Overview

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 to build small-scale infrastructure and deliver basic services.

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 respond to 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: Mar 29, 2017

CDD has been used by many national governments since 2000 as a key operational strategy to address poverty and inequity. The approach of empowering local decision-making and putting resources under 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 115 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 nearly $28 billion.

These programs have evolved over time and have adapted to vast differences in local contexts. While the benefits of CDD approaches are widely recognized, there are also several challenges 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. Operational procedures need to be adjusted to public administration frameworks and systems, and are informing changes in relevant regulations, to allow CDD approaches to be sustainably mainstreamed by Governments.
  • 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 assist the targeting, cost efficiency, service quality, and overall accountability of sector programs. It can 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 need to be adapted to the different challenges of the urban environment. 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 more challenging. Nonetheless, demand is high and growing, especially in middle income countries and urban contexts, and further analysis is needed to distill the elements of and conditions for success of programs, particularly from the South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean regions.

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 by supporting staff skills development. 

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2017

In recent years, World Bank support for CDD has increasingly focused on creating national platforms to enhance service delivery and address poverty. Many programs that began as small stand-alone operations have gradually expanded to much wider, often national, coverage that have become part of formal decentralization strategies.

Afghanistan:  The Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project, launched in September 2016, aims to reach 8.5 million in its first phase, providing people access to a minimum service standards package that the government is committed to delivering to the citizens of Afghanistan.  The package includes basic services for water, roads, irrigation, electricity and monitoring of education and health services. The project works through a participatory community-driven development approach aimed at increasing citizen satisfaction and trust in government. It will aim also to better integrate internally displaced persons (IDPs), persons with disability, poor people, and women in community development, and includes a $10 million contingency line to accommodate returnees and IDPs. 

The project builds on the foundation of the National Solidarity Program (NSP)—the government’s principal community development program, which mobilized almost $2.05 billion in donor and government funding and worked through more than 35,000 community-elected Community Development Councils in all 34 provinces of the country to finance over 88,000 community-level infrastructure schemes in the areas of water supply and sanitation, rural roads, irrigation, power, health, and education. From 2003 to 2016, the NSP helped construct or rehabilitate almost 53,600 km in roads; provide access to improved water sources to more than 11.7 million people by constructing approximately 86,300 improved community water points; generate 32 MW of power; irrigate more than 524,000 hectares of land; and build almost 2,000 classrooms. These sub-projects have generated over 52 million days of paid short-term employment for the Afghan people.

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 since transferred responsibility and resources to more than 150,000 rural inhabitants in 656 highly vulnerable communities (30% beyond the target of 500 communities), and supported 769 sub-project to improve access to basic and productive infrastructure for rural households. To date, the project has increased road access for more than 15,000 people, and expanded or improved irrigation for more than 17,000 beneficiaries. In 2015, the government received a $60 million additional financing credit to expand and deepen the success of the project to reach an additional 200,000 beneficiaries.

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 and social services, and improved governance. Phase 2 of INDH (2011-2015) expanded the target population and geographic scope from 667 to 1,234 communities and from $1.2 billion to $2.1 billion over 5 years. The Bank supported the second phase of INDH through its first Program-for-Results operation, focusing on enhancing access and quality in service provision; strengthening participatory local governance and social accountability; enhancing economic inclusion; and supporting capacity and systems development. During the period 2005 to 2015, over 45,000 community-driven sub-projects were financed, providing more than 10 million beneficiaries with access to basic social and economic infrastructure services and training. The impact evaluation of INDH showed a 21% increase of the average income and 41% increase in household assets in targeted communes, as well as a significant decrease in multidimensional poverty and an improvement in living conditions.

Myanmar: The National CDD Program was the first World Bank project in Myanmar following the World Bank’s re-engagement with the country in 2012.. To date, the project has reached over three million beneficiaries, with over 4,700 sub-projects completed in 27 townships. Communities have built or rehabilitated more than 1,460 schools, constructed over 2,340 km of footpaths and access roads, and generated over 1,000,000 paid person-days of labor. The project plans to expand to a total of 47 townships, covering 8,800 villages and 5.2 million people.

Nigeria: The Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) has supported more than 350,000 community-managed micro projects and directly benefitted over 2.5 million people across 28 states. An impact evaluation of CSDP indicates that the project has contributed to reducing maternal and child mortality; increasing school enrolment and attendance; reducing the distance (and therefore the cost and time) of accessing water, health care services, and electricity; and increasing earnings from economic activities such as farming. Success has led some states and local governments to fully adopt the CDD approach and increase their local budget allocations to community-led activities. The World Bank approved an additional loan of $75 million to support expanded provision of basic welfare enhancing services to the communities and populations (especially the internally displaced) affected by the conflict in North-East Nigeria.

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 Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, and South Sudan), as well as in Afghanistan and Myanmar

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2017


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