State and Peacebuilding Fund (SPF)

Created in 2008, the State and Peacebuilding Trust Fund (SPF) is the World Bank Group’s (WBG) largest, global multi-donor trust fund established to finance innovative approaches to state and peace-building in regions affected by fragility, conflict and violence (FCV).

The SPF has emerged as the WBG's primary instrument for first response, innovation, and engagement in FCV-affected countries for three reasons:

  • First, the SPF is tremendously flexible in terms of where it can operate – all developing countries facing FCV challenges are eligible for funding regardless of geography, income level, or arrears status. The SPF can also operate in territories and non-members on a case-by-case basis.
  • Second, the SPF can mobilize financing very quickly – whenever prompt interventions are required to address FCV, the SPF is the emergency vehicle to deliver technical assistance, advisory services, or lay the groundwork for large-scale operations.
  • Third, the SPF can finance the full spectrum of country services – this includes innovations and pilot operations, cutting edge analytics, data and evidence collection, as well as seed funding for single-country multi-donor trust funds (MDTFs).

For all of these reasons--flexibility, speed, and scope—SPF is a versatile financing mechanism. Since its establishment in 2008, it has pursued two interrelated goals: statebuilding, which refers to improving governance and institutional performance in FCV-affected countries so as to boost resilience to internal and external stresses; and peacebuilding, which seeks to develop the socioeconomic conditions that foster peaceful, stable and sustainable development. As shown below, the current total SPF envelope since inception is $322.7 million. Between 2008 and 2018, the SPF has financed 180 grants and 8 transfers to single-country MDTFs in a total of 46 countries; 90 percent of available financing has been committed and disbursement is at 78 percent. Most of the grants are recipient-executed, although the SPF allows for Bank-executed projects. Contributions come from development partners and IBRD administrative budget, i.e. the Word Bank’s own resources.



Last Updated: Oct 25, 2018



In order to ensure coherence and sensitivity to the broader FCV agenda, the SPF is governed by a Steering Group which consists of WBG Senior Management and contributing development partners. It meets periodically to provide feedback on the SPF’s progress, as well as to ensure that resources are being channeled to initiatives that are relevant to the wider engagement of the international development community in FCV. The SPF Technical Advisory Committee is made up of representatives from the WBG’s Global Practices (GPs), Regions, and corporate units. Its role is to review and approve project proposals, integrate the SPF programming with regional WBG priorities, transfer operational knowledge across practices, and to suggest new initiatives that are in line with regional and sectoral priorities.

The SPF Secretariat operates from within the FCV Group in Washington, DC and the regional hub in Nairobi, Kenya. It manages the day-to-day operations of the Fund, preparing strategic directions for each year, providing advice to teams on how to make projects more agile, processing grants, as well as monitoring and evaluating the SPF portfolio on the basis of its results framework. The Secretariat promotes knowledge exchanges and peer-learning, and ensures the compatibility of the work program with broader FCV agenda of the WBG.


A Custom Grant-making Process

The grant processing steps has two distinct tracks, depending on the urgency of project proposals. Countries may find themselves in urgent need of assistance due to active conflict or because of capacity constraints due to FCV vulnerabilities. In such situations, projects financed under the SPF benefit from special treatment. Task teams may be authorized to prepare the project using accelerated procedures for grants under which (a) the normally sequential stages of identification, preparation, and appraisal may be consolidated; (b) the approval of the project may be taken after a single review of a complete project package; and (c) the turnaround times for certain steps are reduced. Similarly, some advisory services and analytical work supported by the SPF may follow a streamlined life cycle, with a simplified concept note (Activity Initiation Note) and no review meeting prior to the start of the activity.

This quicker turn-around may be decisive when windows of opportunities open for state and peacebuilding or in cases of emergencies. Recipients and task teams need to reflect in the design of the project the specifics of the country’s situation, along with the related constraints and risks, in order to ensure that the intervention adequately responds to the recipient’s needs and can reach its expected results efficiently. Regular projects can expect funds available within 10 business days and follow the regular approval track for WBG investment project financing. All SPF projects, emergency and regular tracks, benefit from the WBG’s policies, procedures and systems for technical and fiduciary review, quality control, and approval.

The Fund-level results represent areas where the SPF seeks to advance the WBG’s response to FCV challenges through promoting FCV-sensitive strategies, advancing partnerships, piloting new approaches to risk and results, catalytic support for institutions and capturing and disseminating knowledge from pilot initiatives. Select project-level results are presented below, and additional information on all SPF-supported activities is included in the Annual Reports.


Somalia Public Financial Management Capacity Strengthening Project

This project has been critical in the establishment of Somali public sector institutions and putting in place a working Public Financial Management (PFM) system. An early PFM Self-Assessment led to the formulation of a PFM reform strategy and action plan. It also helped the Federal Government of Somalia pilot its new Financial Management Information Systems, and establish a new Chart of Accounts. In addition, SPF assistance supported training of key government staff, and laid foundations for an expansion of the project.


