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Bank Projects

Through a variety of lending instruments, client countries receive financial and technical assistance to decentralize fiscally, politically and administratively to subnational levels of government. In most cases, the goal is to improve service delivery and build capacity by devolving service delivery functions to the lowest level of government where the benefits lie, in turn making locally elected officials accountable and transparent to the people. Decentralization can not only lead to better local services, but may improve citizen participation, develop local capacity and increase revenue. In order to achieve effective decentralization, the World Bank will collaborate with central and local governments to develop an intergovernmental fiscal framework, appropriate to the country context.

The operations page of this website highlights the Bank’s major decentralization and subnational loans between 1991 and 2003. The portfolio is broken down by region with links to various project appraisal documents (PAD), implementation completion reports (ICR), President’s reports and other related materials. The PAD provides a rationale for the proposed investment operation and gives an assessment of the various aspects of the operation, flagging issues of concern to the Bank. The ICR is required for all lending operations and is one way in which the Bank supports knowledge sharing and accountability within Bank projects. The graph below depicts projects between 1997 and 2002 containing major decentralization components.

Number of Projects with Decentralization
Components in World Bank Lending
Fiscal Years 1997-2002

Source: The World Bank Business Warehouse database. Data from February 2003.