The World Bank Group’s Governance and Anticorruption (GAC) Implementation Plan sets our actions to mainstream GAC at the country, sector, project, and global levels. At the heart of the Implementation Plan are country strategies that effectively and systematically address GAC impediments to development and poverty reduction. It is based on the principle that activities must be catered to individual country circumstances, and that engagement in even the most poorly governed countries seeks to not “make the poor pay twice.”
Dialogue with government and stakeholders on how GAC issues impinge on development would be significantly enhanced, and country teams would take every opportunity-Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) preparation, choice of projects, preparation and implementation, high-level official visits, analytic and advisory activities (AAA), engaging systematically with government, business, and civil society stakeholders, policy dialogue, and Consultative Groups-to deepen the understanding between the countries and the Bank of what can be done to support GAC improvements as part of the government’s overall development strategy, and to deepen WBG support. Implementation thus requires that WBG country teams address two distinct sets of challenges: (a) better incorporating the GAC dimensions of development into CASs, and (b) and implementing CASs so that GAC interventions support greater development effectiveness.
This country-level process proposed for strengthening World Bank Group engagement on governance and anticorruption-which we are labeling the ‘CGAC process’ for short-would inform the design and implementation of CASs in a fundamental way, based on consideration of several elements. In the first year of the implementation plan, the regions have selected 26 countries (NOTE: this link is available internally only) that will actively pursue measures to strengthening GAC throughout their programs.
a) Building on the significant knowledge of GAC issues that exist in the country and in the Bank, taking stock of and understanding the critical governance and corruption impediments-including those in the overall country environment- to the country’s development and poverty reduction goals;
b) working with government and a wide range of other stakeholders on a feasible strategy for addressing these GAC impediments, identifying potential entry points and areas of engagement, or ways to deepen this engagement in the many countries where the WBG is already successfully collaborating to support core and sectoral governance challenges;
c) elaborating the tools and instruments through which the WBG can help government enhance GAC reforms and address critical impediments to development;
d) assessing more systematically how governance and corruption affect the WBG’s projects and portfolio, and developing strategies to mitigate those risks;and
d) ensuring that the country team has the organizational capacity and resources to effectively deliver on the WBG’s contribution to an enhanced country-level engagement strategy on the GAC-development nexus.
The success of the Bank’s GAC mainstreaming agenda will depend on effective engagement at the country level, backed by partnerships and continuous learning across the networks and sectors. The initial emphasis of the GAC mainstreaming implementation agenda will be to work closely with this year’s group of 26 CGAC pilot countries, through joint workshops, peer-to-peer learning events, and clinics (NOTE: this link is available internally only) to support this process.