Community Driven Development (CDD) programs operate on the principles of transparency, participation, local empowerment, demand-responsiveness, greater downward accountability, and enhanced local capacity.

Experience has shown that when given clear and transparent rules, access to information, appropriate capacity, and financial support, poor men and women can effectively organize to identify community priorities and address local problems by working in partnership with local governments and other supportive institutions.

The World Bank recognizes that CDD approaches and actions are important elements of an effective poverty reduction and sustainable development strategy. The Bank has supported CDD across a range of low to middle income, and conflict-affected, countries to support a variety of urgent needs, including water supply and sanitation, school and health post construction, nutrition programs for mothers and infants, rural access roads, and support for micro-enterprises.

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2015

CDD has been used by many national governments since 2000 as a key operational strategy to address poverty and equity. The approach of empowering local decision-making and putting resources in the direct control of community groups has led to the efficient delivery of basic services and, when sustained over time, measurable reductions in poverty, particularly among the poorest populations and communities. To date, approximately 110 member countries of the World Bank have undertaken projects that apply a CDD approach. Over the past decade, the Bank has approved more than 500 such operations worth over $28 billion.

These programs are increasingly faced with the need to adapt to vast differences in local contexts, strengthen local institutions, and foster greater ownership and community-based support for development. While the potential and benefits of CDD approaches are generally recognized, there are also several challenges and limitations to the approach, which need to be addressed carefully in the design and implementation of future CDD projects. These are:

  • New models of implementation support are required as CDD programs expand. While the first generation of CDD projects were often small-scale operations that worked outside formal government systems, the second and third generations of these programs are often expanding to regional or national levels. Legal frameworks and systems need to be revised and adapted to ensure quality and sustainability.
  • The need for convergence with sector programs and with formal decentralization reforms is growing. When operating well, CDD programs can offer an effective local development platform that can help improve the targeting, cost efficiency, service quality, and overall accountability of sector programs. It can help embed principles of transparency, accountability and participation into the entire sub-national governance system, but this may require enabling environments and policy-level reforms, including with regard to fiscal decentralization.
  • Urban applications. As the world is rapidly urbanizing, a challenge for the CDD community is how best to apply the lessons learned from what has been primarily a rural development strategy to the challenges of the urban context. Early indications are that while some CDD principles have immediate application, other standard operating procedures must be adapted to the different context. Nonetheless, the value of participation and community monitoring is recognized, particularly in the upgrading of informal settlements.
  • Supporting livelihoods. While the application of CDD to support public investments and services (such as roads, schools, clinics, etc.) is a widely used and tested approach, supporting private goods and market-oriented investments has proven less successful. Nonetheless, demand is high and growing, especially in middle income countries and urban contexts, and there is a need to further analyze and distill elements and conditions for success from regions such as South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.

The World Bank is taking up these emerging challenges through targeted analytical work, technical assistance to flagship programs around the world, quality assurance support through information and knowledge exchange, and staff skills development.  

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2015

In recent years, the World Bank has increasingly focused on lending to CDD programs. Many of those that began as small stand-alone operations have gradually expanded to much larger (often national) coverage that have become part of formal decentralization strategies.

The Philippines: operating from 2003-2014, KALAHI-CIDSS, the Philippines national CDD program, covered 362 of the poorest municipalities in the country, and supported over 5,000 subprojects. A robust impact evaluation found that the project had contributed to improvements in household access to municipal centers, increased access to safe drinking water, greater participation in local level government activities, and increased trust within and outside communities. Since 2014, this success has led to a new and expanded 5-year program, worth more than $1 billion, and covering all 847 municipalities with poverty rates above the national average. . The program is also being used to help respond to the widespread destruction caused by super-typhoon Haiyan. 

Bolivia: the $40 million Community Investment in Rural Areas Project has an overall goal to fight extreme rural poverty among small landholders, particularly indigenous populations. Starting in late 2011, the project has transferred responsibility and resources to 551 communities (10% beyond target), and supported 612 sub-project to improve access to basic and productive infrastructure for 25,871 rural households. Forty percent of the sub-projects were identified and implemented by women, and measures of social capital show improvements in 94% of the participating communities. The government has recently received a $60 million additional financing credit to expand and deepen the success of the project to date, reaching an additional 200,000 beneficiaries.

Azerbaijan: the Second Rural Investment Project supports the rehabilitation of critical infrastructure and financing of livelihood activities. Through additional financing, the project is expected to reach over 3.5 million beneficiaries in 1,800 poor rural communities across the country and as of August 2015 over 740 subprojects and six livelihood pilot initiatives have been completed, with another 179 subprojects under implementation. Results from the first phase of the project indicated that mobility had improved as a result of the rehabilitation of rural roads, with travel times to schools and markets reduced by 47% and 26% respectively, and primary school enrollment increased by 25% after school rehabilitation.

Nigeria: the Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) aims to increase access by the poor to improved social and natural resource infrastructure services and has reached more than 2.3 million households in 4,000 communities spread out across 26 states and the Federal Capital Territory. Impact evaluation results show that the project  has contributed to increased school enrollment and attendance, and health services utilization; improved access to potable water; reduced the rate of illness; and increased rural road access and mobility, especially for farming and trading communities.

Morocco: the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) was launched in 2005 to improve the living conditions of poor and vulnerable groups through enhanced economic opportunities, better access to basic services, and improved governance. Phase 2 of INDH (2011-2015) expanded the target population and geographic scope, from 667 to 1,234 communities, and almost doubled resource allocation. During the period 2005-2014, more than 46,600 community-driven sub-projects were financed, providing over 9.7 million beneficiaries (50% of which are in rural areas) with access to basic social and economic infrastructure services, and training. The impact evaluation of the first phase of INDH showed a 20% increase in revenues for participating rural households, and 10% increase for urban households, a reduction in child mortality from 6.2 to 0.9 deaths per 1,000 births, and a decrease in malnutrition from 14.4% of the population to 4.3%. More than 10 years after its launch, the program continues to benefit from strong political support and high levels of financial mobilization from different sources.

India: the $500 million National Rural Livelihoods Project works with more than 3.7 million households across 13 states, mobilized into nearly 325,000 Self Help Groups (SHGs) that are managed exclusively by women. The project has promoted the formation of more than 16,000 Village Organizations (federation of SHGs at the village/panchayat level) and more than 130 Cluster Level Federations. A hallmark of the project has been its highly inclusive nature with more than 56% of households mobilized in SHGs belonging to the Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribes and Minority households. Using the direct investments of $122 million from the project, the largely poor SHG members have leveraged another $78 million from banks in addition to accumulating $86 million in group savings.

CDD has also proven useful in responding to conflict and fragility, and in post-disaster contexts, as it has shown to be fast, flexible and effective at re-establishing basic services. In fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS), the approach has also helped rebuild social capital and trust within communities, and between communities and governments. CDD has been used in several FCS countries in the Africa region (for example, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of CongoGuinea-Bissau,LiberiaMali, and South Sudan), as well as in Afghanistan and Myanmar

Last Updated: Sep 29, 2015

People will benefit from Myanmar National CDD Project in its first year of operation.
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