A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

14 June 2000 | Briefings

“Development is about getting the macroeconomics right – yes; but is is also about building the roads, empowering the people, writing the laws, recognizing the women, eliminating the corruption, educating the girls, building the banking systems, protecting the environment, incoculating the children. Development is about putting all the component parts in place – together and in harmony.”

James Wolfensohn, The Other Crisis, October 6th 1998.

James Wolfensohn, World Bank President, in a speech at the 1998 Annual Meetings admitted that “too often we have focused too much on the economics, without sufficient understanding of the social, the political, the environmental, and the cultural aspects of society. We have not thought adequately about the overall structure that is required in a country to allow it to develop in an integrated fashion into the type of economy that is chosen by its people and its leadership.” And he called for a new approach to development based on a balanced economic and social programme. Later, in January 1999, Wolfensohn revealed his plans for this new approach – the Comprehensive Development Framework – which frames his agenda for the Bank.

The Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) is an attempt to address the shortcomings in the current development process. Wolfensohn recognises that there have been considerable problems with coordination of development activities and resources which has limited the impact of development initiatives; alienation of governments and people from the policy setting process has stalled reform; the focus on the macroeconomic economy is not sufficient to produce sustainable development; and the development process needs to be viewed with a long-term, output oriented perspective.

Wolfensohn’s new framework attempts to rectify these problems by:

  • considering macroeconomic reforms and structural and social reforms together and understanding that their success and impact are inter-related;
  • coordinating the efforts and resources of “development partners”;
  • encouraging government ownership of the agenda setting and reform process, in consultation with civil society, parliament and the private sector;
  • and framing reforms within a long-term (20 year) strategy.

The framework offers important steps forward. Putting it into practice will take considerable effort:

  • donors will be expected to loosen control of the policy agenda and become more cooperative in their relations with governments and each other. This will be particularly important for the Bank and the IMF;
  • governments will be required to be more inclusive and more transparent in their policy setting – drawing on the input of the wider government, civil society and the private sector;
  • civil society will have to strengthen itself to demonstrate accountability and ensure that it is able to adequately represent wide-ranging views and needs and deliver effective inputs into policy making processes. This will require considerable capacity building.

Elements of this framework are now being put into practice in several countries. In some cases it is being grafted on to existing initiatives being tried at the country level. Although it is early days, it is important to examine how the CDF is being taken forward – not to deter change but to emphasise where more effort will need to be applied. The following information has been compiled from discussions with staff in country teams and the CDF Secretariat, a report made to the Bank’s Board (Executive Directors’ Informal Meeting – June 28th 1999: Comprehensive Development Framework Presentations) and discussions with NGOs. The level of detail in each case reflects these responses.

Holistic Approach

“Perhaps we could speak of two sides of a coin, or two parts of a duet. What is key is that the two parts, namely macroeconomic aspects on the one side and the social, structural and human on the other, must be considered together.”

[emphasis added] James Wolfensohn, A Proposal for a Comprehensive Development Framework, January 1999.

“We cannot adopt a system in which the macroeconomic and financial is considered apart from the structural, social and human aspects, and vice versa. Integration of each of these subjects is imperative at the national level and among the global players…A wrong step on the macroeconomic side can have dire consequences for the structural, social and human dimension.”

[emphasis added] James Wolfensohn, January 1999.

One “new” element of the development framework outlined in a memo by James Wolfensohn in January 1999 is that the development process should be “holistic”. No longer should reforms be carried out in isolation, no longer should each donor develop its own country strategy with different aims and objectives without a clear understanding of how it contributes to the development process as a whole. Instead, the interlinkages between macroeconomic, structural and social reforms should be analysed to ensure they are all focused on the objective of poverty reduction and reinforce rather than impede each other.

The reality so far is that the “two parts of a duet” or “two sides of a balance sheet” remain just that – two parts, with no attempt to integrate and understand the interlinkages between the macroeconomic reforms (eg fiscal reforms, devaluation of the exchange rate), structural reforms (eg privatisation, trade liberalisation, removal of price controls) and social reforms (eg building primary schools and health units).

What is becoming clear is that for the Bank, “comprehensive” refers to understanding the interlinkages between the various aspects of its own programmes: not how these interact or are affected by macroeconomic reforms, “unlike macroeconomic analysis which brings everything together in a familiar consolidated form, we in the development field have been less successful in giving an accountable presentation of the status of structural work and social progress.” (Wolfensohn, 1999)

Thus, whilst the IMF continues to play in C Major the Bank is tuned in to A Flat. Harmony between the two remains elusive even if they both claim to be reading from the same music and playing the same tune.

Matrix: The Management Tool

“One of the reasons for developing such [a] comprehensive, holistic framework is to allow us to think more strategically about the sequencing of policies, programs, and projects and the pacing of reforms. While the comprehensive approach emphasizes that we must advance on all fronts, certain steps need to be taken before others.”

James Wolfensohn, January 1999.

“The matrix is open to all. Used correctly, it should stop much of the mud slinging and allow for legitimate and constructive praise and criticism – and above all, give a basis for evaluation and accountability.”

James Wolfensohn, January 1999.

