Japan Policy and Human Resources Development Fund

About the Program

The Japan Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund was the World Bank’s first programmatic trust fund, financed entirely by the Government of Japan to help boost the skills, know-how, and expertise of government institutions in developing countries so they can better address their key development challenges. The goal of PHRD is to provide developing countries with access to technical skills and global knowledge, allowing them to build human resources capacity to prepare programs and policies that promote economic growth and improve quality of life.

The PHRD fund continues to play a unique role in building the technical and institutional capacity needed to reduce poverty and grow the economies of grant-recipient developing countries. The heart of the PHRD is the effective partnership between the Government of Japan and the World Bank Group (WBG), which has yielded a collaborative approach and a strategy that allows for adaptability and flexibility as development needs change. This has enabled swift and dynamic programmatic adjustments so that PHRD remains relevant and results-focused—a tangible demonstration of Japan’s position on the world stage as the first-mover catalyst for pressing development issues.

The PHRD continues to maintain and strengthen its flexible approach to changing development challenges in agriculture and rural access to energy supply, monitoring and evaluation for better development results, Universal Health Coverage for all, and pandemic preparedness. PHRD’s outlook is consistent with the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the WBG’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Going forward, the PHRD aims to promote strong, sustainable, and inclusive economic growth through these priority programs.  Since its inception to FY21, the Government of Japan has contributed $3.56 billion to the PHRD fund in support of a portfolio of 4,500 operations that span more than 150 countries.

Structure and Governance:

The PHRD fund supports four main programs:

The PHRD Program Management and Administration Team in the World Bank’s Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi) is responsible for the management of three of the four programs (Technical Assistance Universal Health Coverage Program, the Japan-World Bank Partnership Program, and the Japan Staff Grant Program), as well as for overall fund management and administration, including transfers from PHRD to other trust funded programs. The Scholarship Program (JJ/WBGSP) is managed by the World Bank's Development Economic Vice Presidency (DEC).

Contribution to other World Bank Group Programs: 

The PHRD fund continues to be one of the largest trust fund programs  that supports innovative global and multilateral WBG-managed programs designed to respond to newly emerging development challenges and to collaborate in rapid response initiatives. PHRD’s assistance, in the form of transfers to such programs, consists of partnerships to promote participation, knowledge sharing, and resource mobilization at the global or cross-country level.

Through this platform, cumulative contributions from inception to end of FY20 amount to US$1.13 billion. Noteworthy contributions transferred to selected WBG Programs are outlined below:

PHRD Multilateral Contributions to Selected WBG Programs

Program Contribution To Date ($m)
Japan-WBG for Mainstreaming Disaster Risk Management in Developing Countries (GFDRR) $132.0
Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) $85.0
Pandemic Emergency Facility (PEF) $50.0
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) $49.18
Funding Japanese Nationals through the Donor Funded Staff Program (DFSP) $43.05
Tokyo Development Learning Center (TDLC) $35.0
Quality Infrastructure Investment Partnership (QIIP) $30.0
Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) $22.0
Global Infrastructure Facility (GIF) $15.0
Support to IAVI-Sendai Vector (SENDAI) $14.0
Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF) $12.7
Global Financing Facility in Support of Every Woman Every Child (GFF) $10.0
Health Emergency Preparedness and Response MDTF $100.0
TOTAL $597.93



Last Updated: May 26, 2022


The Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund continues to play a central role in enhancing the technical and institutional capacity of World Bank Group (WBG) member countries to tackle poverty and achieve economic growth. The PHRD fund has pushed the frontiers of knowledge to engage in challenging development issues. PHRD supported operations since inception have achieved significant results.

