On November 30, the CDD Global Solutions Group hosted a BBL featuring Benjamin Burckhart, a senior social development specialist at the World Bank based in Yaoundé, Cameroon. He and his colleagues Nicolas Perrin and Abel Bove shared their experience leading the Community Development Program Support Project (PDNP, in French), which began in 2004.

 

The project’s objective is to strengthen local public finance management and participatory development processes in communes (districts) to deliver sustainable social and economic infrastructure as part of the government’s decentralization efforts. In the project, communes receive small amounts of funding, and local leaders identify community needs through a participatory planning process. The project utilizes a range of feedback mechanisms, including scorecards and hotlines; it also includes performance-based grants to highly rated villages.

 

Highlights from the discussion included:

 

  • PDNP was launched in 2004 in just 151 communes. Today, the project has expanded to all 360 communes in the country, supporting almost 4,000 microprojects. It focuses on regions affected by the presence of refugees, and will work in collaboration with the IDA FY18 funding window targeting refugee assistance.
  • Benjamin and his colleagues have worked to mainstream and institutionalize citizen engagement in the project. They noted that citizen engagement (CE) and CDD elements are often simultaneously present in project implementation, but are sometimes treated separately.
  • In terms of sustainability, they discussed the possibility of PNDP transitioning to a state agency. Within this government structure, it can house the database of the locally collected feedback information, and make it publicly available. In this way, it can foster inclusivity and accountability within the larger decentralization processes.

  

We thank Ben, Nicolas, and Abel again for the opportunity to discuss their citizen engagement approaches in this context.

 

The presentation is attached; the link to the video is here: https://worldbankgroup.sharepoint.com/portals/hub/_layouts/15/PointPublishing.aspx?app=video&p=p&chid=26a6dca1-c93b-4e51…

 

If you have any questions about this or future events, please do not hesitate to contact us at cddgsg@worldbank.org.

 

On November 9, 2017, the CDD Global Solutions Group and the Rural Livelihoods & Agriculture Employment Global Solutions Group hosted representatives from TechnoServe, an organization that seeks to harness the power of the private sector to reduce poverty. TechnoServe, which has worked on several World Bank projects around the world, presented its work on developing a market-led approach and strengthening value chains. Jonathan Barnow of TechnoServe, who oversees their corporate partnerships and strategic initiatives, led the discussion.

 

Highlights from the discussion include:

 

    • TechnoServe addresses the challenges of poverty at the community level by linking poor farmers to markets via supply chains at scale and building local capacity. At the same time, it creates partnerships with large multinational organizations and donor organizations for a multiplicity of models in its efforts. It acts as a management consulting for small enterprises.

 

    • TechnoServe operates in 30 countries across Latin America, Africa, and India, with more than 600,000 businesses in agricultural industries. TechnoServe has worked with the WB in a host of different countries including Benin, India, and Mozambique, to develop markets in areas like cacao, coffee, and cashew.

 

You may find a link to the video here:

https://worldbankgroup.webex.com/worldbankgroup/ldr.php?RCID=3ce623a5da064da4343a1b2493e0908c

 

The video goes into greater depth about the types of work TechnoServe does and its approach to building partnerships between governments, local and international businesses, and poor communities.

 

We thank TechnoServe again for the opportunity to discuss its market-based approach to development.

 

If you have any questions about this or future events, please do not hesitate to contact us at cddgsg@worldbank.org.

 

Best,

 

CDD Secretariat

 

The conflict in eastern Ukraine, now in its fourth year, has killed over 10,000 people, displaced 2.7 million, and directly affected over 4 million people. Besides the human cost, the conflict has stunted economic development in the country and contributed to loss of jobs, reduced service delivery, and overtaxed social protection systems. The crisis has resulted in calls for a cohesive, coordinated, and sequenced approach that bridges the continuum between humanitarian response and economic recovery and development and provides effective solutions to address the socio-economic impacts of displacement for internally displaced persons (IDPs), veterans, and host communities.

 

In light of this conflict, the Ukrainian government established the Ministry for Temporary Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, led by Vadym Chernysh, to develop policy and coordinate implementation of a range of humanitarian, peacebuilding, and recovery initiatives geared towards strengthening the potential for domestic conflict resolution, sustaining peace and development, and improving the resilience of host communities and integration of IDPs and veterans.

 

On May 8, 2017, the Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group organized a meeting with Minister Chernysh and other representatives of his ministry who were visiting the World Bank. The Minister and his delegation met with Susan Wong, CDD Global Lead, and other World Bank staff members to learn about CDD approaches and lessons learned when applied in conflict-affected and displacement settings, including Azerbaijan, South Sudan, and Jordan. Given Ukraine’s recent decentralization reform, Susan Wong also outlined the role of CDD in decentralization and building local government capacity.