The Bank’s proposed tool for exploring and detailing the interlinkages between the two parts, for encouraging cooperation and partnership, and improving transparency and monitoring is a matrix. The matrix is intended to provide summary information about the key sectors for reform and how the development “partners” (bilateral and multilateral donors, government, private sector and civil society) will contribute to achieving the goals in each area. This information should be supplemented with annexes for each subject area containing a substantive description and detailed listings of short and long-term goals, programmes, their present status, timing, cost and progress.

In practice, the matrices for Bolivia and the Dominican Republic have proven to be anything but comprehensive:

  • not all partners are included. For example the government, some bilateral donors, the IMF and civil society are not included;
  • there is a lack of detail of what projects and reforms the various “partners” are contributing to;
  • there is no discussion of the interlinkages between these reforms;
  • no supporting annexes have been made available;

The Bank is not clear how cross cutting issues such as gender, human rights, poverty and the environment will be incorporated. Nor how contradictions between different parts of the matrix will be dealt with. Moreover, the matrix divides the economy into sectors and key areas according to standard Bank analysis. This potentially reinforces the distinctions rather than dissolves them. For example, the Bolivian matrix addresses “natural resources and environment” within the “Opportunity” pillar, whilst “rural development” is considered in the “Equity” pillar of the national plan. Also, it is unlikely that it will incorporate analysis of global trends which may affect countries but which are beyond the capacity of the national governments to effectively address.

There has been disagreement between and within institutions as to whether the matrix should be regarded as a management tool (ie to coordinate partners and resources, allow donors to be more selective about which sectors to fund, and encourage greater transparency and monitoring) or as a strategic planning tool (ie to identify what the priorities of a development strategy should be, and to determine the appropriate sequencing and timing of reforms). Whilst most emphasis has been placed upon management, the two are not incompatible. However, in the Bolivian case, the capacity to do either is thwarted by the lack of information and analysis currently contained in the matrix. In effect, the framework may prove to be little more than a new way of presenting what development agencies are doing already, with some long-term targets added.


“Countries must be in the driver’s seat and set the course. They must determine goals and the phasing, timing and sequencing of programs.”

James Wolfensohn, January 1999.

A key feature of the CDF is that it aims to put the government and the country at the heart of development planning. The government, in consultation with civil society and others, is required to develop a national strategy to which donors will contribute. This is different to the current approach whereby each donor has its own country strategy, none of which are explicitly linked and coordinated. Another new feature is that donors’ short-term funding programmes (ie 3-5 years) should be embedded within a longer-term development agenda which identifies goals for 15-20 years ahead.

In practice, however, country ownership (which is broader than “government” ownership yet largely undefined, for example, how are competing interests resolved?) remains elusive. To take the example of Bolivia:

  • whilst the government in Bolivia can be said to “own” its national development strategy, NGOs do not regard the process in Bolivia as a model process and do not regard the national plan as a “country-owned” plan. Not only were they only given a few days notice before being consulted, only a couple of NGO networks were invited to participate;
  • the government is not leading the process of consulting with development partners. The Bank has taken the lead in consulting with NGOs in the areas in which it works. On the fourth pillar of the plan, in which the Bank is not involved, the government has had limited consultation with NGOs. This not only draws into question the Bank’s view of ownership it questions its commitment to a comprehensive strategy;
  • the mid-term consultative group meeting which was held in June 1999 was held in Paris, not the capital, La Paz. The official explanation for this was that higher ranking civil servants from donor countries would be more likely to attend a Paris meeting than a La Paz meeting. To ensure Bolivia got the maximum money available it was preferable to hold the meeting in Europe. However, this meant that civil society could not participate in the meetings; limiting transparency and openness. It also brings into question donors’ commitment to encouraging broad-based ownership; and
  • documents continue to be written and distributed in English.

It is not clear whether or how conditionality will change in light of the CDF, this is being debated at the moment. In Bolivia donors are experimenting with an outcomes oriented approach, ie conditionality is placed on outcomes rather than specific policy measures. This gives the government flexibility to determine how it will achieve these outcomes.

Whilst the Bank argues that the concept of ownership has been widely accepted by its senior management, in practice it is not clear how flexible the Bank will be about how it defines a “good economic environment” and therefore what sort of programme it is willing to contribute to. Bank staff insist that the institution will have to show more policy flexibility than it has done in the past, because if a programme is really country-owned it will put political pressure on the Bank to fund it even if it is not totally in line with the Bank’s economic viewpoint. A key consideration will be whether policies deliver the desired outcomes.

However, if the Bank remains the judge of both policies and outcomes there may be little change. Past experience has shown that the Bank is not able to accurately predict whether or not a policy will be effective, and macroeconomic projections are treated as a technical matter and have not been open for discussion. Also, discussions with country directors in the pilot countries have revealed that the Bank (and Fund) continues to use the RMSM-X computer model (Revised Minimum Standard Model-Extended) for drawing up its Country Assistance Strategies, which has been shown to systematically exclude social and environmental issues. (Millenium Institute)

Moreover, IDA resources will be allocated according to a country’s policy environment (Assessing Aid, World Bank 1998; World Bank 1999). Assessment of the policy environment is made by Bank staff with no input from the government or other donors, and assessments are not currently publicly available. Concern about achieving a good assessment to maintain good access to Bank resources may deter governments from veering away from the policy route set by the Bank.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers: Involving The IMF

During the Bank-Fund annual meetings it was announced that the Policy Framework Paper will be replaced with the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP). This will form the basis of Bank and Fund lending programmes (and presumably other donors too) in the poorest countries and should help to ensure coherence between the two. It is intended that the PRSP will be a mechanism for operationalising the CDF in these countries.

