Aid Effectiveness Showcase at the World Bank

In preparation for this year's 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4), in Busan, Republic of Korea, a World Bank Aid Effectiveness Showcase took place at the Bank's headquarters in Washington, DC in mid-October 2011. The Showcase shiined a light on the Bank's extensive work in this area, drawing on work from across the globe. The Showcase illustrated how different aid effectiveness principles -- including country-led aid management, and aid coordination, strengthening and using of country systems, and partnerships for development) -- are being implemented in practice. Learn more >>

Country ownership—when developing countries exercise leadership over their development policies and strategies and coordinate development actions—is the first priority of aid effectiveness. Lasting development results depend on country ownership and leadership in managing the development process.The World Bank’s country-driven business model supports country ownership and leadership of the development process. The Bank aligns its Country Assistance Strategies with the country’s own development priorities; provides demand-driven technical assistance that draws on the Bank’s global expertise; and embeds capacity development in all Bank projects and programs. At the country level, the Bank actively supports country-led aid coordination mechanisms, to help ensure that all development partner support is aligned with country priorities and supports linking aid management to broader resource management.

Country systems – for budget management, procurement, financial management, environmental and social safeguards, and results monitoring and measurement — are key elements of countries’ institutional capacities. For lasting development results, the Bank works to both strengthen and use these country systems, thereby helping countries build effective institutions and reach their long-term development goals. A primary focus of World Bank work is institutional development and improving the performance of partner country governments’ core management systems. The Bank engages in dialogue with countries to assess their systems and works with them to implement plans to address weaknesses. The Bank helps countries build more robust systems by providing targeted technical assistance (often together with other partners) while simultaneously and progressively using these systems, which ultimately improves the effectiveness of country institutions.

In all countries, public access to information—on development support, budgets, development data, and more—links funding to development results, facilitates the involvement of multiple stakeholders in the development process, and increases governments’ accountability to their citizenry. The World Bank Group has been actively working to make its operations and research more open, transparent and accountable. Pillars of this effort include the Open Data initiative, a range of reforms enabling free access to data that had previously only been available to paying subscribers; the Access to Information Policy, a ground-breaking change to how the Bank makes information about its projects, analytical and administrative activities and Board proceedings available to the public; and implementation of the International Aid Transparency Initiative, which makes information about aid spending easier to access, use and understand.

Partnerships — between public, private, and nongovernmental actors — are key to addressing global, regional and country-level development challenges. They help maximize synergies, avoid duplication, and leverage resources. While aid will remain vital to development in many countries, nongovernmental actors and private sources of finance are becoming more prominent, and middle-income countries are playing an increasing role. To further country and global development goals, the development community needs to embrace all forms of development cooperation and build and maintain partnerships beyond aid. The World Bank works with a diversity of actors — developing country governments, traditional donors, middle-income countries, the private sector, foundations, global funds and programs, members of parliament, civil society organizations, academics, and others — to partner at the country level and globally. The Bank also supports and learns from a diversity of approaches, such as South-South exchanges.

Country ownership is the Bank's first priority of aid effectiveness.

November 11, 2011 The World Bank is a champion of aid effectiveness. It has been a major player in the High Level Fora on Aid Effectiveness in Rome in 2003, Paris in 2005, Accra in 2008, and now the fourth forum in Busan, Korea being held at the end of November.

In the run up to Busan, the Bank put some of its best cases on display at the Aid Effectiveness Showcase, an interactive exhibit in the Main Complex in Washington, in mid-October.

The showcase featured examples around four key principles of aid effectiveness, which have been implemented over the past few years: country ownership, strengthening and using country systems, transparency for results, and partnerships.

The showcase illustrated how the Bank has helped to put these priorities into practice, at the country, corporate, and global levels, and with partners. Visitors to the showcase could also write on large blank displays what aid effectiveness means to them.

What did people say? Transparency; results; partnerships; elimination of corruption, and country ownership were some of the answers none of them entirely unexpected. One visitor had a more specific vision: Zero borrowing countries by 2080!

According to Barbara Lee, a manager for aid effectiveness, the Bank is a strong performer in implementing aid effectiveness. We've made a concerted effort to mainstream the agenda throughout the institution, explains Lee. I'm really pleased we had this opportunity to showcase what our staff has been doing to support aid effectiveness both in countries and in the global arena.

But we're not the only ones saying we're doing a great job.

The Aid Effectiveness Showcase featured best practices at the country, corporate and global level.

The Paris Declaration Survey, the key tool for monitoring international aid effectiveness, shows the Bank has performed better over timebetter than other development partners and has met most targets set, says Kyle Peters, director for Country Services.

So what were some of the country examples at the showcase? A new, more effective coordination architecture for development partners in Ethiopia; migrating project accounts to government systems in Armenia and Mongolia; improving transparency in the Dominican Republic through the Participatory Anticorruption Initiative; and partnering with CSOs in Indonesia to reach the marginalized.

Country ownership is the Bank's first priority of aid effectiveness. Our country-driven business model supports country ownership and leadership of the development process.

Country ownership, relying on the partner countries to be in the driver's seat and to create and develop better programs is key, says World Bank Managing Director, Sri Mulyani Indrawati. The Bank's focus on achieving better results, while leading on transparency, accountability, and strengthening global partnerships has, been critical to aid effectiveness agenda.

On the corporate side the showcase featured (among others) Access to Information and Open Data, both part of our broader modernization effort. The Showcase also featured the Bank's implementation of the International Aid Transparency Initiative.

Our corporate efforts toward openness have a huge effect beyond our walls. When the public has access to information—on aid money, budgets, development data and more—they are most involved in the development process and tend to hold their governments accountable.

First and foremost, the Bank believes in results. We believe in accountability, we believe in transparency, and we believe in openness, says World Bank Managing Director, Caroline Anstey. We believe that development outcomes, development effectiveness is better when the processes are transparent, when the results are clearly identified upstream and then reported on downstream, and when the whole process can be as open as possible.

What does aid effectiveness mean to you?

Also on display at the showcase were some of our major development partnerships, like the Cities Alliance, the Global Partnership for Education, the International Health Partnership, and the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative.

The Bank believes in the power of partnerships between public, private and non-governmental actors as a way to address development challenges. Partnerships help avoid duplication, maximize synergies, and leverage resources.

Moving forward, the Bank wants to embrace all forms of development cooperation and build and maintain partnerships beyond aid, says World Bank Vice President Joachim von Amsberg. We have to better leverage our limited resources by, for example, encouraging a greater role for the private sector and private investment for better development outcomes, working with private foundations, and working together with some of the middle-income countries that have become strong partners of development today.·