In recent years, the World Bank has increasingly focused on lending to Community-driven development (CDD) programs in order to let communities lead their own development. CDD approaches have been used to support a wide range of local development and service delivery needs identified by communities themselves, including water supply and sewerage rehabilitation, school and health facilities construction, nutrition programs for mothers and infants, rural access roads, and support for livelihoods and microenterprises. CDD programs that operated as small stand-alone operations have gradually expanded to much larger (often national) coverage that have become part of formal decentralization strategies. IBRD countries are increasingly seeking Bank financing to apply CDD approaches for urban upgrading in an effort to build more socially resilient cities. In Brazil, for example, the Recife Urban Development and Social Inclusion Project supports the upgrading of slums in the Capibaribe River basin of the city and promotes the integrated and sustainable development of the region using active stakeholder participation.
CDD has also proven useful in responses to natural disasters. Communities are usually the first responders in natural disasters and their active participation and engagement in project planning and implementation have been key factors in the success of many World Bank-financed disaster management projects. In the aftermath of the 2010 Pakistan flood crisis, the Second Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund was used to provide rapid response to the tragedy and facilitate linkages between partner organizations for disaster response. The World Bank provided strong support for flood recovery, including US$125 million to finance cash transfers to about 1.4 million flood-affected families.
Increasingly, as discussed in the 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development, the CDD approach has also become a preferred operational strategy in post-conflict and fragile situations, where states face a legacy of weak capacity and legitimacy. CDD operations have been used for economic reconstruction, supporting local coalition building, strengthening relations between the state and citizens at the local level, and fostering social cohesion, in several countries, including Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Nepal, Sudan, and Timor-Leste.
Indonesia: The National Program for Community Empowerment - PNPM Mandiri (FY09-12, IBRD US$4.1 billion over four years in rural and urban areas) builds on 10 years of successful CDD experience in the Kecamatan Development Program (KDP) and the Urban Poverty Program (UPP) which was implemented between FY99-FY11. The PNPM-Rural program has demonstrated significant impacts in terms of poverty reduction. Benefits are heavily skewed towards the poor with the two lowest quintiles of participating population receiving the largest share of project benefits. Household expenditures among the poor increased by an average of 11 percent as a result of project investments, benefitting approximately 45 million poor people. Meanwhile, infrastructure built by the community is 30-50 percent cheaper than building it through normal government systems, with 85 percent of it found to be in good to very good condition five years after completion.
Evaluation results from PNPM-Generasi have showed significant impact on health and education indicators, with strong improvements in the frequency of weight checks for young children, supported by dramatic increases in mothers and children participating in village health post activities to receive the targeted maternal, neonatal and child health services. Child malnutrition was reduced 10 percent from the control level. Education indicators also saw some improvements, notably in a 0.8 percent rise in school participation rate among the primary school-age group.
Brazil: The Rural Poverty Reduction Project, Brazil Rio Grande do Norte (FY02 IBRD US$45 million) was implemented using Northeast Brazil’s decentralized CDD model, under which rural communities — represented in participatory municipal councils with majority community membership — select, prepare, implement, operate, and maintain priority investments. It delivered socio-economic investments in water supply, electricity, agro-processing facilities, livestock and food production to 2,100 community associations representing 400,000 poor rural people, creating 12,000 jobs and improving beneficiary families’ incomes and social welfare. The community associations’ newfound role in the municipal councils improved local governance and enhanced the relationship between poor communities and state and local authorities.
Azerbaijan: The Rural Investment Project (FY04, IDA US$15 million plus US$15 million additional financing), designed to improve living standards by building better access to and use of community rural infrastructure, has successfully supported the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure in poor rural communities across the country. At project completion, travel time to secondary school and markets had been reduced by 47 percent and 26 percent respectively where the project had rehabilitated rural roads. Moreover, 78 percent of farm products are now transported to markets by farmers themselves, a significant advantage compared to non-beneficiary villages in the same region where only 18 percent of farm products are brought directly to markets by farmers. Primary school enrollment has increased by 25 percent following rehabilitation of school buildings. The success of this project resulted in a second project funded by the Bank in FY12.
Benin: In the National Community-driven development Project (FY05, IDA US$50 million plus US$12 million additional financing), 1,518 communities (40 percent of the communities in Benin) completed infrastructure sub-projects, resulting in the construction or rehabilitation of 3,170 classrooms, 144 health centers, and 101 water and sanitation systems. Some 158,500 students are enrolled in schools constructed or rehabilitated under the project, representing 10 percent of total primary school enrollment in the country. Over 23,000 people have gained access to an improved water source, about 8 percent of the annual expansion observed in the access of rural populations to improved water concentrated among the poorest populations. An additional 38,000 people (77 percent women) in 512 previously unserved communities gained access to micro-finance services At the national and sectoral level, the project was successful in using a structured approach to integrating CDD into national policies and sectoral strategies.
Morocco: The National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), Morocco (Phase 1, 2005-2010, US$1.1 billion, of which IBRD financed US$100 million) program relied on bottom-up participation and planning to improve living standards and give greater voice to the poor in targeted communities. The INDH also supported access of vulnerable groups to social and economic services delivered by government and non-governmental organizations. More than 22,000 sub-projects were financed reaching over 5 million beneficiaries, and the evaluations currently underway of the first phase are showing impressive results: (i) 19 percent of vulnerable households reported that they participated in all or part of the INDH participatory process; (ii) 62 percent of households and 60 percent of women in the target communities reported increased access and use of basic infrastructure after sub-project implementation; and (iii) 46 percent of households reported that their livelihood has improved. Following on the successful completion of this project, a second phase (INDH 2, US$300 million) was approved that will support income-generating activities, improved access to basic services, and key infrastructure in the poorest regions of Morocco.
Mongolia: The Mongolia Sustainable Livelihoods Project (FY08, IDA US$33.5 million) and the Sustainable Livelihoods Project II (2008-2012) aim to enhance livelihood security and sustainability by scaling up institutional mechanisms that reduce the vulnerability of communities throughout Mongolia. The project is structured around three components — Pastoral Risk Management; Community Initiatives; and Microfinance Development — and has benefited over 1.7 million people, two-thirds of the population. More than 36,000 herders improved their pastoral risk management skills, over 1,000 hospitals in rural areas have been upgraded, and the proportion of children staying in school dormitories (essential in a nomadic society) increased by 169 percent. Over 39,000 microfinance loans have been made, benefitting over 180,000 people either directly or indirectly, leading to improved livelihoods. At the policy level, the CDD approach to community infrastructure provision has been adopted as the model for local budget preparation and execution under the new Integrated Budget Law that is being implemented throughout the country from January 1, 2013. Overall, the innovations introduced and the use of the participatory approach in local budget preparation and execution are integral to Mongolia's strategy for achieving inclusive green growth, helping to ensure that the benefits of the country's significant and rapidly growing mineral wealth can be more widely shared with communities across the country.