• Community-Driven Development (CDD) programs operate on the principles of transparency, participation, accountability, and enhanced local capacity.

    Experience has shown that when given clear and transparent rules, access to information, and appropriate technical and financial support, poor women and men can effectively organize to identify community priorities and address local problems by working in partnership with local governments and other institutions to build small-scale infrastructure and deliver basic services.

    The World Bank recognizes that CDD approaches and actions are important elements of an effective poverty-reduction and sustainable development strategy. The Bank has supported governments in designing, implementing, and evaluating CDD programs across a range of low to middle-income countries, including countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. The programs respond to a variety of urgent needs including access to clean water, rural roads, school and health clinic construction, nutrition programs for mothers and infants, and support for micro-enterprises.  These programs have consistently shown an ability to deliver an increase in access to quality infrastructure and services in a cost-effective manner, in ways that have broad community support.

    Last Updated: Sep 17, 2018

  • Over the past decades, CDD approaches have been used by many national governments as a key operational strategy to address poverty and inequality. The approach of partnering with communities and local units of government, including putting resources under the direct control of community groups, has led to the efficient delivery of basic services, and, when sustained over time, measurable reductions in poverty, particularly among the poorest populations and communities. 

    As of fiscal year (FY) 2018, there are 199 active CDD projects in 78 countries totaling $19.7 billion (of which 65% are IDA or IDA/Blend). An additional $12.4 billion has been provided by borrowers and other donors.  CDD approaches are particularly prominent in conflict and fragile situations – CDD programs operate in 22 countries on the list of fragile and conflict-affected situations, and an additional seven countries with internally displaced populations, refugees, or conflict zones.

    CDD programs have evolved over time and have adapted to vast differences in local contexts, delivering tangible results on the ground in some of the most geographically remote and operationally hard-to-reach areas on the globe. 

    Moving forward, the World Bank is leveraging the opportunities that CDD approaches offer, including delivering increased engagement in situations of fragility, conflict, and violence, and deepening understanding and new approaches in the following key frontier areas:

    • Supporting local economic development. While the application of CDD to support public investments and services – such as roads, schools, and clinics – is a widely used and tested approach, supporting market-oriented investments and value chain opportunities has proven more challenging. Nonetheless, demand is high and growing, especially in middle-income countries and urban contexts, and further analysis is needed to distill the elements of – and conditions for – success of programs, particularly from the South Asia as well as Latin America and the Caribbean regions.
    • Operating in situations of fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV).  CDD programs have proved particularly effective in FCV situations.  A 2016 review by the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) found CDD approaches to be among the most frequent operational approach in the World Bank Group’s FCV portfolio.  This is linked, in part, to the ability of CDD programs to reach remote or insecure areas effectively and at scale, and their track record in delivering results quickly and in an inclusive manner.  The importance of inclusive service provision to prevent conflict was highlighted in the recent UN-World Bank flagship study Pathways for Peace, and additional work to operationalize the findings of this study through the CDD portfolio is planned for FY19.
    • Seizing opportunities for convergence with sector programs and with formal decentralization reforms. When operating well, CDD programs can offer an effective local development platform that can assist the targeting, cost efficiency, service quality, and overall accountability of sector programs. It can embed principles of transparency, accountability, and participation into the entire sub-national governance system, but this may require enabling environments and policy-level reforms, including fiscal decentralization.

    The World Bank is taking up these opportunities through targeted analytical work, technical assistance to flagship programs around the world, quality assurance support through information and knowledge exchange, and by supporting staff skills development.

    Last Updated: Sep 17, 2018

  • In recent years, World Bank support for CDD has increasingly focused on creating national platforms to enhance service delivery and address poverty. Many programs that began as small stand-alone operations have gradually expanded to much wider, often national, coverage that have become part of formal decentralization strategies.

    Afghanistan: The Citizens’ Charter Afghanistan Project aims to reach 10 million in its first phase, providing people access to basic services for water, roads, irrigation, electricity and monitoring of education and health services. The project works through a participatory community-driven development approach aimed at increasing citizen satisfaction and trust in government, and has reached 5.2 million beneficiaries.  Additional financing was approved to support an emergency response to the regional displacement crisis that Afghanistan is facing through the rapid influx of over one million expected returnees from Pakistan and other countries.