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Thirty Years of Development Impact - By the Numbers
  • Image

    Over 214 million beneficiaries reached

    farmers, pregnant and lactating women, crisis workers
  • Image

    Over 1.2 million jobs created

    small-scale farmers, animal husbandry
  • Image

    2.8 million children immunized

    received health and nutrition care
  • Image

    5.7 million doctor visits facilitated

    including 1 million first-time patients
  • Leveraging World Bank Group Investments Under Preparation - Selected Results

  • Image

    Project preparation grants totaling $943 million

    leveraged $100 billion of WBG financing
  • Image

    Project preparation grant-prepared projects contributed to the design of more than one-third of WBG-financed operations in 144 low and lower middle- income countries

  • Co-financing - Selected Results

  • Image

    4.1 million students benefitted from new and/or renovated schools

    with access to learning materials, updated infrastructure, and sanitation facilities
  • Image

    12 million birds and livestock vaccinated

  • Image

    35,462 kilometers of roads constructed or rehabilitated

  • Image

    3,132 health centers constructed or rehabilitated

    improving pre-and post-natal care, immunization, and nutrition interventions
  • Image

    9.6 million hectares of agricultural land upgraded

    via new farming technologies, improved seeds, better irrigation facilities, and upgraded farming skills
  • Climate Change Initiatives - Selected Results

  • Image

    $24.8 million in climate change initiatives leveraged

    $1.8 billion in WBG investments, significantly improving quality-at-entry and greater development impact
  • Image

    209 million tons of carbon sequestered

  • Image

    97,575 hectares of barren or de-forested land converted into agricultural or pastoral land

  • Image

    246,406 megawatts of renewable energy generated

  • Improving Africa's Productivity (TICAD IV and V) - Selected Results

  • Image

    389,000 hectares brought under improved farming technology

  • Image

    520,000 farmers adopted at least one new technology

  • Image

    20 new technologies introduced to enhance productivity

  • Image

    1,565 households adopted improved food processing and cooking techniques

  • Image

    5,581 women benefited from nutrition subprojects

  • Image

    Integrated 30-Year Anniversary Report Fiscal Years 2019-2020 PHRD Annual Report

    The PHRD has been a leading source of concessional finance for the preparation and implementation of WBG-financed operations. This report recognizes key accomplishments of the PHRD’s various programs in celebration of the 30-year anniversary. The development results presented in this anniversary report are extremely encouraging.
  • Image

    2018 PHRD Annual Report

    The Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund continues to play a central role in enhancing the technical and institutional capacity of World Bank Group (WBG) member countries to tackle poverty and achieve economic growth. The PHRD fund has pushed the frontiers of knowledge to engage in challenging development issues. PHRD fund-supported operations in the fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) portfolio have achieved significant results.
  • Image

    2017 PHRD Annual Report

    This year's Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund annual report details key results, achievements and implementation experience that reaffirm the fund's important role. The report also includes an overview of the entire PHRD portfolio performance. Fiscal year 2017 (FY17), July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017, was also notable for other PHRD accomplishments. Several PHRD-funded projects that closed in FY17 are having an impact beyond their original scope, as they influenced the design of future projects and development policies.
  • Image

    2016 PHRD Annual Report

    The Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund’s Technical Assistance framework demonstrates the forward-thinking and visionary approach of the Japanese Government, with its early emphasis on capacity building, partnerships, and climate resilience initiatives as critical aspect of sustainable development. Delivering integrated solutions to help client countries address their development challenges requires a focus on results.
  • Image

    2015 Annual Report

    The FY15 Annual Report provides a performance overview of the overall PHRD Fund portfolio, with focus on the PHRD Technical Assistance (TA) Program. In FY15 (June 30, 2015), the PHRD TA program continued to make positive contributions in increasing rice productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa project countries, improving the technical and organizational capacity in South and East Asia, and developing appropriate policies and addressing issues related to persons with disabilities.
  • Image

    2014 Annual Report

    The fiscal year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015) Annual Report provides a performance overview of the overall Policy and Human Resources Development (PHRD) fund portfolio, with focus on the PHRD Technical Assistance Program. In FY15 the PHRD Technical Assistance Program continued to make positive contributions in increasing rice productivity in Sub-Saharan Africa project countries, improving the technical and organizational capacity in South and East Asia, and developing appropriate policies and addressing issues related to persons with disabilities.
  • Other Publications

  • Image

    Light Manufacturing in Africa

    Targeted Policies to Enhance Private Investment and Create Jobs
    The World Bank's strategy for Africa's future recognizes the central importance of industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the consequent creation of productive jobs for Africans, which have long been a preoccupation of African leaders and policy makers. This book represents an attempt to address these issues. The book stresses that, while the recent turnaround in Africa's economic growth is encouraging, this growth must be accompanied by structural transformation to be sustainable and to create productive employment for its people.



