Reimbursable Advisory Services
June 4, 2013
- Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) are an increasingly important instrument to meet client demand for services beyond what the World Bank’s administrative budget or relevant trust funds can support.
- RAS are of significant importance to the Bank’s middle- and high-income country clients, including non-borrowing members. Demand for RAS programs from countries in Europe and Central Asia has grown across different sectors in recent years.
- Under RAS engagements, the World Bank’s partnership with clients typically goes beyond the standard contractual agreements offered by the private sector.
From the beginning, the development and provision of high-quality analytic and advisory services has been part of the World Bank’s strategic directions. Global best practice, leading expertise, and cutting-edge knowledge products are what clients demand.
In response to specific requests, the World Bank provides a variety of Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) to clients beyond the analytic and advisory services that it can fund through its administrative budget or relevant trust funds. Typically, RAS engagements are provided in addition to other Word Bank activities; however, for non-borrowing member clients, RAS may be the single instrument through which the World Bank provides services. As a global cooperative, the World Bank brings international expertise and technical depth to bear through RAS engagements. As a long-term development partner, the World Bank goes beyond the standard contractual agreements offered by the private sector.
Since 2005, the World Bank’s Europe and Central Asia region has been engaged in over 80 RAS programs. In recent years, demand for RAS programs from countries in Europe and Central Asia has grown across different sectors, including education, energy, the environment, the financial sector, health, poverty reduction, public sector governance, social protection, transport, and urban development. In some countries, RAS has deepened beyond the national government to subnational engagements. RAS areas of engagement are diverse and include:
- Advisory services / policy advice
- Economic and sector work
- Research, country specific and regional
- Development partner coordination
- Program support
- Impact evaluation
The 2008-09 global economic crisis exposed structural weaknesses in many European and Central Asian countries. In response, the World Bank has focused its strategy in the region on competitiveness, social inclusion under fiscal stress, and climate action to improve the lives of citizens. Now more than ever, there is interest in building capacity by advancing policy options that produce results.
Examples of World Bank RAS engagements in Europe and Central Asia include:
- Functional Reviews of the Romania’s public administration, including in the following areas: Agriculture and Rural Development, Competition Council, Health, Environment, Water and Forestry, Labor and Social Protection, Pre-University Education, Higher Education, Public Finance, Regional Development and Tourism, Research, Development, and Innovation, and Transport.
- The Joint Economic Research Program (JERP), a RAS engagement between Kazakhstan and the Bank undertaken on a cost-share basis.
- A first RAS agreement signed with Turkmenistan.
For more examples, including in Albania, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Latvia, Poland, the Russian Federation, the Slovak Republic, Slovenia, and others, check out the brochure on the World Bank’s RAS engagements in Europe and Central Asia.