The essential features of the PRSP are that:

  • it is poverty focused; and
  • governments should take the lead in preparing it in consultation with civil society, parliament and the private sector.

The importance of the PRSP is that it ties the IMF into the CDF process. The IMF will remain focused on macroeconomic concerns but it will be required to consider the distributional consequences of its policy advice and work with governments to develop macroeconomic strategies that will help to achieve poverty reduction goals. The IMF is required to draw on the advice of the Bank to help it to do so.

Whilst the PRSP is intended to be a country-owned plan, it must be endorsed by the Bank and Fund Boards before it forms the basis for Bank and Fund programmes. It is not clear how flexible the IMF and Bank will be in endorsing home-grown programmes that do not reflect the Washington-consensus. As mentioned above, the Bank already has a set of criteria for allocating funds to IDA-countries, it does not appear that these will be reviewed before the next IDA-replenishment discussions. However, it is the IMF that is particularly important because its “seal of approval” is a gateway to all sources of money. It is unclear how the IMF will judge “country-owned” programmes (staff are currently drawing up guidelines based on macroeconomic and good governance criteria), nor how donors would respond if such a plan was rejected by the IMF. It can be anticipated that most governments will want to consult with the IMF early on in the PRSP process to ensure that its programme is acceptable to it. The degree of national ownership is therefore likely to reflect how flexibile the IMF can become.

Thus, whilst governments may have their hands on the steering wheel and civil society and the private sector can enjoy the ride from the back seat, the World Bank and IMF continue to navigate and keep hold of the maps.


“Crucial to the success will be open discussions with all participants to learn from their experience, to have them join in the experiment to the extent that they wish. We will be totally open and looking for full partnership. Without it, this program cannot work.”

James Wolfensohn, January 1999.

“Partnership” is also a key feature of the new framework. In the context of the CDF proposal, “partnership” refers to:

  • coordination and cooperation amongst donors and with the government; and
  • participation of civil society and the private sector in order to “ensure that resources will go where they are most needed” (Wolfensohn, 1999).

The reality is that most pilot country-governments are approaching the CDF as a means to improve relationships and coordination with donors. Relationships with their private sectors and civil societies remain secondary.

Civil society and private sector participation remains ad hoc and the Bank has no systematic strategy for engagement. Consultations with NGOs in Bolivia have been last minute and have not been open to all interested NGOs. Only one NGO outside La Paz was invited to the initial consultations, and one of the most prominent NGO networks in La Paz was not included. Moreover, NGOs have not been given official access to information and documentation on which to base their inputs. Where documents have been made available they have been written in english and received too late to allow effective consultation amongst members.

Whilst donor coordination may help harmonise analytical work and donors’ reporting requirements and procedures, some governments are concerned that it could lead to donors “ganging-up” to dictate more forcefully to governments. Already the approach has introduced greater selectivity. Whilst selectivity can improve resource allocation between sectors where donors “overlap”, it may actually lead to some countries receiving fewer resources if donors pull out of certain sectors because they regard them as being sufficiently financed by other donors. Because much aid money is fungible, cuts in spending in one sector leads to a general cut in resources available to the government unless the money is earmarked for other sectors.

The OECD‘s Development Assistance Committee is leading a process with the Bank and the UN agencies to produce a short paper setting out their common view. The paper will establish which institutions are responsible for which functions (a draft may be available for the 1999 WBIMF Autumn meetings). Whilst this may assist coordination it is doubtful that delineating clearly between responsibilities will be effective for encouraging a holistic approach. Recent discussions between the IMF and the Bank on cooperation have simply led to a restating of institutional responsibilities. They have not led to better integration of macroeconomic and other reforms.

More worryingly, there is concern amongst some of the regional development banks, in particular the Asian Development Bank (ADB), that the framework will be used to force other development institutions to toe the Washington line with the Bank leading the way in coordinating global development strategies. This will limit the potential for different regional strategies and force them into a common mould. Wolfensohn has recognised the potential for this and has tried to reassure that “the existence of the matrix is not a clandestine attempt on the part of the Bank to dominate the international development arena, or the donor dialogue in a given country”, (Wolfensohn, 1999). However, the US government has already used the CDF to try to push the ADB into signing a “memorandum of understanding” with the Bank which would define their respsective roles and to force the ADB to adopt similar conditions and policies.


Transparency is an essential feature of the CDF to allow effective monitoring and review of partners’ inputs. It is proposed that the matrix and its annexes will enhance transparency by detailing objectives, time scales, targets and the strategy for implementation and which institutions/partners are involved. The annexes should be regularly up-dated and the information available to all.

Experience in Bolivia does not augur well:

  • civil society groups were not informed that a matrix had been prepared for Bolivia until after James Wolfensohn had released his memo on the CDF proposal;
  • Bank and other documents were only belatedly circulated to NGOs and were not translated into Spanish;
  • the matrix stills lacks any detail and no annexes have been made available yet.

