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Country Diagnostic Surveys

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Over the past decade improved public sector governance has emerged as a critical component in achieving the Work Bank’s mission of poverty alleviation. By improving government accountability WBI hopes to reduce the instances of bribery and coercion which constrain private sector growth and block citizen access to essential public services. With an emphasis on transparency, responsiveness, and participatory policy making WBI works with partners to improve public sector delivery of critical development services and to create the conditions for robust private sector growth.

At the same time practitioners and policy makers have increasingly sought to quantify the quality of governance – based on the age-old maxim that you can only manage what you can measure. The GAC Country Diagnostic Surveys are one of several WBI offerings which attempt to fill that need for WB clients. The diagnostic allows countries to map and measure critical public sector governance issues to feed into participatory, targeted reform planning.

WBI’s GAC Country Surveys complement the macro-level Worldwide Governance Indicators in that they operate at the micro or sub-national level and use information gathered from a country’s own citizens, business people and public sector workers to diagnose governance vulnerabilities and suggest concrete approaches for fighting corruption. The use of rigorous statistical methods generates a quantifiable baseline which can be used to set targets and hold leadership accountable for reform progress. 

In addition to a focus on concrete reform planning the diagnostic prioritizes local leadership and capacity building. All survey activity is client led and built around a process of multi-stakeholder engagement, joining government with civil society to oversee the development, execution, and dissemination of the survey work. WBI plays a supporting role, guiding the local team using a “learning-by-doing” technical assistance model to build capacity for country-managed monitoring. An emphasis on government-civil society cooperation provides the basis for politically sustainable reform and several countries have gone on to independently update and adapt the survey process for their evolving needs.

Ultimately the goal of the diagnostic is to improve the quality of public services by improving governance in personnel and resource management, access to services and citizen feedback mechanisms. The survey method allows us to (1) Unbundle corruption (administrative, state capture, bidding, theft of public resources, purchase of licenses) to see what the problem is (2) Identify weak and strong institutions to see where the problem is (3) Assess the costs of corruption to different stakeholders and (4) Identify concrete and measurable ways to reduce those costs through targeted reforms.

Countries with Diagnostic Surveys
 Benin
 Bolivia
 Brazil
 Burundi
 Colombia
 Ecuador
 Ghana
 Guatemala
 Guinea
 Haiti
 Honduras
 Kenya
 Madagascar
 Malawi
 Mozambique
 Paraguay
 Peru
 Sierra Leone
 Zambia


Final Reports for Selected Countries

Governance Capacity Building


Governance Diagnostics Brief (166 kb pdf)|En français (259 kb pdf)




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