Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) are customized advisory and analytic services offered by the World Bank to its member countries. RAS supports client countries to design or implement better policies, strengthen institutions, build capacity, inform development strategies or operations, and contribute to the global development agenda. This program of services is an important element of our engagement with middle and high-income countries, and is requested and paid by the client country using their own or third-party resources.
In Croatia’s case, as for most of the EU countries, the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are regularly used to finance RAS. Through these services the World Bank is able to provide global best practices, cutting-edge knowledge products and bring leading global experts to address these various challenges. In Croatia, the RAS program is focused on addressing institutional weaknesses that limit the effectiveness of the public sector, supporting capacity building efforts and improving utilization of EU resources.
Types of RAS activities: analytical, advisory, capacity development, reform support, technical assistance, and policy development.
Evolution of the RAS Portfolio in Croatia
At the request of the Croatian government, the World Bank launched its first RAS in Croatia in 2015 and have since supported the Government in implementing 8 RAS programs, with more than half of these launched since 2018.
One of the first RAS programs started with poverty mapping of Croatia to gain detailed evidence on the geographical distribution of poverty and social exclusion, to help inform policies to accordingly reduce the number of persons living at risk of poverty or social exclusion.
From 2015-2020, the Bank supported the Government in implementing selected actions derived from Croatia Country Partnership Strategies and the new five-year Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2019-24, and helped advance the country’s institutional improvements, improve the provision of public services to citizens and ensure better protection of the most vulnerable members of society. The ongoing RAS portfolio supports the implementation of strategies in priority sectors and improvements in key public administration functions.
The current program of RAS is focused on priority areas for Croatia’s EU convergence, such as improved strategic planning and budgeting, evidence-based policymaking, regional development, agriculture, public investments in science, technology and innovation, and circular economy and waste management. It also features a growing engagement to support Croatia’s lagging regions, such as Slavonia in Eastern Croatia.
Clients: Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, Ministry of Science, and Education, Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development (former Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts), Ministry of Agriculture.
|Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation||Growth and Jobs in Pannonian Croatia with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds – to support the government in maximizing the impact of EU Operational Program funds on economic development in Pannonian Croatia through support in design, and implementation, of reforms and operations under these Funds.|
|Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment||Support for Establishing the System for Strategic Planning and the Preparation of the National Development Strategy – Croatia 2030 advisory to the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds – to support the establishment of the strategic planning system and the preparation of the National Development Strategy (NDS) - Croatia 2030.|
Strategic Transformation in Agriculture and Rural Space – to increase the capacity of the Ministry of Agriculture for evidence-based strategic planning, implementation and monitoring support in formulation of rural and aquaculture development strategies.
|Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation||Public Expenditure Review in Science, Technology and Innovation with the Ministry of Science and Education - an assessment of the quality and coherence of policies on public spending in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).|
|Environment and Natural Resources||RAS Circular Economy Approaches in Solid Waste Management with the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development - to improve the waste management practices in Croatia and support Croatia in transitioning towards a circular economy.|
|Social Protection and Jobs||Supporting the Transition from Institutional to Community-Based Services for Children, Youth and Persons with Disabilities with the Ministry of Labor, Pension System, Family and Social Policy – to support Croatia in deinstitutionalizing children and persons with disabilities by advising on the preparation of social welfare institutions’ transformation plans and on the set-up of a national deinstitutionalization monitoring system.|
|Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation||Croatia Clusters Competitiveness and Global Value Chain Assessment with the former Ministry of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts - to strengthen the country’s competitiveness in selected priority thematic areas:|
Reports on “Assessment of GVC Positioning of the STPA”
Reports on “Strategic Segmentation”
Croatia Clusters and GVC Assessment (“Investment Plan Proposal”, “Action Plan to Strengthen the Position of Croatia in Selected GVCs (incl. a separate Part II document on Priorities and Special Short Term Measures)”, “FDI Strategy”, “Export Strategy”, “Territorial and Product-Branding Strategy”)
“Guidelines on Design and Management Model for AID”
Report on “Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of Cluster Initiatives”
Report on “Institutionalization of M&E”
|Poverty & Equity||Spatial Analysis of Poverty and Policies with Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, former Ministry of Social Policy and Youth, Croatian Bureau of Statistics – to develop Poverty Maps, a database on the geographical distribution of poverty and social exclusion, as well as the distribution of social services and infrastructure, to help inform policies to reduce poverty and social exclusion.|
|Education||Higher Education Finance Reforms - advisory to the former Ministry of Education, Science and Sport to maximize the quality and accessibility of the higher education system in Croatia.|