Whilst there is a presumption that IDA country assistance strategies will be released by the government (unless there is good reason not to), the policy on the release of IBRD CASs has not been finalised. IBRD borrowers may be given more discretion. It is also not clear whether other donors will release their country strategies, this decision will be up to each donor to make.

There is the potential that the Bank will hold governments responsible for transparency, thereby excusing itself. Already the Bretton Woods Project has been informed that information on aspects of CDF implementation should be sought from the relevant government rather than the Bank. This could make oversight of CDF implementation and the Bank’s claims for its effectiveness difficult.

“Unfortunately, we do not have the means to respond in writing to hundreds of requests for detailed information about each case. You should know that [an] increasing number of specific requests for information addressed to country directors are putting a burden on already stretched country departments. Furthermore, since the CDF pilots are owned and operated by the countries themselves, they are appropriately placed to respond in context to many of the detailed questions about CDF implementation. Granted, there are generic Bank-type questions where we should be able to direct you to the right contact point for answers, e.g. the Bank’s NGO information Center.”

Pablo Guerrero, Head of CDF Secretariat. Email to Bretton Woods Project, July 1999.

The Bank hopes that each country will make its matrix available on a national web site which donors, NGOs and other development partners will be able to contribute to and update. The Bank is not planning to make a link from its own web site to these national sites.

Pilot Countries

Bolivia; Cote d’ Ivoire; Dominican Republic; Ghana; Jordan; Kyrgyz Republic; Morocco; Romania; Uganda; Vietnam; West Bank and Gaza.

Eritrea and Ethiopia have not been formally dropped as pilot countries but the process has been stalled for many months due to the border dispute which has caused their Bank programmes to be delayed.

A review will be made for the annual meeting in Prague, 2000.

CDF Secretariat Staff

The Bank has set up a secretariat to coordinate work on the CDF headed by Pablo Guerrero. Other staff members are: John Mitchel and James Funna. They are responsible for steering the political course of the CDF with other donors and in the Bank. Three other staff members seconded from the Canadian and UK development agencies are expected to join the secretariat soon to work on policy and technical matters.

Pilot Country Update


Country director: Isabel Guerrero

Resident Representative: Deborah Bateman

NGO Representative: Rosa Maria Balcazar


The focus of the CDF is to better coordinate donors and to build partnerships towards a strategy that focuses on achieving poverty reduction as its central aim.


The Bolivian National Plan was developed in 1997 therefore the CDF framework is being put in place retrospectively.

NGOs were only invited by the government to contribute to the National Dialogue late in the process, which limited their ability to consult with their membership and effectively input into the strategy. Moreover, only a small number of NGOs were involved. Therefore, the plan is not regarded as “nationally” owned. Since then NGO involvement has been minimal. This is being addressed by the Bank which held consultations with civil society in February. Further consultations were planned prior to the Consultative Group meeting which was held in June.

The Matrix

According to the Bank it is no longer managing the matrix. The matrix “is now a living document” which is managed by the government-donor working groups in La Paz.

The matrix has been updated but still it fails to include even any summary information of NGO or private sector involvement in the development process. A lot of work has been done on the donor side. This showed a lot of overlap between projects and donors are now looking at how to rationalise them. Bolivian civil society organisations (CSOs) are now being consulted about the completion and updating of the matrix.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper

Bolivia will potentially be one of the first countries to produce a PRSP, at the moment there is a lack of a clear strategy for poverty eradication.

World Bank’s role

The latest CAS was agreed in 1998 and draws on the National Dialogue focusing on three of the four pillars in the Bolivian strategy: opportunity, equity, and institutionality. It pays particular attention to monitoring and evaluation, and proposes a set of core outcome benchmarks to judge effectiveness during implementation. The CAS is focused on poverty alleviation and private sector development and was jointly prepared with the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The Bank appears to be leading the CDF process in Bolivia although the government is involved in all four pillars of the national plan. It has formed teams to work on the 3 pillars of the National Dialogue which it is involved with: Opportunity, Equity, and Institutionality. These are engaging with NGOs and other development partners. However, there is no effort to engage NGOs in consultations on the 4th pillar, Dignity. Thus the rhetoric that the framework would be “comprehensive” is not borne out in practice.

Civil society participation

NGOs have formed working groups to engage with the Bank on 3 pillars of the national strategy – Opportunity (achieving sustainable economic growth), Equity (improving income distribution and inclusion), Institutionality (good governance). And NGO representatives have been designated as contact points to improve civil society-Bank consultation.

A number of civil society organisations have expressed concern that the organisations selected for consultations with the Bank in February were not representative of the diversity of civil society organizations in Bolivia, particularly their failure to represent indigenous groups. One NGO representative has commented that “my conclusion is that many things in the relationship State – CS –NGO need to be improved before a pilot project of the World Bank in Bolivia could be successfully implemented.”

Official documents have been distributed in English.

Donor coordination

A consultative group meeting was held at the end of June 1999 in Paris. According to the Bank, the meeting could not be held in Bolivia because several donors are not yet ready to attend local CGs. They would not be able to send high level representatives and this could affect the type of support received by Bolivia.

The documents for the meeting were released to the Bolivian NGOs, however, they were provided in English and the NGOs were not able to translate them in time to prepare an input for the CG.

