The World Bank Accompanies the National Government’s Decentralization Efforts Aimed at Reducing Poverty and Inequality in the Regions
WASHINGTON, December 17th, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved today a loan in the amount of US$70 million to improve public sector management in municipalities with less than 50,000 inhabitants. The loan will be implemented during the next seven years and seeks to reduce poverty and inequality in the country’s neediest regions. It will support the Colombian government’s strategy to consolidate a more efficient public administration, with the intention of providing better quality services to its population.
“The World Bank’s support for the Strengthening Territorial Entities Program is strategic to Colombia. This Project will allow us to provide institutional sustainability to the work we are undertaking at the National Government; on the one hand, it will provide support in terms of institutional arrangements, technical assistance, and financial resources to Territorial Entities and, on the other, it will help with the rural mission the government is going to implement. These tools play a key role in promoting efficient public investment and developing all of the country’s territories. Our goal is to initiate a series of innovative and differentiated activities and tools that will be designed jointly with departmental and municipal officials and citizens,” said Tatyana Orozco de la Cruz, General Director of the National Planning Department.
Following Colombia’s decentralization process, territorial entities are now responsible for providing basic services to the population, such as education, health, drinking water and basic sanitation, among others. This implies that providing these services in an effective way in terms of coverage, quality and continuity depends to a large extent on the managing capabilities of departmental and municipal officials.
The project seeks to improve the managing, institutional and technical capabilities of the national government, with a special emphasis on departmental and municipal governments. Improving institutional capacities, increasing transparency, providing better-quality and more efficient services will have a positive impact on the country’s development and will contribute to poverty and inequality reduction in Colombia’s regions.
To this end, the loan intends to:
- Improve the capacity to formulate and organize projects at sub-national level, with special emphasis on those projects with a regional impact.
- Implement a system of incentives to improve the performance and the results of public administration at sub-national level.
- Develop a strategy to improve institutional capacities in all areas of public administration —planning, budget management, income management and improved government spending, project formulation, human resource management, procurement, follow-up and evaluation, all of them focused on improving service delivery to the population.
- Support the National Government in formulating and executing comprehensive public policies with a territorial approach.
- Support processes and instruments to follow-up and to monitor public management at sub-national level.
“We aim to strongly support the Colombian government’s strategy to strengthen different functions at departmental and municipal levels, thus improving the management, financial and sectorial capacities of territorial entities,” said Gloria M. Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia. Reducing inequality and poverty, and encouraging regional development and convergence depend to a large extent on having solid and well-coordinated local institutions, capable of managing and executing public resources in an effective and efficient way”.
The project will support some 300 sub-national entities allowing departments and municipalities to have access to knowledge, tools and continuous support. As a result, it is expected that institutions will improve their management capacities, make better use of their resources and implement better public programs for their citizens.
The World Bank’s support is aligned with Colombia’s new Country Partnership Strategy approach, which has been designed to provide a comprehensive package of financial, knowledge and convening services. This program is also in line with the CPS objective of inclusive growth with greater productivity.
The National Planning Department will be responsible for this program in coordination with the Treasury and Public Credit Ministry. The loan has a fixed margin and will be entirely repaid by August 15th, 2031. The Government of Colombia has chosen a single payment at maturity.