Community-Driven Development Project in the Philippines

April 10, 2014

World Bank

Since 2002, a community-driven development project backed by the World Bank has benefited more than 1.6 million households in the Philippines through almost 6,000 projects providing new water systems, school buildings, day care centers, health stations, and post-harvest facilities among others. The Kapitbisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services Project (KALAHI-CIDSS) also empowered communities to participate in local governance and boosted their capacity to create, implement and manage poverty-fighting development projects.


Three-fourths of poor people in the Philippines live in rural areas. Despite considerable resources being allocated for local service delivery, many poor barangays (villages) have few opportunities to participate in deciding how and where resources are spent. Often people do not even know what money is being spent on. Empowering marginalized communities through community-driven development (CDD) approaches enables villagers to make their own decisions in identifying, developing, implementing, and monitoring development initiatives based on their priorities.


The project helps poor communities develop the necessary skills and provides them with resources to select, implement and sustain small-scale community infrastructure sub-projects such as small roads, footbridges, water supplies, school buildings, health clinics, community enterprise activities and others. It also gives poor people a voice in the development process by establishing clear guidelines for participation, accountability and transparency. Communities also learn how to engage their local governments more effectively mobilizing technical and financial assistance as well as support thathelp address local development priorities.


KALAHI-CIDSS has financed the completion of close to 6,000 projects worth US$265 million benefitting over 1.6 million households in the poorest municipalities and provinces in the Philippines since 2002. These projects include local infrastructure such as water systems, school buildings, day care centers and health stations, as well as roads and bridges.

The results of the impact evaluation revealed that household incomes of beneficiaries, as measured by consumption, rose significantly. On average, per capita consumption increased by about 12 percent as a result of the project. Access to basic services has also improved significantly in beneficiary barangays (villages). Specifically, there was 9-percentage point increase in the proportion of households within the beneficiary barangays with year-round accessibility than in the non-beneficiary barangays. 

In addition, community members were more willing to contribute resources to development activities that would benefit the community and community volunteers. Community volunteers were empowered to engage elected official through community assemblies. Meetings also shifted from being considered mere venues for reporting by local government to becoming fora for effective citizen participation. Studies have also shown the program to be effective in providing public infrastructure at lower costs than comparable public sector providers. 

" If we did not have KALAHI-CIDSS, a lot of the residents would have died because of Yolanda. "

Rogelio Labsan

former Barangay Captain of Barangay Mangorocoro in Ajuy, Iloilo

Bank Group Contribution

The World Bank contributed US$100 million for the Kalahi-CIDSS upon approval in 2002 and provided an additional financing of US$59.1 million in 2010 to expand the project's reach. On February 20, 2014, the World Bank approved a US$479 million loan to expand the project and respond promptly to eligible emergencies.


The Bank has been working with the government, particularly the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in the project's implementation. Other development partners have contributed significantly to the project's success, including the Japan Social Development Social Fund, which provided several grants to supplement resources for improving overall capacity of non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as empowering disadvantaged groups and communities to participate more effectively in project activities. Parallel financing also came from development partners including the Asian Development Bank,  and the governments of Japan, New Zealand, Spain, Australia and United States of America through the Millenium Challenge Corporation

Moving Forward

 The Philippine government has recently expanded KALAHIi-CIDSS into what is now called the National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP). Under this new project, more than eight million Filipinos in 477 poor rural municipalities and areas affected by Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda) are expected to have better access to social and economic infrastructure and services. The government expects that expanding Kalahi will significantly boost the country’s efforts to alleviate rural poverty while responding to the needs of survivors of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that hit the country in November 2013.

1.6 million
Number of households who benefited from almost 6,000 community-driven projects
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