    The project builds on the foundation of the National Solidarity Program (NSP)—the government’s principal community development program, which mobilized almost $2.5 billion and worked through more than 35,000 community-elected Community Development Councils in all 34 provinces of the country to finance over 88,000 community-level infrastructure programs in the areas of water supply and sanitation, rural roads, irrigation, power, health, and education. From 2003 to 2016, the NSP helped construct or rehabilitate almost 53,600 kilometers in roads; provide access to improved water sources to more than 11.7 million people by constructing approximately 86,300 improved community water points, resulting in a 5% reduction of time households spent collecting water, especially women; generate 32 megawatts of power; irrigate more than 524,000 hectares of land; and build almost 2,000 classrooms. These vital rural infrastructure works have generated over 52 million days of paid short-term employment for the Afghan people. NSP’s independent impact evaluation found increased school attendance for girls, as well as improved access to education, healthcare, and counseling services for women.

    Bolivia: the $40 million Community Investment in Rural Areas Project has an overall goal to fight extreme rural poverty among small landholders, particularly indigenous populations. Starting in late 2011, the project has since transferred responsibility and resources to more than 189,007  rural inhabitants in 656 highly vulnerable communities (30% above the target of 500 communities), and supported 769 sub-projects to improve access to basic and productive infrastructure for rural households. To date, the project has increased road access for more than 16,456  people, and expanded or improved irrigation for more than 21,300  beneficiaries. In 2015, the government received a $60 million Additional Financing credit to expand and deepen the success of the project to reach an additional 200,000 beneficiaries.

    Morocco: the National Initiative for Human Development (INDH) was launched in 2005 to improve the living conditions of poor and vulnerable groups through enhanced economic opportunities, better access to basic and social services, and improved governance. Phase 2 of INDH (2011-2015) expanded the target population and geographic scope from 667 to 1,234 communities and from $1.2 billion to $2.1 billion over five years. The World Bank supported the second phase of INDH through its first Program-for-Results operation, focusing on enhancing access and quality in service provision; strengthening participatory local governance and social accountability; enhancing economic inclusion; and supporting capacity and systems development. From 2005 to 2015, over 45,000 community-driven sub-projects were financed, providing more than 10 million beneficiaries with access to basic social and economic infrastructure services and training. The impact evaluation of INDH showed a 21% increase of the average income and 41% increase in household assets in targeted communes, as well as a significant decrease in multidimensional poverty and an improvement in living conditions.

    Myanmar: The National CDD Program was the first World Bank project in Myanmar following the World Bank’s re-engagement with the country in 2012. To date, the project has reached over seven million beneficiaries, with over 18,000 sub-projects completed in 61 townships. Communities have built or rehabilitated more than 3,300 schools, constructed over 8,000 kilometers of footpaths and access roads, and generated over 6.4 million paid person-days of labor.

    Nigeria: The Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) supported more than 9,282  community-managed micro-projects and benefitted over 2.6 million people across 28 states. An impact evaluation of CSDP indicated reduced maternal and child mortality; increased school enrolment and attendance; reduced distance, cost and time of accessing water, healthcare services, and electricity; and increased earnings from farming. This led some states and local governments to adopt the CDD approach and increase local budget allocations to community-led activities. The World Bank approved an additional loan of $75 million to expand welfare provision and enhance services to communities, especially the internally displaced affected by the conflict in Northeast Nigeria.

    CDD has also proven useful in responding to conflict and fragility, and in post-disaster contexts, as it has shown to be fast, flexible, and effective at re-establishing basic services, including in insecure or inaccessible areas. In contexts affected by fragility, conflict or violence (FCV), the approach of partnering with communities in the provision of services and infrastructure has been highlighted as a critical strategy to conflict prevention in a 2018 joint UN-World Bank study on preventing violent conflict.  CDD has been used in several fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS) in the Africa region (for example, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, and South Sudan), as well as in Afghanistan, Myanmar and Solomon Islands

    Last Updated: Sep 17, 2018


VIDEO May 11, 2012

Community Monitoring


Susan Wong

Lead Social Development Specialist, Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice

Additional Resources


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