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Overlapping crises—from the war in Ukraine and the pandemic to climate change—affect governments' response in unprecedented ways. Citizens’ trust in public institutions continue to erode, and there is an urgency for renewing the current social contract in countries around the world. Public Sector Governance and Anticorruption continue to rank high among the most important development priorities. In this context, governments need to do more with less to meet increasing demands from citizens while removing obstacles for private sector development. To effectively address climate change and pandemic risks there is a need for a stronger, flexible, and more responsive civil service which can incorporate risk management and has access to contingencies in an emergency. The lessons from the COVID-19 response point to the need to adapt models of government operations, service delivery and interactions with citizens, which include GovTech options for modernization of services to citizens and businesses. These lessons will be important in tackling climate change and future pandemic risks.

The Governance Global Practice supports client countries to build capable, efficient, resilient, sustainable, inclusive, and accountable institutions. This is critical for returning to sustainable growth and is at the heart of the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. In doing this, the World Bank focuses its efforts on strengthening Public Finances, Public Administration, and Public Institutions. The ability of governments to effectively provide public goods, to support an environment that can generate jobs and growth, to address market failures and to engage citizens in the process is more important than ever. Countries with strong institutions are more resilient, are better able to facilitate private sector growth, reduce poverty, deliver valuable services, address climate change, earn the confidence of citizens, and ultimately avoid conflict and fragility.

The Governance and Institutions Cross-Cutting Issue (G&I CCI) in IDA20 support capable, inclusive, and accountable public administration. IDA20 G&I CCI builds on the strong progress made in IDA19 and IDA18’s “Governance and Institutions” Special Theme and deepens commitments that reinforce fiscal sustainability and accelerate digital governance to improve service delivery, statistical capacity, and institutional strengthening. More specially, the policy commitments support debt transparency and fiscal sustainability, domestic resource mobilization, GovTech, and the fight against illicit financial flows. These commitments serve both as enablers and cross-cutting foundations for IDA’s effective investments in a green, resilient, and inclusive recovery. The COVID-19 crisis exposed pre-existing weaknesses in the core governance systems of governments in IDA countries, as the experienced enormous strain to swiftly implement containment measures, respond to surging demands for health care services, vaccination campaigns, manage large-scale vaccination campaigns, deliver offsite/remote education services, and scale-up social protection programs. These weaknesses include uneven planning, regulatory and implementation capacity, as well as suboptimal structures for policy coordination at national and subnational levels. 

Last Updated: Jun 09, 2023


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What are the costs of corruption - youtube-placeholder
VIDEO Dec 21, 2022

Corruption, Capture and Fragile Contexts

For International Anticorruption Day this year, the World Bank is drew attention to the challenges, complexities, and consequences of corruption in fragile settings. The complexities of corruption and of fragility are huge and can interact with each other, but we hope that by unpacking some of the issues we can find some practical ways forward.

Governance in Action

In this episode of Governance in Action, Arturo Herrera, Global Director at the World Bank, discusses with Zahid Hasnain and Daniel Rogger of the Bureaucracy Lab a partnership that seeks to promote the use of evidence and technology in civil service reform



Additional Resources


Washington, D.C.
Lara Saade