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The Trust Fund for Environmentally & Socially Sustainable Development (TFESSD)


TFESSD is a multi-donor trust fund supported by Finland and Norway that provides grant resources for World Bank activities aimed at mainstreaming the environmental, social and poverty reducing dimensions of sustainable development into Bank work. It develops Bank and client country capacity, promotes inclusion of sustainable development issues into Bank operations, and fosters cooperation between different units in the World Bank and with external agencies and groups. Since inception in 1999, $134 million have been received in donor contributions, more than 500 analytical and technical assistance activities have been financed, and $116 million have been disbursed. In the last four years alone, new activities worth $50 million have been approved, with $30 million of this focused on climate change. TFESSD currently has 154 ongoing activities. Half the funding is earmarked to Sub-Saharan Africa. TFESSD will be phasing out its activities over the next 3-5 years in light of the success with which its goals have been achieved.

TFESSD activities are managed in four Windows which correspond to the four Sector Boards (Environment, Social Development, Poverty, and Social Protection) managing the fund. Activities in the Environment Window primarily support strategic environment work in the whole World Bank Group. Activities in the Social Development Window serve as a catalyst for mainstreaming the social development agenda into World Bank lending and advisory support to governments. Activities in the Poverty Window support the development of poverty reduction strategies, poverty analysis, and the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of poverty reduction. Activities in the Social Protection Window primarily support thematic and cross-cutting work on social protection, disability, and labor.

Funding is provided based on open calls and technical reviews of the proposals. The themes are changed annually in agreement between the Bank and the donors. The governance structure of TFESSD includes a Reference Group consisting of Finnish and Norwegian development experts that advise the donors on strategic directions and dialogue with the Bank on environmentally and socially sustainable development.

Starting in July, 2008, 38 new activities will focus on adaptation to climate change. These activities aim to broaden the Bank’s approach to climate change and development beyond environmental dimensions. They will bring into focus how climate change is affecting people and communities, how they are responding, and how interventions can help them adapt (list of activities attached here)

Check the Activities section for information on Annual Conferences and Minutes from the Semi-Annual Consultations with donors.

You can easily search for information about ongoing and completed activities in our Database of Activities.

Calls for Proposals are generally issued once a year. See the Calls for Proposals section to learn more about the procedures and to see lists of earlier approved proposals.

Although the funds are untied, it is expected that the TFESSD should increase the cooperation between the Bank and donor institutions. Refer to the section on Norwegian and Finnish Institutions to learn about development institutions in these two countries.

Reports to the donors are prepared once a year and may be found under the Reports section. The reports include summaries of ongoing and recently completed activities. A Governance Review completed in February, 2004 is also posted in the Reports section.

For further information, please contact Colum Garrity, Administrator at (202) 473-3516 or

What's New

Nov 29, 2011TFESSD Forum: Tanzania
Feb 16, 2011Staff Costs Now Eligible

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