STATCAP is a financing program which is designed to make investments in statistical capacity easier and more effective, approved by the Bank’s Board in March 2004. It is designed to be simple to initiate, plan and operate. Countries will obtain separate loans, credits, or grants (if the country’s IDA envelope consists of grants) to finance their national statistical capacity building projects, which will be appraised and prepared for approval (at regional Vice President level) following normal provisions for investment lending.
The cornerstone is the development of a comprehensive and integrated national action plan for statistical capacity building, a Statistical Master Plan (SMP), often linked to a National Strategy for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), prepared through consultation with both data providers and data users. Work to develop a NSDS and SMP may be financed through a grant from the Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB). The plan or strategy will identify strengths and weaknesses, and will contain components to improve:
Statistical policy and the regulatory and institutional framework: legislation safeguarding independence and confidentiality, and mechanisms for efficient management and coordination;
Statistical infrastructure: the business register, sampling frames, classifications, database structures and geographic information systems;
Statistical operations and procedures;
Human resource development;
Physical infrastructure and equipment.
A STATCAP project may concentrate on improvements in one or more particular sectors, or it may take a comprehensive approach, provided that they are developed within the framework of the SMP or NSDS. To support a long-term approach, countries may implement several linked projects, with the completion of the first serving as the trigger for the next, and with agreed mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation and appropriate indicators of success.
Preparation of project documentation, including the Project Appraisal Document (PAD) will normally be based on the content of the SMP. The SMP provides the rationale for the proposed investment, and essential background information, including a medium-term action plan with yearly budgeting, a road map, and a timetable. Procurement and financial management arrangements can be adapted from generic arrangements agreed within the program.