The program has been completed, though there are still a few active projects. Countries seeking large-scale project financing would now follow the World Bank guidelines and procedures for investment project financing operations.

STATCAP was approved as a multi-country Statistical Capacity Building Program designed to make it easier for clients to access regular World Bank financing for improving statistical capacity.

STATCAP was approved by the Board of Executive Directors in 2004, as a “horizontal” Adaptable Program Loan, or APL. It provided a framework for strengthening national statistical systems though a comprehensive approach, and streamlined processing procedures. The framework encouraged effective coordination, participation of other international and bilateral donors, and participation of national stakeholders, both in the public and private sectorsSTATCAP projects were prepared and appraised following regular provisions for investment lending, and financed either through IBRD or IDA as specific investment credits or loans.

Projects normally finance the implementation of National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS) or a similar comprehensive mid-term action plan (such plans are sometimes referred to as a Statistical Master Plan) . These strategies or plans normally include a detailed assessment of the national statistical system; a clear strategy for its further development with goals and targets for the medium term; and an action plan to put it into effect.

The criteria for use of the STATCAP program were:

  • The preparation of an NSDS or SMP;
  • National commitment and leadership to strengthen the national statistical system;
  • Willingness to comply with good statistical practice;
  • Participation in global development and monitoring activities;
  • Use of sustainable implementation arrangements.

Each project was based on a full assessment of a country’s needs and existing capacity, with the expectation that most STATCAP projects included actions to improve or strengthen:

  • Statistical policy and the regulatory and institutional framework: legislation safeguarding independence and confidentiality, mechanisms for efficient management and coordination;
  • Statistical infrastructure: the business register, sampling frames, classifications, database structures and geographic information systems;
  • Statistical operations and procedures; Human resources; and
  • Physical infrastructure and equipment.

STATCAP projects were typically implemented by a national statistical agency or other appropriate government body. They also provided benefits to a number of different agencies and financed a range of activities, including goods, services, civil works, and other costs.