 

Robert Wrobel, Task Team Leader of Azerbaijan’s IDP Living Standards and Livelihood Project (LSLP), discussed how the program, now in its second phase, is improving the economic prospects and living standards of IDPs who have been displaced for decades. Nearly 7% of the country’s population was displaced during a war that lasted from 1988 to 1994, and many are still housed in temporary and substandard living conditions. The project has seen remarkable gains in monthly household income and improvements in housing and social infrastructure across 690 poor, IDP-hosting communities

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Vara Vemuru, Senior Social Development Specialist, outlined how the Local Governance and Service Delivery Project of South Sudan is building basic infrastructure while at the same time developing conflict management and community reconciliation capacity across communities in the country. The project works to improve local governance and service delivery in 22 counties across South Sudan and has almost 100,000 direct project beneficiaries including IDPs. These interventions have helped stabilize communities despite recent outbreaks of violence across the country.

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Sima Kanaan, Task Team Leader of Jordan’s Emergency Services and Social Resilience Project, discussed how the project has helped build trust in the government and defuse tensions between Syrian refugees and Jordan’s host communities. The long-running Syria conflict has displaced millions of Syrians fleeing the violence into surrounding countries, burdening receiving local communities beyond their capacity. The project has reached 1.87 million beneficiaries, of which 300,000 are Syrian, by helping Jordanian municipalities and host communities address the immediate service delivery impacts of refugee inflows and strengthening municipal capacity to support local economic development. The project has helped develop trust in the Jordanian government, which is now seen as more responsive to host community needs.

 

In the discussion that followed, the Ukrainian delegation outlined some of their most pressing challenges, including ensuring that the needs of marginalized populations, including IDPs, are represented in conflict recovery programs. Communities and technical committees can also differ in opinion over program priorities and what is feasible, complicating implementation. And under recent decentralization reforms, the government has needed to work hard to improve trust between citizens and local government.

 

The presenters outlined how CDD could help address some of these challenges. CDD’s focus on community facilitation, often through a non-governmental organization in conflict contexts, helps build trust between government and communities and ensure that even marginalized populations are included. Certain social development methodologies, such as social mapping, assist illiterate populations in articulating their needs and can help to identify vulnerable populations that are not covered by on-going programs. Additionally, many tools that CDD employs, such as community participation, grievance redress mechanisms, and strong communication at both the national and community levels, can help defuse tensions between the government and communities, build trust, and even encourage accountability around program resources and results.

 

Even as Ukraine’s government seeks the most appropriate instrument for recovery and peacebuilding, they can draw on lessons from how the World Bank’s CDD programs deliver critical services to vulnerable groups and help to build social and economic community resilience in other conflict-affected countries.

With the end of the 16-year-old National Solidarity Programme (NSP) and the start of the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program, Afghanistan is on the verge of a new wave of community-driven development (CDD). Scott Guggenheim and Khyber Farahi, advisors to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, gave their thoughts on what’s around the corner for CDD in Afghanistan on May 9, 2017 to a room packed with members of the World Bank and the international development community.

 

When the new administration took over in late October 2014, President Ghani envisioned rebuilding Afghanistan in a more democratic and participatory way, cutting back on the country’s dependence on foreign assistance and outside security forces while rebuilding the government’s capacity to deliver benefits and services to its people. To achieve this goal, the Afghan government would have to overcome several deep structural challenges that had emerged after forty years of near-continuous conflict. For development, these included a lack of accountability in budget planning, fragmentation of development efforts, and an inability to track and evaluate results from projects, had to be solved by policy reform.

 

This background presented the government with a tough decision when it came time to assess what to do about community development. NSP already had a demonstrated track record of success at delivering block grants in highly accountable ways to thousands of local communities to support local planning. On the other hand, the program was an imperfect instrument for a broader change in how services are delivered to communities. Line ministries, seeking greater control over their programming, did not buy into NSP as a national platform for implementation nor did NSP plan how it would link to various technical agencies or local governments. Additionally, the program was encountering increasing rates of elite capture in its block grants.

 

We could have made NSP bigger, more sustainable. It was certainly feasible after 15 years. But it had reached its limit of creativity. It needed to be disrupted. The only way that we could do this was to say our strategy is about better services but NSP the Fourth is not going to be the model,” Guggenheim said. “We had to close NSP to open up the door for a new idea. But for that next step in community development to happen, the government would need to change some of the overarching systems that it was using for planning, budgeting, and performance assessment.