The donors met to discuss how to monitor the effectiveness of their own programmes with an agreed set of indicators for each pillar. Donors have also formed working groups for each of the pillars.

Monitoring outcomes

It has now been established what outcomes should be monitored and how they will be monitored. The Bank has not yet analysed whether it has the programmes and projects in place to deliver these outcomes.

Cote d’ Ivoire

Country Director (resident): Shigeo Katsu

Country Programme Coordinator: Chantal Dejou

NGO Resident Representative: Jean-Michel Pavy, Zainab Mambo-Cisse


Several elements of the CDF are already in place. A 2025 development agenda, sector plans for health and education and a strategic plan for poverty reduction have been produced. Most of these documents have been discussed with a large part of civil society.

The Ministry of Planning has been mandated to direct the process.


Based on the development plan and sector and strategy documents the Bank has produced a first draft of a matrix. This has been discussed with the Ministries of Planning, Education, Health and Agriculture.

The revised matrix has been discussed with NGOs. Next it will be discussed with private sector representatives and other parts of civil society. Finally, in the light of these discussions, all participants will be brought together in a round table seminar to discuss a revised matrix. The Ministry of Planning will host a website to facilitate the dialogue.

Bank’s role

The Bank sees its role as facilitating building partnerships amongst stakeholders and to ensure they feel included in the process.

Donor coordination

The multilateral donors (WB, AfDB, EU and UN) are coordinating through the UN‘s Development Assistance Framework with a view to trying to formulate a common CAS.

Dominican Republic

Country Director: Orsalia Kalantzopoulos

Country Economist: John Panzer

Resident Representative: Marisela Montoliu Munoz


The purpose of the CDF process is to build national support around a development strategy and to ensure resources will be available to implement it.


A process will begin in July (for 4 months) – coordinated by Monsignor Agripino Núñez, head of the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (the Catholic University) – to develop a set of reforms for 5 key areas (identified by the Dominicans): reform of the social sectors; public sector management and governance; policies for economic efficiency (especially in agriculture); environmental policies; economic and social development of border areas. 15-20 delegates (identified by the coordinating secretariat), including political leaders from all parties, business leaders, union leaders and community leaders, will identify key topics within these sectors and formulate a strategy for their development. After which, there will be a wider consultation process to discuss the results.

[This process will not establish a national plan as such but is intended to build on several national plans which have been formulated by civil society, the government and the private sector in the last few years. Previously these plans have failed to be put into practice because of a lack of funds and capacity, and conflicts of interest. ]

The hope is that the strategy will be owned by all political parties, so that whoever is voted in as president in the elections in May 2000 will be committed to it.

Bank’s role

The bank sees its role as a facilitator of the process, eg offering advice, logistical support and providing grant funds to assist the working group for specialist consultants, organising seminars, publishing summary documents etc.

The Bank’s new Country Assistance Strategy for Dominican Republic will be discussed by the Board of Directors on July 6, 1999. It is based upon aspects of the earlier national plans. On funding for the forthcoming “national strategy”, the Bank suggested that any coherent plan is likely to be an improvement on current policies and therefore the it will be happier providing funds for the new plan than it is funding current policies.

If the education sector is focused on then an Adaptable programme loan (APL) is likely to be provided. If agriculture is focused on the Bank may take a sector investment programme approach.

Donor coordination

The Dominican Republic is an IBRD country so it does not have consultative group meetings. However, the process has already led to improved donor coordination with the government holding quarterly meetings with international institutions. The Bank has also been more “selective” about which sectors it provides funding to, for example, it has moved out of some sectors its was planning to be in because USAID or the IDB were already there.

There is no IMF programme in Dominican Republic because the economy is relatively stable and economic fundamentals are reasonably sound.


Country Director (resident): Peter Harrold

NGO Resident Representative: Kofi Marrah


The Ghana CDF pilot is focusing on bringing together Ghana’s partners in support of well-articulated sector programmes to implement Ghana’s long-term development vision. It aims to increase the impact of both external assistance and government resources in terms of poverty reduction.


The government has produce a national strategy, “Vision 2020”, which is a long-term, comprehensive vision for the development of the Ghanaian economy. This is based in part on a “National Economic Forum” in September 1997, which brought together civil society, the private sector, academics and researchers, the opposition, and government, to discuss a medium-term economic strategy for the country. The Bank has described this process as “reasonably consultative”. In addition, the government is developing sector strategies as part of a Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

World Bank’s role

Vision 2020 formed the basis for the current Ghana CAS.

The CDF is a natural extension to the Bank’s work already in progress in Ghana. In particular, the Bank collaborates closely with other UN bodies in Ghana through the United Nations Development Assistance Framework and the Common Country Assessment exercise. Under the latter scheme, the Government and its partners have begun to focus more on monitoring programs in terms of results rather than activities. At the moment there is just agreement on this no indicators have yet been developed. The sector groups will probably determine them. Monitoring will probably be done independently, this could be contracted out to academics.

The next CAS will be discussed by the Board in December 1999. SAPRI-Ghana is organising a programme of NGO/Civil Society consultations. They have established an organisation called Civisoc to facility civil society input into the process. The Bank has asked Civisoc to set the agenda for its consultation with civil society on the CAS before it is drafted. Its not yet known how the results of these consultations will fit into the CAS.

