WASHINGTON, May 29, 2019 – On May 23, 2019, the World Bank approved a $50 million grant to support Mali’s efforts to implement the decentralization and institutional capacity development agenda in local governments. This grant is the central component of a $95 million financing to support Government’s efforts to decentralize and improve access to health and education services. Additional financing from other partners, such as France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, will complement this IDA* grant.
“Decentralization facilitates, among other things, democratization and local participation in the management of public affairs in priority sectors such as health and education. Trough the Deployment of State Resources for Better Service Delivery Project, the World Bank, along with other partners, support the Government with the allocation of financial resources and improvement of financial resource management in local governments and help strengthen local and national institutions,” states Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Country Director for Mali.
With the adoption in 2017 of the law on local governments, communes are now responsible for preschool education, basic and non-formal education, vocational training and apprenticeships, as well as health, public hygiene, and sanitation. However, a complex procedure is being used to transfer financial resources to service providers. This explains, in part, how the health and education sectors, which are decentralized in principle, remain largely organized as deconcentrated administrations.
“This project is based on a new financing model, which ties disbursement to performance in the education and health sectors. It will help boost resources made available to local governments for service delivery and strengthen the decentralized mechanisms, including by involving the beneficiaries and users of the services,” says Fabienne Mroczka, World Bank Task Team Leader.
As a result of this project, important improvements are anticipated in terms of enhancing the predictability and availability of resources allocated to local governments, public primary schools, and community health centers, as well as in terms of improving the performance and accountability of local governments.
“This project is critically important for the process of decentralization and deployment of government resources in Mali. Its transformative and scalable approach facilitates the goal of initially reaching 100 communes and close to 43% of the population and, eventually, all local governments. Moreover, the project will provide a platform for coordinating support from technical and financial partners for the decentralization process. It will also have a major impact on the establishment of e-government to minimize bureaucracy and facilitate citizen engagement,” affirms Alexandre Arrobbio, World Bank Practice Manager for Governance in West Africa.
The project will ultimately enhance people’s access to services in priority sectors such as health and education, as well as ensure more effective and inclusive local governance.
* The International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (known as “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost inclusive economic growth and reduce poverty. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about US$15 billion over the last three years, with about 50% of commitments going to Africa.