 

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A late 2014 minister-level international conference on Afghanistan endorsed an overall reform strategy called “Realizing Self-Reliance.” Under the self-reliance reform program, 92 large programs were reduced to 12 outcome-driven national priority programs across 7 national cabinet councils. The government also upended the bottom-up system for developing its national budget, which had led to pervasive fragmentation and the “projectization” of development, with a more policy-based approach that saw the budget become the vehicle for turning Government policy decisions into resource allocations to national programs. 

 

To underscore the reform message, the government committed to including the delivery of basic services in a participatory way to the grassroots of Afghanistan as one of these 12 national priority programs, building upon the foundations of NSP but now including a whole-of-government approach. Thus, Citizen’s Charter was born amidst the government’s broader organizational and budgetary overhaul.

 

Working groups and stronger coordination across all levels were also part of the consolidation process. Deputy ministers had to meet and design the Citizen’s Charter without the assistance of consultants (to improve ownership), staff across ministries as well as the World Bank team all worked off the same document, and a technical working group reported progress and issues to the Afghan President every two months. The Citizen’s Charter itself was anchored inside the Ministry of Finance, which could exercise oversight control via the budget but was also considered a neutral arbiter of performance since it was not an executing ministry.

 

Guggenheim also touched on the World Bank’s contribution to the process. After a slow start, the Bank assigned a high-powered task team with both fragile state and community development experience to speed up preparation and provide expert guidance to the government’s working group. Besides the accelerated project appraisal that was completed within 6 months, the Bank was also able to provide an independent risk assessment of the share to be financed by the Bank (called “Citizen’s Charter Afghanistan Project”) and use its influence strategically to facilitate project planning when it stalled.

 

There are things that you can’t say in a domestic political culture, while an outside respected agency can bring something to the table that really helps these programs develop,” he said.

 

Guggenheim then outlined broader lessons for other CDD programs. Most importantly, if a main objective of CDD is to build trust in government and rebuild local level solidarity, then CDD programs need to be accompanied by policy reform if they are to go beyond being just projects. But timing and sequencing are also critical to success: the years of NSP were necessary to normalize community ownership of the development process within the government and communities, allowing for multi-agency engagement and the broader reform to service delivery that it embodies to take hold.

 

Understanding the political landscape was also important for working within fragile states. A country’s unique experience and structures determine what solutions and resources are needed to implement development. For example, spatial planning, while used in Indonesia for decades, was not used in Afghanistan, leading to difficulties in connecting roads to clinics and dams to irrigation.

 

Finally, CDD project leads and their country teams should distinguish between strategy and tactics: NSP was useful tactically in delivering block grants to communities, but to build on that foundation for a broader change to citizen-government relationships required embedding the next generation’s program in reforms to planning, budgeting, accountability, and the long-term role of sub-national governments.

 

If you want [CDD projects] to evolve into something sturdy and long-lasting, you need to deal with some of these problems with the budgeting and planning systems and how to work across ministries. But ownership and timing matter a lot. By the time we started with Citizen’s Charter, national planners and even line agency ministries were dissatisfied with their current systems and were increasingly open to a more partnership rather than a strict service delivery approach to local level development,” Guggenheim said.

 

While the transition from NSP to Citizen’s Charter was not easy, Community Development Councils themselves called for this evolution, requesting better service standards and improved predictability for funding. Funds needed to be available with regularity to ensure services like schools remained open year to year.

 

What is key for [communities] is continuity with what they were getting from NSP. NSP taught them that government programs didn’t all have to be top-down. But they also said that NSP had lit a spark – and now it was time to let them show that participation could help solve other development issues too. [They wanted] more recognition, more autonomy, more authority... Once they understood the storyline of how Citizen’s Charter was going to work, it solved a lot of questions and concerns that they had with leaving behind NSP,” Farahi said.

 

The Citizen’s Charter is already being tested by Afghanistan’s displacement crisis. Farahi, charged with ensuring inter-ministerial cooperation for the country’s 1.7 million returnees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), outlined some of the key challenges with the crisis, including the Ministry for Refugee’s low capacity, poor data and tracking capacity by responding humanitarian agencies, and the lack of a clear mechanism for service delivery as the returnees integrate into host communities and cities. The returnee population faces a staggeringly high 40% poverty rate and often lack national identification and other documentation, preventing them from enrolling in basic services such as education.NSP 2.png

 

How do we bridge the gap between when they receive their support and how they are going to be reintegrated into the communities?” he said. “With so many actors involved, how do you make sure there’s a coordinated response given the magnitude of the problem?

