WASHINGTON, April 30, 2020— The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today, a $100 million grant for the Malawi Governance to Enable Service Delivery Project with the objective of strengthening Local Authorities’ institutional performance, responsiveness to citizens, and management of resources for public service delivery.
Decentralizing the delivery of essential public services, such as health and education, is Government policy, and is known to improve their effectiveness and efficiency. As decentralization continues to deepen in Malawi, delivery will depend increasingly on Local Authorities as a tool for advancing sector aims through their systems.
“This project provides a systematic approach for the Government of Malawi to incentivize improvements in governance for basic service delivery, across multiple levels of government, while also deepening the Government’s social contract with citizens. The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of better governance for improved service delivery,” says Greg Toulmin, World Bank Country Manager for Malawi.
The project will introduce a Performance Based Grant (PBG) for Malawi’s 28 rural Local Authorities, which will provide these local governments the opportunity to significantly increase their access to development resources for public investments based on the achievement of results. This will be complemented by support to strengthen intergovernmental financing and accountability systems and targeted investments in capacity and skills. The project places citizen engagement and civil society partnerships front and center to promote trust and accountability. As a whole, the project will contribute to realization of the Government’s Decentralization Policy by building confidence in the ability of Local Authorities to deliver on their responsibilities.
“This project is an innovative approach to address historically persistent governance constraints by establishing a clear link between improved governance performance and service delivery results. It will strengthen accountability relationships between citizens and local government to ensure that increased resources are transformed into quality priority local development projects,” says Nicola Smithers, World Bank Governance Practice Manager.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.