Products and Services

Financing Instruments

  • Investment Project Financing provides IBRD loan, IDA credit/grant and guarantee financing to governments for activities that create the physical/social infrastructure necessary to reduce poverty and create sustainable development.
  • Development Policy Financing provides IBRD loan, IDA credit/grant and guarantee budget support to governments or a political subdivision for a program of policy and institutional actions to help achieve sustainable, shared growth and poverty reduction.
  • Program-for-Results links disbursement of funds directly to the delivery of defined results, helping countries improve the design and implementation of their own development programs and achieve lasting results by strengthening institutions and building capacity. 
  • Trust funds and grants allow scaling up of activities, notably in fragile and crisis-affected situations; enable the Bank Group to provide support when our ability to lend is limited; provide immediate assistance in response to natural disasters and other emergencies; and pilot innovations that are later mainstreamed into our operations. 
  • Private sector options for financing, direct investment and guarantees are provided by MIGA and IFC. Guarantees can also be provided through World Bank (IBRD/IDA) for private sector projects.
  • Customized options and risk management
  • Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA) allows countries the flexibility to implement an approach to achieve development objectives in stages when: the  development challenge is complex; it would take a longer time to achieve the objectives; it would take a longer time to prepare one large project; the solution needs a broader and comprehensive approach; or when a stop-and-go approach is not feasible. Projects under an MPA program may be financed by Investment Project Financing; or Program-for-Results Financing, or their combination. 


Investment Project Financing (IPF) is used in all sectors, with a concentration in the infrastructure, human development, agriculture, and public administration sectors. IPF is focused on the medium to long-term (5 to 10 year horizon) and supports a wide range of activities including capital-intensive investments, agricultural development, service delivery, credit and grant delivery [including micro-credit], community-based development, and institution building.

Unlike commercial lending, Bank IPF not only supplies borrowing countries with needed financing but also serves as a vehicle for sustained, global knowledge transfer and technical assistance. This includes support to analytical and design work in the conceptual stages of project preparation, technical support and expertise (including in the areas of project management and fiduciary and environmental and social activities) during implementation, and institution building throughout the project.

Review and Reform - In 2013, the World Bank clarified processes, added more flexibility for borrowers, strengthened effectiveness and developmental impact. See this Briefing on Changes.  In 2017 the Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA) was developed and approved for use. See more on MPA.

IPF Resources                                               


Development Policy Financing (DPF) provides rapidly-disbursing financing to help a borrower address actual or anticipated development financing requirements. DPF aims to support the borrower in achieving sustainable, shared growth and poverty reduction through a program of policy and institutional actions, for example, strengthening public financial management, improving the investment climate, addressing bottlenecks to improve service delivery, and diversifying the economy. DPF supports such reforms through non-earmarked general budget financing that is subject to the borrower's own implementation processes and systems. The Bank's use of DPF in a country is determined in the context of the Country Partnership Framework (CPF).

The DPF Policy emphasizes country ownership and alignment, stakeholder consultation, donor coordination, and results, and requires a systematic treatment of fiduciary risks and of the potential environmental and distributional consequences of supported policies. DPF can be extended as loans, credits/grants, or guarantees. Funds are made available to the client based on:

  • maintenance of an adequate macroeconomic policy framework, as determined by the Bank with inputs from IMF assessments
  • satisfactory implementation of the overall reform program
  • completion of a set of critical policy and institutional actions agreed between the Bank and the client.

Development Policy Operations: Prior Actions 

Prior Actions are policy and institutional actions deemed critical to achieving the objectives of a program supported by a DPF operation. These present the legal terms defined in the loan agreement that have to be met for each operation before disbursement. A database of prior actions for all DPF operations since fiscal year 2005 is updated annually at the end of each fiscal year by the Operations Policy and Country Services Vice Presidency.

Reviews of Development Policy Financing Use

The 2015 review focused on how reforms supported by DPF contributed to equitable growth and poverty reduction, taking into account environmental, social and economic sustainability. Previous reviews were done in 2012 and 2009. A 2020 review is underway, focusing on how reforms supported by DPF contributed to crisis response, fiscal and debt sustainability frameworks and a private sector enabling policy environment.

DPF Resources  

Project Example

Disaster Risk Management DPF with Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Option (Cat DDO)





Multiphase Programmatic Approach (MPA) allows countries to structure a long, large, or complex engagement as a set of smaller linked operations (or phases), under one program. As a result of breaking down a single loan into phases, Bank clients can match borrowing more closely with financing needs, permitting more efficient use of financial resources for both the Bank and clients. This “adaptive approach” also strengthens the potential for crowding in other sources of capital to support development objectives.

Subsequent phases of MPA programs will be prepared as separate operations with rigorous adherence to all applicable World Bank policies with regard to management reviews, fiduciary assessments, environmental and social safeguards assessments, and timely public disclosures and consultation with affected people.

This approach also encourages more learning and adaptation, as subsequent phases will be informed by lessons learned in previous ones. This will help ensure operations are more responsive to changing country circumstances.

MPA Resources

First project using MPA

© Mohamad Al-Arief / World Bank
Madagascar - Improving Nutrition Outcomes  




Project Examples

Ethiopia Renewable Energy Guarantees Program




Sri Lanka Climate Resilience Program




Western Balkans Trade and Transport Regional Program

The World Bank undertakes analytical and advisory activities to inform country, regional and global development agenda in line with its commitment to the twin goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA) are non-lending activities that help external clients or audiences advance a development objective. The World Bank provides ASA to support design or implementation of better policies, strengthen institutions, build capacity, inform development strategies or operations, and contribute to the global development agenda. ASA outputs include analytical reports, policy notes, hands-on advice, and knowledge-sharing workshops or training programs. ASA related to private sector development at times are prepared jointly with IFC and MIGA.


Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) are ASA provided in response to a request from a noncommercial client, and paid for by the client under a legal agreement. In providing RAS, the Bank's purpose is to expand the options available to member countries of all income levels, including those that have graduated from the Bank. RAS clients can be central governments; subnational governments; state-owned enterprises; non-governmental and other not-for-profit organizations (such as chambers of commerce); and multilateral institutions, including development banks and regional organizations.


Last Updated: Oct 07, 2020