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

The World Bank recognizes that CLD approaches and actions are important elements of an effective poverty-reduction and sustainable development strategy. 

In many countries, CLD operations are the only mechanism available to reach remote and vulnerable groups in a timely, credible and responsive manner. They have a strong track record in moving funds quickly and flexibly in response to natural disasters such as typhoons or earthquakes, as well as to other crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. For instance, as a complement to household cash transfers, community-level (block) grants that are based on community emergency plans can be distributed to rural villages and urban neighborhoods since community groups often know best what the specific needs are in each community.  

The Bank has supported governments in designing, implementing, and evaluating CLD programs across a range of low to middle-income countries, including countries affected by fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV). 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, and in ways that enjoy broad community support and local legitimacy. 

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2023

The Next Generation of CLD


The World Bank

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


Additional Resources


Washington D.C.
Laura Ivers