID-19, Evaluation-related
World Bank

This evaluation assesses the quality of the World Bank’s early response to the COVID-19 crisis and the initial steps toward recovery, focusing on the health and social response. It concentrates on the relief stage and support to restructure systems in the first 15 months of the pandemic (February 1, 2020, to April 30, 2021) in 106 countries. A parallel Independent Evaluation Group evaluation looks at the World Bank Group support to address the economic implications of the pandemic. To assess the quality of the response, the evaluation is guided by a theory of action that synthesizes evidence in three dimensions: relevance of support to the needs of countries; implementation, learning, and adjustment; and operational policy and partnerships to support smooth responses in countries. As the response is ongoing, the evaluation does not assess effectiveness but considers early results and pathways that are expected to lead to outcomes. The findings from the evaluation inform four recommendations for ensuring stronger future preparedness: (i) Use the World Bank’s crisis recovery efforts to strengthen the resilience of essential health and education. (ii) Apply a gender equality lens to health and social crisis response actions across sectors. (iii) Help countries strengthen regional cooperation and crisis response capacities for public health preparedness. (iv) Build on the COVID-19 experience to strengthen the World Bank’s internal crisis preparedness so that it has the tools and procedures ready to respond in future emergencies.