Jordan: Delivering Legal Aid Services to Displaced Iraqis, Palestinians, and Poor Jordanians

This project provides a mechanism for poor and vulnerable persons, such as refugees, to understand and advocate for their basic social and economic rights and in so doing, gain access to other social benefits. Further, the project has helped create public awareness and improved case management systems at the SPF supported legal aid centers.


Somalia Private Sector Development Reengagement Program Phase II

The program set out to improve access to markets and generate employment in key productive and service sectors. In addition to boosting Somalia’s investment climate, developing public-private partnerships and value chain development, the program helped strengthen the banking and legal frameworks in accordance with international standards.


Thailand Expanding Community Approaches in Conflict Situations in the Three Southernmost Provinces

This project is developing effective approaches to local development in a middle-income country affected by subnational violence. By gaining knowledge, local understanding and building trust among authorities and stakeholders, the project is helping improve more accountable collection, management, and use of public resources. The project has spurred an increase in demand-side governance, engaging civil society and community efforts to improve state- society relations in a volatile environment. It has also improved policy formulation capacity among local and district governments.


Tunisia Participatory Service Delivery for Reintegration

The  project piloted participatory approaches to social service delivery and job creation through a cash-for-service program for vulnerable Tunisian households. The project contributed to fostering social cohesion and stabilization among disadvantaged populations following the country’s 2011 revolution, while also mitigating the socioeconomic risks faced by Tunisians fleeing civil strife in neighboring Libya. It also provided a basis for input to the country’s post-revolution Bank partnership strategy.


Abraham’s Path: Economic Development across Fragile Communities

The Abraham trekking path follows the historical footsteps of the religious figure across the Middle East. In the West Bank it is a popular tourist destination and a vital economic asset to shops, guesthouses, restaurants and other businesses in 53 often-rural communities. In partnership with Masar Ibrahim Al Khalil, a national NGO, the SPF is helping to develop and promote the Path as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and social cohesion. The project improves the lives of women and youth in particular, and offers tour guide certifications, hospitality training, and the creation of practical and promotional resources.


Central African Republic Local Connectivity Emergency Project

The project aims to support the peace process and the newly-elected government, connecting the rebel-controlled northeast with the rest of the country in order to boost economic development, ensure the return of state authority and provision of public services, and develop infrastructure. The intervention is implemented by UNOPS under a FPA.


Jordan and Lebanon- Mitigating the Socioeconomic Impact of Syrian Displacement

The SPF funded programs at the early stage of the refugee crisis to mitigate the most urgent service delivery needs and development priorities of municipal authorities. Through the maintenance of water and sanitation services, municipal authorities have been able to promote local development and social cohesion between host communities and authorities, and vis-à-vis refugee populations. SPF financing informed program design, co-financing and the expansion of project activities in both countries.


Addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo  

SPF financing for this project enabled the provision of basic services to nearly 4,000 GBV survivors. It allowed for the building of a referral system between community organizations and service providers as well as partnerships with community members who lead advocacy and community awareness sessions on GBV. The project also provided medical, legal, and psychosocial assistance to GBV survivors in 65 sites in South Kivu. It helped empower 28 community organizations to improve safety and well-being of women.


Zimbabwe Agricultural Inputs Project

SPF support came in response to a request from the government of Zimbabwe for support in improving food security for the most vulnerable farming households during a drought in 2010.The SPF response was a one-time intervention to alleviate the food crisis, and supported national efforts, while taking into consideration the fragile context in which it operated. Through the provision of nitrogen-based fertilizer to smallholder farmers, and in partnership with fourteen NGOs, the project managed to reach 138,500 beneficiaries in 20 districts.


Georgia: IDP Community Development Project

The project increased opportunities for IDPs in target communities to participate in community development activities. In 40 targeted communities a participatory process was undertaken to allow community members to collectively identify and prioritize their development needs. The project increased access for IDPs in target communities to basic infrastructure, services and livelihood opportunities. 47 infrastructure and service micro-projects were completed, all of which addressed development needs. Beneficiaries reported that 85% of micro-projects resulted in improvements in living conditions against community defined indicators of success.


Central America: Regional Citizen Security Knowledge Network

The grant has helped created a global knowledge platform that extends the reach of this project beyond the Northern Triangle (El Salvador - Guatemala - Honduras) to a global arena. The global knowledge platform has been integrated into the World Bank’s global architecture for violence prevention and is a key tool for increasing capacity building, data quality, stakeholder engagement, dissemination of evidence, rating of quality of evidence, and most importantly, strengthening of a global pool of professional, practitioners, and policy makers, interested in preventing youth violence.


Nepal: Program for Accountability in Nepal (PRAN)

The Program was jointly launched by the World Bank and the government in order to strengthen governance and social accountability (SAc) practices by enhancing the capacities of Nepali civil society organizations (CSOs) in using SAc tools and approaches. Through these initiatives, the program assisted Nepali citizens to have a greater voice in decision-making on PFM issues (particularly local budget planning, allocation and expenditure), Municipal Good Governance and Local Service Delivery.


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