Advocating for Deeper Partnerships between Civil Society Organizations and IDA grants to the Poorest Countries

PTF Calls on IDA21 To Expand Partnerships with Local CSOs to Do Better at the Country Level

The full report, the 10 recommendations, and the 2 page summary can be found here.

April 17, 2024: PTF representatives attended the roundtable discussions among CSOs, the International Development Association, and the World Bank Board on April 17, 2024, during the World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC, and called for an action plan and funding for the expansion of partnerships with local civil society organizations (CSOs) as an integral part of a bigger and better IDA21.

Dr. Vinay Bhargava, PTF Chief Technical Adviser, said: PTF supports a bigger and better IDA21, and the commitment to deepen partnership with civil society as part of the new Playbook. This statement of intent needs to be followed up by a detailed framework and action plan for deeper partnerships with civil society in IDA21. Such an action plan should be included as part of the IDA21 Strategic Directions paper and draw on the World Bank’s extensive experience with civil society engagement as well as the studies and recommendations by PTF and other CSOs”.

According to the PTF report, Partnering with Civil Society for Citizen-Driven Country Engagement, Delivery, and Accountability in IDA- and IBRD-Financed Operations would enhance development effectiveness and accountability in Bank-supported operations, strengthen country-ownership, and promote open government. The PTF report makes ten recommendations for how the Bank can more closely involve local civil society in its work at the country level, beyond consultations.

PTF recommends three areas for expanded partnerships with local CSOs:

  1. Expand partnerships with CSOs to monitor implementation and results, improve project outcomes, and help detect and prevent waste, fraud, and corruption. This would increase the efficiency and responsiveness of public expenditures in the investment project and budget support financing by the Bank.
  2. Proactively promote the use of CSOs during implementation (especially in fragile, conflict, and violent situations) to deliver faster and better results than can be achieved by governments acting alone.
  3. Increase the use and effectiveness of multistakeholder platforms (MSPs) started under IDA19, and support the creation of local CSO knowledge content and its use in MSP dialogues, in line with the Knowledge Compact and locally-led development goals under the Evolution Roadmap.

Funding for partnerships with local CSOs would be essential. PTF recommends that the Bank mobilize a consequential amount of money to deepen partnerships with local CSOs, with initial emphasis on IDA-eligible countries. Specifically, PTF proposes the establishment of a financing facility of at least $65-70 million a year (about $200 million for the three years of IDA21) to fund local CSOs in IDA-eligible countries; a tiny amount relative to the proposed IDA21 financing package. This very small financial outlay could have significant social and economic benefits and help counter corruption in the use of IDA and IBRD funds.

PTF calls upon the IDA Deputies, the World Bank’s management, and the Bank’s Executive Board of Directors to approve an ambitious action plan and financing for deeper partnerships with civil society as part of the IDA21 policy and financing package within the context of a “better Bank”.

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Read More: Attaining Ajay Banga’s New Bank Vision – Mainstreaming Partnerships with Civil Society, by Vinay Bhargava and Frank Vogl

Background: Time for New Partnerships With Civil Society for the World Bank’s International Development Association