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Economic and Sector Work

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The World Bank has committed itself to becoming a "global knowledge bank", using knowledge to improve the development effectiveness of its work. Two of the analytical and advisory ways the Bank provides knowledge to its client countries are economic and sector work (ESW) and nonlending technical assistance (TA). ESW and TA are an essential part of the Bank's engagement with its clients—it spent $910 million (26% of its spending on country services) on these products during fiscal 2000-06.

This evaluation assesses the extent to which the stated objectives of ESW and TA have been met. It also assesses whether the way ESW and TA are originated, partnership with clients in production, technical quality, and dissemination of these products influence the extent to which the stated objectives are met. 

Number and Cost of ESW and TA Delivered to Clients (US$000)

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Source: World Bank internal administrative database.
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Learn how ESW and TAs are influencing Bank strategy, government policies, the development community, building client capacity, stimulating public debate and facilitating knowledge exchange in select countries.More 

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checkmarkThe PER is one of the core diagnostic ESW products that was influential both within the Bank and directly in client countries (in informing government policy and building capacity)... MORE> 

xLimited government capacity and insufficient collaboration/partnership to garner government buy-in were the main reasons behind the lack of success for several ESW in the Democratic Republic of Congo ...  MORE> 










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arrow gray Evaluation Tools
arrow gray ESW and TA Types (pdf)
arrow gray Portfolio of World Bank ESW and TA, FY00-06 (pdf)

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arrow gray The technical quality of ESW and TA influenced their effectiveness.

arrow gray Close collaboration with clients, from task initiation through the formulation of recommendations, was important for ESW and TA to be effective, whether clients actually produced part of the task or not.

arrow gray Sustained follow-up after the completion of the tasks, rather than just dissemination, was important for effectiveness.

arrow gray Whether clients requested the tasks or not did not matter for their effectiveness, although tasks not requested by clients needed to be tailored to client needs and interests to be effective.

arrow grayThere is some evidence that ESW and TA were less effective in countries where government capacity was lower.

arrow gray Clients in MICs prefer nonlending to lending services, and clients in both MICs and LICs prefer TA to ESW.

blue_arrow.gif More on Findings 

arrow gray Reinvigorate the mandate—which underpinned the fiscal 1999 ESW reforms—for country teams to maintain a strong knowledge base on countries and sectors where the Bank is providing or planning to provide funds.

arrow gray  Ensure ESW tasks in IDA countries are adequately resourced (even if it means fewer ESW).

arrow gray Ensure substantive task team presence in country offices and include a clear strategy for ESW and TA dissmeniation and follow-up at the concept paper stage.

arrow gray Recognize and build on client preferences, whether for nonlending versus lending services or for TA versus ESW.

arrow gray Take the results tracking framework seriously, by incorporating systematic client feedback.

blue_arrow.gif More on Recommendations


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