 

In response, the Government of Afghanistan developed a single policy framework, the National Policy Framework for Returnees and IDPs, to clarify the government’s approach, delineate the roles of actors, and support returnees and host communities. The Citizen’s Charter came at an opportune time, addressing many of the critical basic needs of these vulnerable populations, such as water, health, education, and social integration through supporting high-return districts in its first phase. And, drawing on the Bank’s technical expertise, the Citizen's Charter Afghanistan Project will also develop much-needed household-level data on IDPs and returnees through community profile exercises.

 

The framework is already paying dividends through successful inter-ministerial cooperation. The Ministry of Education has since waived their documentation requirement for enrollment into schools, and the government is working on implementing this policy decision on the ground. The government also advanced sufficient funds from its overall Citizen’s Charter budget to hire an additional 3,000 women teachers, who will be deployed to communities of high returnee numbers by late summer of 2017. The government has also developed clear criteria for beneficiary selection and are collaborating with UN agencies to conduct matching beneficiaries with services.

 

Farahi says the next challenge is to search for sustainable, longer-term livelihoods for these populations.

 

Given that a large majority of those returning from Pakistan are daily wage laborers, a component of Citizen’s Charter — the maintenance construction cash grant — will respond to that in the short term but we’ll have to see if big transportation projects, other work schemes, or specific livelihood schemes can ensure a more sustainable livelihood income for these returnees and IDPs,” he said.

 

While challenges remain, Guggenheim is upbeat about the prospects for the Citizen’s Charter in Afghanistan.

 

I think that there’s a sound basis for thinking that participatory approaches like the Citizen’s Charter can deliver across Afghanistan’s highly varied economic, geographical, and social landscape because they begin from a principle that with sufficient information, communities will make good choices and can make good partners for government programs that would otherwise have a hard time entering into such a difficult terrain. And it’s been quite remarkable to see such high levels of cooperation across ministries that so often competed with each other in the past,” he said, “but the hard part is just beginning now.

 

Staff for the Myanmar National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) presented a session on grievance redress mechanisms during a June 5 training on social safeguards for all project management units in Myanmar. The NCDDP, now completing its 4th cycle of implementation this year, funds community infrastructure projects in 8,573 villages across Myanmar. The Department of Rural Development (DRD), the implementing agency, has successfully developed and operationalized a grievance handling mechanism for the project that has seen a remarkable scale-up in the past three years from an initial 410.

 

Excellent case management procedures are in place at all levels to handle the increased volume from scaling up, in part from Bank support to DRD during the design stage. As of March 2017, the project has received a total of 7,277 grievances and resolved 99.8% of them. The number of grievances received has rapidly increased from 318 in the project’s first year to 1,348 in the second year and 5,279 in its third year, a trend that is likely to continue as NCDDP expands to new villages. The Bank also plays a role in maintaining and assessing the mechanism to ensure that it is working effectively.

 

The NCDDP’s existing grievance handling mechanism owes its success to committed management, strong institutional structures, robust business processes, and motivated staff at all levels. Strong outreach is also key: the project has elaborated on grievance procedures and disseminated them widely to community members through posters, brochures and trainings. These posters are prominently displayed in villages, and there is widespread availability of reporting channels and awareness materials such as grievance boxes, envelopes, posters, and brochures in these communities.

 

Training participants were keen to refer to the presentation and share it with other colleagues in their organizations as they implement their own grievance handling mechanisms. The NCDDP presentation, attached, provides more detailed information on the project’s grievance handling mechanism and shows the systematic work and detailed thinking that go into a well-functioning grievance handling mechanism.  Let’s hope that the good model of the NCDDP grievance mechanism gets adopted by more and more government departments we work with!

 

Recognizing the importance of partnering with Indigenous Peoples (IPs) in fighting poverty and boosting shared prosperity, the World Bank convened a workshop on October 20, 2016 with 20 IP representatives and leaders on how Bank programs can better address the diverse needs of IP groups, continuing the conversation started during the Bank’s high level dialogue with IPs in April 2015

 

“The only way we can get out of poverty is for the [World Bank’s] programs to capture our realities and needs,” said one IP representative.

 

The World Bank has increasingly prioritized engaging IPs and their communities as it seeks to cover the “last mile” of development. Indigenous communities are among the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, often living in hard-to-reach areas, struggling for legal recognition of customary land tenure, and facing exclusion, negative stereotyping, and discrimination. While only numbering around 5 percent of the world’s population, IPs make up 15 percent of the world’s extreme poor; in some regions, this percentage can go as high as 70 percent.