  • What types of activities are eligible for funding under PHRD Program?

    The PHRD grants are organized into two types of programs: (1) PHRD Technical Assistance Program; finance investment activities that address demand-driven poverty reduction needs; and (2) Non-PHRD Technical Assistance Programs are for Japan’s partnership activities in education, research, environmental challenges and fragile and conflict-affected countries. There are three priority areas under the Technical Assistance Program organized in three windows: (i) Agriculture and Rural Access to Energy Supply under The Tokyo International Conference of African Development V (TICAD V) ; (ii) Universal Health Coverage (UHC); and (iii) Performance and Results with Improved Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME).
  • What are the specific objectives under each PHRD Technical Assistance Window?

    The objectives of Agriculture and Rural Access to Energy Supply Program are to: (i) build institutional capacity and knowledge base of small and marginal farmers in Africa to reduce vulnerability, deliver services and improve household food production and consumption; and (ii) increase the delivery of modern energy services in rural communities of fragile and conflict states in Africa. Within this framework, the grants focus on supporting investments and activities in the priority areas of nutrition-sensitive agriculture and rural energy. The Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Program is based on the principle that everyone should have access to required health services without any financial burden. The program supports: (i) Analytical and Advisory Services to help low- and middle-income countries develop and implement strategies and capacities to adopt, achieve and maintain UHC; and (ii) policy and technical assistance to promote UHC in prioritized countries. The objective of the Performance and Results with Improved Monitoring and Evaluation (PRIME) program is to ensure timely availability of quality data on key indicators to inform policy actions, evidence-based decision-making at the national and local levels and monitoring the progress of the targeted sector programs and projects. This objective is expected to be achieved by providing customized support to ministries of agriculture, health and urban development together with relevant ministries and/or municipal agencies to enhance their Monitoring and Evaluation (E) systems and capacity (while strengthening their ownership).
  • What Partnership Programs are under the PHRD non-Technical Assistance?

    There are two major non-Technical Assistance programs supported by the PHRD fund: (i) the Joint-Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJ-WBGSP) and (ii) the Japan World Bank Partnership Program. The JJ-WBGSP is managed by the Development Economics (DEC) unit within the World Bank. The program targets mid-career professionals working in development fields to study abroad for a maximum period of 24 months. The Japan-World Bank Partnership Program supports activities that build relationships between Japanese stakeholders and the World Bank on key development issues, stimulate public interest in Japan for international development issues, and strengthen aid coordination initiatives.
  • Who reviews and approves PHRD Proposals?

    The proposal package is processed in accordance with the regional procedures for Small Recipient-executed Trust Fund Grants. The Practice Manager clears the proposal package and the Country Director approves it for submission to the Donor. Once a proposal is submitted to the World Bank’s Development Finance Vice Presidency (DFi), it is reviewed by the PHRD Secretariat, which sends comments to the task team. The final package is sent to the Government of Japan for review and approval.
  • Can United Nations (UN) Agencies or other multilateral agencies be recipients or implementing agencies of a PHRD Grant?

    No. They may not be recipients or implementing agencies. However, UN Agencies may be hired, as subcontractors, in accordance with World Bank procurement guidelines to carry out grant activities. However, exceptions may be granted for UN agencies to be implementing agencies if it can be shown that no NGO can safely operate in the country.
  • Are there any activities that are not eligible for funding under the PHRD Program?

    PHRD will not finance land acquisition/land rights; purchase of motor vehicles; salaries (government or public entities); foreign training or study tours.
  • What procurement procedures should the PHRD Grants follow?

    Since PHRD grants are recipient-executed, the current Guidelines: Selection and Employment of Consultants by World Bank Borrowers (the Consultant Guidelines), and Procurement under IBRD Loans and IDA Credits (the Procurement Guidelines) apply.
  • Are there any reporting requirements?

    Yes. Since the PHRD is aligned with the World Bank Institutional IPF process, an implementation Support Report (ISR) and Progress Report are required every six months or at the end of every implementation support mission. An Implementation Completion Report (ICR) is due no later than 6 months after the closing of the project.

Peru - Mainstreaming Inclusive Design and Universal Mobility in Lima