Drawing on the World Bank Group’s convening power and multidisciplinary expertise, the Governance Practice provides financing, intellectual leadership, and a deep reservoir of global experience to help countries develop practical reforms to address complex governance challenges. The Governance Practice works with governments in five key areas:
1) Strengthening government’s capacity to act:
Many governments adopt good policies but often struggle with gaps in implementation that derail intended outcomes. The Governance Practice helps countries strengthen coordination and cooperation across and within branches of government, with the private sector and with citizens to improve policy implementation. Our work includes support for effective centers of government, decentralization of government, procurement, supreme audit institutions, and judicial reform.
2) Promoting effective resource management:
When funding is scarce, aligning financial and human resources is critical. Optimizing use of resources is key to making the investments in physical infrastructure and development of human capital that are vital to developing a population’s health, skills, knowledge, and productivity and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Yet, the countries that need revenues the most often face the steepest challenges in collecting taxes and effectively managing budgets. A sound tax revenue base, fair and efficient tax administration, an efficient budgeting system, and a capable civil service are essential for a government’s ability to deliver services and free up budget resources to support inclusive growth.
The Governance Practice offers its technical expertise to help countries mobilize domestic resources and improve how public money is managed and spent. The Practice advises government on budget and financial management issues, as well as on public administration reform. Openness and transparency are key to public accountability. Our work in information technology, e-procurement, data analytics and biometrics is transforming government’s capacity to effectively manage resources.
3) Enhancing delivery of public services:
The Governance Practice works across the World Bank to identify and alleviate obstacles to fair and reliable public service delivery. Aligned with the World Bank’s mission to help countries invest in people as part of the Human Capital Project, the Governance Practice is actively engaged in improving service delivery in sectors such as education, health and water. The Practice focuses on identifying and rectifying bottlenecks in budgeting, procurement, institutional capacity, openness, transparency, and citizen engagement to ensure services reach the poorest and most marginalized. We are working with clients to harness the power of big data, which is creating new tools for analyzing citizen feedback and engagement, and helping governments understand how they can become more adept at reaching citizens with what they need, when they need it.
4) Strengthening public-private engagement:
The Governance Practice supports public and private engagement by helping governments address risks that may prevent investors from entering a country. More effective systems for public investment management, better transparency and corporate governance of SOEs, strengthened regulatory frameworks and procurement processes free of capture, collusion, and corruption support an institutional environment that enables the private sector to fill gaps in infrastructure and services. These efforts contribute to the Bank’s efforts to Maximize Finance for Development, supporting a framework that will strengthen private sector confidence and help to catalyze private sector investment.
5) Understanding the forces affecting government:
Good policy design can’t guarantee effective policy implementation. The Governance Practice is working with regional counterparts to identify and to understand the underlying drivers of government performance. Drawing on the framework of the World Development Report 2017 on Governance and the Law, the Practice is working with country teams to understand how exclusion, capture, clientelism and corruption affect policy design and implementation. Policy drivers may relate to power asymmetries, openness, transparency and citizen engagement, which are rooted in factors such as trust and social cohesion, as well as capture and exclusion. Changing national or international norms and standards with respect to governance and policy preferences may also play a role.
The Bank continues to identify how these forces influence policy effectiveness as well as corruption. Advances in technology and information management create the potential for transformative impact though generation, exchange and analysis of information in pursuit of better governance.
Governance is central to IDA18
The “Governance and Institutions” Special Theme in IDA18 underscores the importance of governance in achieving development results on the ground. IDA18 commitments are catalyzing change through measurable policy actions.
Strengthened institutions and improved governance are especially critical for the world’s most vulnerable countries which borrow from IDA, the World Bank’s Fund for the poorest. These countries face a range of deeply rooted historical and systemic problems. More effective policy implementation, better management of resources, strengthened service delivery, openness and transparency can all help equip IDA countries engage more with citizens and help build and maintain trust. Reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity requires institutions that are effective in solving the problems of the past and also responding to changing needs. The World Bank’s response to these challenges are in 12 policy commitments under the Governance and Institutions Special Theme in the final IDA18 Replenishment package.
The Governance Practice has a loan portfolio of 104 projects totaling $7.5 billion, along with a diverse portfolio of advisory activities and grants. In addition, the Governance Practice collaborates with other global practices on 67 projects, and governance components are embedded in over 20 percent of the Bank’s active portfolio.
In FY19, the Governance Practice delivered 24 projects totaling $1.8 billion and 128 advisory and analytical services. It provided fiduciary (financial management and procurement) oversight in all Bank operations and over 40 percent of prior actions in development policy financing were governance related. In FY20, the GGP has 29 projects in the pipeline totaling $3.6 billion in commitments.
Last Updated: Aug 01, 2019