The CAS will draw upon the strategy document being prepared for the CG (the government’s CDF document). The approach that is being considered could entail the following:

  • The Government’s own strategy document (the main CG document) would be circulated to the Board, to reflect “Part I” of the CAS;
  • Bank staff would accompany this with a “Part II”, that would be, in effect, a Business Plan for the Bank Group, and which would outline how the Bank Group would be supporting the implementation of this strategy in the light of the activities of other partners. This document would also highlight not only points of convergence between the Government and the Bank, but any differences of view as well. When such differences existed, proposals would be made on ways and means to understand and bridge them. The standard CAS attachments and tables would be included with this document.

The WB and Ghanaian teams have been working on the development of CAS/CDF indicators which reflect the results of partners’ activities in terms of development impact. These will be honed over the coming months, and presented in more detail in the CG document and the CAS. In addition to the CAS indicators, the Bank is also developing – in collaboration with OED and PREM – some indicators for judging the success of the CDF process itself. These would be presented with the CAS, given their close overlap.

The last CAS for Ghana signalled a clear intention to move towards sector-wide approaches to lending (sector programs already exist for health, basic education and roads). The CDF reinforces this tendency. In FY00, programs will be presented for agricultural services, community water supply, and urban development. Some sector-wide programs will be proposed as APLs, when there is significant institution building concerned (agriculture, community water), while others will be proposed as sector investment programs (transport, health). The intentions in this regard will be spelled out clearly in the next CAS.

Civil society participation

NGOs have only been involved to a small extent so far. This reflects the Government’s focus on building government-donor partnerships.

Donor coordination

The next CG meeting will be held in Ghana on 23-24th November 1999 (the previous CG meeting was in 1997 in Paris). The Vice-President of Ghana will chair the meeting.

The CDF was launched at a Mini-CG meeting in February 1999. Mini-CGs are held in addition to the main CG meeting. They are quarterly and are held to follow up on key issues raised at the CG itself, brief participants on recent developments, and address partner coordination. Oversight of the CDF process will be through the Mini-CGs.

Examination of existing coordination arrangements in each sector revealed that some areas (health, roads and public finance) have good strategies and donors are well coordinated whilst there is no systematic coordination in other areas (urban development, energy, financial sector, private sector development). The mini-CG in April 1999 decided that coordinating groups should be formed where none existed and those that are not functioning well should be revived. These groups are open to partners who wish to attend, including NGOs and the private sector. 15 groups are under way.

An overview document is being prepared for the December CG meeting on the economic situation and the government’s development strategy, to which each partner group will contribute a sector strategy worked out with the government.


Country Director: Inder Sud

Jordan has not yet categorically decided as yet to become a pilot country for the CDF. In the meantime, the Bank has decided to go ahead and complete the latest CAS (to be presented to the Board in Autumn 1999), and delink the CDF from the CAS.

The Government may decide to prepare the CDF themselves with assistance from the World Bank staff as needed. The Government is currently preparing a medium-term Development Plan under the directions of a strategic steering committee which comprises government, business and NGO representatives.

The Kyrgyz Republic

Country Director: Kiyoshi Kodera

Principal Country Officer: Nancy Cooke

Resident Representative: Michael Rathnam

NGO Resident Representative: Dinara Djoldosheva


The goals are under discussion but they include building stronger and deeper partnerships within the country and with the international community in order to develop appropriate sustainable development strategies for the Republic over the near, medium and long term with a view to attracting more investment.

Donor coordination is another important aspect of the process.


The Kyrgyz Republic is in the very initial stages of discussion on the CDF process. The government is leading the initiative. It plans to formulate a new economic vision called Kyrgyz 2010 by next Spring.

The Bank held a local donor meeting in March to initiate the process. Since then, President Akaev has established a National Core Committee for the CDF, headed by the Prime Minister. Other Working Groups for non- governmental organizations, private sector representatives and parliamentarians are being formed. The State Committee for Foreign Investment, headed by Mr. Urkaly Isaev, is taking the lead role in overseeing planning and logistical arrangements.

The Bank held a meeting on June 9, 1999 in Washington with a Kyrgyz Delegation, headed by the Prime Minister, and attended by some representatives of the international financial organisations (ADB, EBRD, UNDP, WB) and bilateral donors. During the meeting government officials laid out a broad outline of its development programme up to 2010. The priorities identified in it are: continued implentation of the reform process; toughening up the fight against corruption; maintnance of eucation and public health spheres; and overcoming poverty and the consequences of the financial crisis.

A two day Workshop on the CDF is planned for 7-8th July in the capital Bishkek. It is expected that participants will include a broad spectrum of officials and key national stakeholders, including NGOs, private sector representatives, legislators and members of the international community. This Seminar is expected to focus on five thematic areas: macroeconomic stabilization and sustainable growth; the role of the state; the role of the private sector; poverty and social implications; and regional development. The government plans to establish sub-working groups among the partners to focus on key priority sector issues such as the social sector, rural development and energy.

World Bank’s role

The next CAS is slated for fiscal year 2001 and would cover fiscal years 2002-2004.

Donor coordination

Donor coordination and full participation will be a challenge since some of the major donors have little or no presence in the country.

The UNDP has a sustainable human development framework for Kyrgyz which should be assessed as the basis for the CDF.


