WASHINGTON, March 23, 2010 - The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank today approved a US$50 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to the Government of Ethiopia in support of improving the efficiency and responsiveness of public service delivery at federal, regional and local levels, empowering citizens to participate more effectively in their own development agenda and promoting good governance and accountability.
The additional financing is provided for the Public Sector Capacity Building Program Support Project (PSCAP), which is designed as an inter-governmental fiscal transfer for multisectoral capacity building at both federal and regional levels. Eighty percent (80%) of all finances are targeted to improving the capacity of government at regional and local levels.
Since its launch in 2004, PSCAP has registered some impressive results and made a significant contribution in improving the quality and efficiency of public service delivery through the six cross-cutting priority public sector reform Sub-Programs.
The Civil Service Reform Sub-Program initiated the business process re-engineering which has been instrumental in bringing about positive change across the public service and embedding a strong focus on effective and accountable public service delivery. This has led to significant reductions in processing time, the development of service standards and improvements in the overall quality of services. In addition, the Expenditure Management and Control component of this Sub-Program has made the financial reporting easy, timely, and reliable.
The District Level Decentralization Sub-Program contributed in promoting good governance and accountability at the lower levels of government. It was instrumental in establishing institutional focal points and the practice of participation. Public access to basic information such as budgets, audit reports, strategic plans, tax assessment and services has improved significantly.
The Urban Capacity Building Sub-Program established and strengthened the legal and policy framework and integrated the municipal governments in the larger legal and accountability framework of regional governments. It also made an impact in alleviating the serious shortage of qualified staff in the urban sector by establishing a center for urban management, including a Masters program at the Ethiopian Civil Service College. As a result, 400 students have graduated and are now putting their newly acquired skills to work at federal, regional and local levels.
The Nationwide Tax System Reform Sub-Program has increased the predictability and adequacy of financial resources for service delivery. Tax receipts by federal and regional revenue offices have almost doubled during the project period.
The Information and Communication Technology Sub-Program supported the establishment and strengthening of the woreda-net, which is becoming instrumental in tackling the problem of information exchange vertically and horizontally throughout the different levels of administrative structures, as well as providing a wide range of systems for use at regional and woreda levels. In addition, the establishment of over 80 Multi-Purpose Community Tele-Centers, and ongoing development of over 300 more, has contributed to empowering citizens to participate more effectively in matters affecting their development.
The Justice System Reform Sub-Program is using a wide range of information technology products to improve access, efficiency and transparency of the judiciary, and through doing so has improved their levels of efficiency to some of the highest on the continent.
“I am pleased that our contributions to the Government PSCAP program have achieved such success in the past and I am sure that our continuing close relationships within PSCAP, which include not just the federal ministries but every regional state, will ensure continued success in building the capacity of Government at all levels to meet the needs of the people of Ethiopia,” said Melvyn Blunt, the World Bank’s Task Team Leader for the project.
The project will continue to be implemented by the Ministry of Capacity Building coordinating the work of the regions and chartered cities and existing six federal sub-programs. The project is financed by a partnership of bilateral, multilateral and international development agencies including UK Aid, the Canadian International Development Agency, the European Union and Italy. The Government of Ethiopia is also a major funder of the project and is expected to contribute around 30% of the total cost.