A country's national development strategy is the document that defines its development goals. These goals are the natural starting point for international development organizations to determine the nature and scale of development assistance. The Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) is the Bank's "business plan" for supporting the authorities in delivering their goals. The Bank's best practice suggests that the most successful CASs are aligned behind national strategies and priorities, and are informed by extensive discussions with partner countries, donors, and civil society. CASs are a central tool with which Management and the Board review and guide the World Bank Group's country program and judge the impact of its work. The Bank's model for supporting country development positions the CAS as a part of a more complex, interactive process involving a broad array of stakeholders with results measured in terms of contribution to poverty reduction.
To be fully integrated into and supportive of the Bank's program, FM issues need to be reflected appropriately in the CAS. These FM issues are underpinned by a review of the overall objective of the Bank's support program and the planned level and nature of Bank resource transfers. FM issues that are typically covered in the CAS are:
- the Bank's proposed program of work to assist countries—in improving their PFM systems and corporate financial reporting—using the range of Bank instruments; and
- the fiduciary risk management strategy for the Bank-financed portfolio, based on an analysis of fiduciary issues and risks. The risks to the program and the use of Bank funds should be clearly identified together with suggested options to mitigate these risks.
Mainstreaming the use of the Country FM Strategy (or alternative planning tool) would significantly help in this regard.
Given the prominence of the Bank's Governance and Anti-corruption strategy (PDF, 1.49 Mb), Bank teams preparing CASs will be required to give explicit consideration, supported by improved diagnostic work, to:
governance shortcomings and corruption in the country
the potential risks that they may pose for development and Bank-funded operations
the adequacy of the government's program for addressing these problems, and
the way in which private sector engagement and domestic accountability mechanisms can be used to support and strengthen the program's implementation and governance outcomes.
Approaches to mainstreaming GAC issues into CAS products are being piloted using the C-GAC process.
For further information on FM in the CAS, contact Sanjay Vani (Svani@worldbank.org), tel: 202-458-4885)