Country Director: Christian Delvoie

Resident/NGO Representative: Olivier Godron


The government is concerned that while growth has been satisfactory, it has not been sufficient to alleviate unemployment problems. Therefore, it wants to develop a strategy to enhance growth performance to achieve its development objectives.


The CDF process is in its early stages. The government is engaging with civil society to develop a five year vision for development. A gender seminar organised by the Bank has led to a gender agenda prepared by NGOs and the government. Seminars have also been organised by the Bank on corruption (co-organised with NGOs) and education reform, and the government has held meetings with national and international labour unions. Other events are planned to discuss small and medium enterprise development, decentralisation and civil service reform. A large event will probably be organised to discuss the long-term vision for Morocco’s development.

The government’s planning process involves 14 or 15 commissions which are open to civil society. The process is now at a stage where a clear vision has been formulated and the Bank will now become involved. Bank discussions with the commissions will begin in September-October.


The Bank is preparing a series of sectoral matrices to support the government’s planning process for implementing its five-year plan.

Bank’s role

The Bank is concerned not to be seen to be leading the process in the light of internal criticism of the international community made by political representatives. Government wants to draw on Bank’s help to identify appropriate technical assistance.

Donor coordination

Morocco is not a CG country and donor coordination is not good because donors report to different ministries. The Bank is concerned that the government may be resistant to donor coordination for fears that this could lead to donors “ganging-up”.

A conference may be arranged for September or October for the government to outline its plan to donors and initiate a series of meetings with donors to develop strategic partnerships (rather than pledging sessions).


Country Director: Andrew Vorkink

Resident Representative: Francois Ettori

NGO Resident Representative: Dan Petrescu


The Romanian government approached the Bank to be a part of the initiative. Their motivation for doing so is to build consensus within Romania (a politically and culturally fragmented country) around a national development strategy which has a longer term focus. The Government hopes this will emerge from the consultation process.

Good partnerships among donors already exist, but the CDF process will help to ensure good donor cooperation, and to avoid duplication and fill gaps in assistance.


Romania is at an early stage in the CDF process. In May and June the Bank undertook an initial round of consultations, with over 500 leaders, including NGOs, union leaders, media executives, bankers, lawyers, accountants, business school students, parliamentarians and community leaders. These were held in Bucharest and outside.

The workshops sought to identify priority areas that need to be addressed to promote development in the country, to rank them, to weight them, and come up with a quantitative assessment of what the key priorities are. Also, to distinguish between short-term and longer-term actions and which partners should be involved in which areas.

Priority areas have been identified as: institutional reform for strengthening the rule of law; building partnerships within the private sector (developing trust amongst society); access to opportunity (health and education) and knowledge; EU accession.

The government intends to put together a team to communicate with the Bank on the CDF process and to take forward the initiative in Romania.


The Bank is not yet ready to fill in the CDF matrix, which will be largely based on the inputs received in the course of the consultations, as well as on further work to be done as an extension of them.

The Bank’s role

Bank’s role is taking a facilitation role, particularly assisting the consultation process.

The date of the next CAS is not firm yet, but at the earliest it will be next spring (perhaps later).

[A standby agreement is being negotiated with the IMF.]

Civil society participation

The Bank is “especially keen” to have NGOs and civil society more generally, involved. The Bank input from NGOs has been very valuable.


Country Director: James Adams

Resident Representative: Randolph Harris

NGO Resident Representative: Mary Bitekerezo Kasozi


The CDF initiative in Uganda will strengthen the development process by building on the foundations already in place: strong reform effort; strong focus on poverty reflected in the CAS; wide participation and consultation; and transparency. The focus of the CDF process will be government ownership of the development process through its leadership of the effort and broadening the involvement of other sector ministries as well as the Ministry of Finance. The government will take the lead in producing a strategy that will provide a more disciplined framework for Bank and other donor efforts. Poverty reduction will remain the key focus.

A subsidiary theme will be on increased partnership. This will involve discussing how the donors can more effectively deliver aid and how the government and donors can more effectively interact with civil society. The discussions on these issues remain at an early stage.


A matrix has been compiled which the government and the donors were also involved in. The matrix demonstrated that there is no selectivity and considerable overlap amongst programmes. Also that the Bank had been working better with the government and donors than with civil society.

The government has a poverty alleviation action plan which forms the core of its strategy supported by a medium term expenditure programme and a well functioning annual budget process. However, it has been agreed that it would be useful for the government to focus on one clear strategy document which could provide the framework for all the donor support to their programme.

Bank’s role

The Bank wants to build a broad understanding of the CDF concept in Uganda. The major push for proceeding with the process should come from within Uganda.

The 1997 CAS, which was participatory and focuses on poverty reduction, remains the foundation of the Bank’s work. While the CAS preceded the CDF discussion the Bank claims that it was fully consistent with the CDF concept that evolved.

The process of developing the next CAS is just beginning. The objective is to have the CAS begin with the Government’s development program and how the Bank plans to support that framework. The Bank hopes that other donors developing their strategies will take a similar approach. The country director met with the donors in July in Kampala on this issue. The Government is fully supportive of this effort.

