STATCAP was approved as a multi-country Statistical Capacity Building Program designed to make it easier for clients to access regular World Bank financing for improving statistical capacity. The program has been completed, though there are still a few active projects. Countries seeking large-scale project financing would now follow the World Bank guidelines and procedures for investment project financing operations.
STATCAP was approved by the Board of Executive Directors in 2004, as a “horizontal” Adaptable Program Loan, or APL. It provided a framework for strengthening national statistical systems though a comprehensive approach, and streamlined processing procedures. The framework encouraged effective coordination, participation of other international and bilateral donors, and participation of national stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors. STATCAP projects were prepared and appraised following regular provisions for investment lending, and financed either through IBRD or IDA as specific investment credits or loans.
Projects normally finance the implementation of National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) or a similar comprehensive mid-term action plan (such plans are sometimes referred to as a Statistical Master Plan) . These strategies or plans normally include a detailed assessment of the national statistical system; a clear strategy for its further development with goals and targets for the medium term; and an action plan to put it into effect.