Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) are programs offered by the World Bank to its clients in middle and high-income countries. Unlike lending products, RAS is an instrument developed to deliver specific assistance to eligible clients requiring services that cannot be fully funded from the World Bank’s country program.
Under RAS programs, the World Bank works with countries at their request, providing technical advice, analytical services, and implementation support. The World Bank is then reimbursed for the costs of delivering these advisory services.
Reimbursable Advisory Services are flexible and easily adapted to meet country needs, and can take many forms, including the following:
- Policy advice
- Analytical and diagnostic work
- Donor aid coordination
- Impact evaluation
- Program implementation support
- Delivery of training
- Knowledge sharing and peer learning
Who is Eligible?
While the World Bank’s RAS clients are primarily middle and high-income countries, such engagement can be offered to the following types of clients:
- Governments and government institutions from among the World Bank’s member countries, including those that have graduated as borrowers from the World Bank
- Sub-national governments
- Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other not-for-profit private sector associations (such as chambers of commerce)
- Multilateral institutions, including development banks, regional organizations, and state-owned enterprises
- Commercial entities (though only within the context of training programs)
What are the Unique Qualities and Benefits?
RAS is a distinct financial instrument with specific qualities, uses, and benefits. Typically RAS arrangements are generated from client requests and are provided in addition to the World Bank’s regular work program. RAS engagements are regulated by separate legal agreements between the Bank and the recipient(s) of the services, and as the service provider, the World Bank reports directly to the client.
Quality. Since the World Bank’s establishment, quality in its advisory and analytical services has been the first priority. All Bank policies and quality assurance practices apply to RAS, including the Bank’s operational policies and safeguards.
Local Insight, Global Knowledge. Global best practices, cutting-edge knowledge products, and leading experts are what clients demand—and what the World Bank offers. The Bank, however, is uniquely positioned as a credit cooperative in which shareholders both own, and are clients of, the institution.
More than providing services, the Bank partners with clients in an expanded relationship beyond the standard contractual agreements that can be offered by the private sector. Because of this distinction, the Bank does not bid on advisory services but rather engages with client countries as a development partner.
Cost of RAS Engagements. For all clients, the costs of a RAS program are determined by using uniform pricing norms based on the estimated costs of delivering the specific RAS program.