Civil society participation

As soon as there is a clear understanding of the CDF and the Government has decided what it wants to proceed with, the Bank expects to engage NGOs more fully. This process maybe underway by the Autumn.

Donor coordination

The Bank is talking with some key donors about how to organise and manage joint assistance strategies and how to proceed with joint analytical work.

The Bank is holding a seminar on September 8 and 9 in Kampala to bring together all the recent analytic work on Uganda. Joe Stiglitz is to give the keynote address at this seminar and it will include a full discussion of the CDF. The aim of the meeting is to set the context for making decisions about how that work will be followed up across the donor community. Government, civil society and donors will be represented at this seminar.

The Bank gave a full briefing on the CDF at the December 1998 CG in Kampala and held an open meeting after the CG to discuss the CDF. NGO representatives were invited to the formal CG as observers (for the first time).


Country Director (resident): Andrew Steer

NGO Resident Representative: Tosca M Van Vijfeijken


The government supports the CDF process because it has become frustrated at the lack of impact of too many small aid programmes. Thus it sees the main purpose of the CDF to be a means to develop partnerships in order to better coordinate donors in support of a coherent strategy and therefore to use the resources available more strategically.


The process in Vietnam is proceeding in 4-stages:

1) build awareness and partnerships (largely with donors to coordinate aid strategies).

2) develop the matrix: setting long-term goals, examining situation now, steps to reach the goals and which partners should be involved. The Bank has set up in some of the key sectors (health, rural, infrastructure) working groups which include the government, NGOs and donors and a private sector forum to look at constraints facing the private sector. The next group to be established will be on finance and the Bank is discussing with the government establishing groups on governance and public administration and civil society.

The Bank has proposed that the UN Common Country Assessment process should guide the “CDF” process.

3) the next stage is setting priorities and exploiting synergies to operationalise the matrix.

The Bank is preparing a poverty report which will feed into this process and will be the focus of the next CG meeting. The Bank, ADB and OECF will also undertake a joint portfolio review in August. In 2000 the Bank hopes to prepare jointly with donors, the government and NGOs a major document “that will essentially look through all the prerequisites of development along the lines of the CDF.”

4) The fourth element is termed “building the knowledge pillar” led by the World Bank Institute. In the Autumn there are plans to organise a launch seminar to “bring together those who are interested in advancing knowledge in Vietnam and would also help to point the way to empowering the various government research institutes that will be central to the CDF implementation.”


NGOs and the private sector (both local and foreign investors) were invited as observers to the mid-term consultative group meeting in Haiphong in June 1999. A Vietnam Women’s Union and a farmers union participated. These are known as “mass organisations” and are not considered credible by some NGOs. NGO involvement may depend on location in the country. The Bank wants to encourage greater public discourse.

Representing international NGOs were Oxfam Great Britain, SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation, Save the Children Fund UK and the Nordic Assistance to Vietnam, these NGOs are involved in the Participatory Poverty Assessment (Action Aid-Vietnam is also invovled in the PPA). They will be invited to the next CG which is in December 1999.

A private sector investors forum was jointly organised by the IFC and the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce prior to the mid-term CG. Both foreign and local investors attended to discuss policy and institutional reforms, however, domestic business representatives were only given observer status. They have now pushed the government and the Bank to be included at the next meeting. Joint working groups were formed to carry on the dialogue in the areas of banking and legal reform.

Donor coordination

The last full consultative group meeting was in Paris in December 1998. The focus of this meeting was building partnerships. Decentralised donors are happier with the prospect of coordination than other more centralised donors, such as the EU. The Asian Development Bank is supportive of the approach. UNDP is worried about its role.

A mid-term CG was held in Haiphong in June 1999. The next CG will be in December in Hanoi. The focus will be poverty.

IMF involvement

Dennis De Tray (former World Bank Country Director for Indonesia) has recently been appointed as the IMF Resident Representative. At the moment there is no programme in Vietnam. The IMF is not concerned with stabilisation issues but it is concerned with structural issues, particularly State Owned Enterprises.

West Bank and Gaza

Country Director (resident): Joseph Saba

External Affairs: Nick Krafft

West Bank and Gaza is the real anomally amongst the pilot countries because there is no defined country or government.


The main aim is to reinforce cooperation with partners and to build sectoral plans. The short term focus is to get key sectors functioning. The long-term goals are to assist with establishing a functioning government and a supporting legal framework and to establish economic and social infrastructure.


Currently efforts are focusing on building a country matrix. Discussions are being held between the government, donors and civil society on plans for each sector. These are at different stages of completeness.

However, at this stage these efforts will not be focused within a national plan. Largely because its not clear what the nation state is and its not clear who controls resources eg such as water.

A written document on the process will be available by end-September.

World Bank’s role

The Bank’s efforts are not focused via a country assistance strategy. Funding for projects is received from the Trust Fund. The Bank team is seeking replenishment of the Trust Fund.

Civil society participation

NGOs are participating in many of the planning discussions, particularly to help identify where the gaps in policies and provision are.

The Bank has a project, funded by the Trust Fund to provide grant funds for NGO projects.

Donor coordination

About 50 donors are coordinated through the CG process. The last meeting was in February 1999 and the next will be in early 2000.

A smaller number of donors are also coordinated through the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (chaired by the Norwegian government). The AHLC will meet in the early Autumn 1999.