 

Maninder Gill, the World Bank’s Director for Social Development, urged participants—who represented IP communities from across Africa, Asia, and Latin America—to think globally on how to address challenges common to all marginalized communities. “It’s our collective responsibility to think of all IPs,” he said. “The needs of one group could be very different from the needs of another.”

 

World Bank project leaders Dianna Pizarro, Sean Bradley, and David Tuchschneider then presented on Bank approaches and programs that work with IP communities. The World Bank is best known for its robust set of social safeguards that include an operational policy on IPs, but also supports programs with specialized approaches, such as productive alliances, community engagement, and community-driven development (CDD), an approach that gives control over planning decisions and investment resources for local development projects to community groups, are key elements.


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Community-driven development’s strengths, such as empowering communities themselves to identify their priority development needs, facilitating basic service delivery in remote areas, and working with diverse, heterogeneous communities and vulnerable groups, help address many of the unique challenges that IPs face. The approach is already used successfully in Nepal, Brazil, Vietnam, Myanmar, India, and Bolivia, among other places, to engage with IP communities.

 

Part of the workshop’s goal was to engage with IP communities on how to improve the responsiveness of Bank programs to IPs.  “How can IPs help us improve our programs?” asked Luis-Felipe Duchicela, the World Bank’s IP Adviser, after he presented on the Bank’s global engagement with IPs. “How can those projects improve the inclusion of IPs?”

 

Besides grappling with how to develop a way that IPs communities, who represent a diversity of cultures, needs, and challenges, can effectively bridge their communities’ needs and Bank operations, participants from each region also discussed how to build stronger, more responsive programs and next steps in formalizing their dialogue with the Bank.

 

While much remains to be done, representatives agreed that the Bank’s engagement with them was essential in empowering their communities. “We are grateful that the World Bank has included us in the dialogue around its policies and programs,” said a participant in her closing remarks.

 

For a summary of the proceedings, click here.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) series CDD Voiceshighlights how CDD approaches are used throughout the world to benefit poor communities.

Rob.jpgThis month, we’re speaking with Robert Wrobel, Senior Social Development Specialist and TTL of Indonesia’s PNPM Generasi. Launched in 2007 by the Government of Indonesia, PNPM Generasi aims to empower local communities in poor, rural sub-districts in project provinces to increase utilization of health and education services. An impact evaluation completed in 2011 showed that the project had improved immunization coverage, prenatal care visits and assisted deliveries by 10 to 11 percent from 2007 to 2010. Since 2014, the program has targeted maternal and child nutrition services and behaviors, and supports a Ministry of Education-led effort to increase participation in early childhood education and development (ECED) services.


You have worked on CDD programs in Afghanistan, Mindanao, and Indonesia.  Are there any commonalities in terms of successfully operating CDD in these diverse contexts?


Three commonalities come to mind:


Most communities where I’ve worked were concerned with ensuring that everyone can benefit from the project. In parts of Afghanistan, villages are made up of 10 to 12 hamlets spread across mountains. In the first couple of years of the National Solidarity Project (NSP), communities would generally propose smaller, individual sub-projects—instead of pooling resources together for larger infrastructure such as a village access road—so that each hamlet could benefit. I’ve seen this happen in southern Philippines and Indonesia as well. Over time, however, as communities gain experience with the project and begin to trust one another, large cross-hamlet and even cross-village sub-projects start to be developed. I’ve seen sub-projects in Afghanistan where 12 villages pool resources together to build a tertiary road spanning an entire valley.


This can create challenges when implementing a project that targets specific groups or relates to private goods, such as providing startup funds or loans to village entrepreneurs. In Indonesia, work related to revolving loans has not been as successful because communities struggle with the idea of providing resources to a specific group in the context of a program focused on delivering public goods. Teams working on CDD projects must consider what the project is trying to achieve and how these goals interact with a community’s idea of fairness and justice.


Another commonality is that the administrative systems underpinning CDD projects, once they’re up and running, have strong momentum. These programs are very resilient and can withstand shocks such as disasters and conflict, which is why CDD is often used in these contexts.

However, this momentum can make it difficult to change core design features over time.  Needs in communities change, as do priorities in national and regional capitals, and project managers quickly gain experience of what works and what doesn’t.  Task teams must take particular care in planning systems that are resilient yet not impossible to evolve and adapt. PNPM Generasi is an example on how a core national CDD platform managed to evolve, and continues to evolve, to target needs that were not envisaged at the time of its design.


Third, simplicity of a system is key to its success. There’s a tendency to overregulate once a system has been set up and has been operating for a while because of the World Bank’s fiduciary, social, and environmental safeguards.


However, CDD projects work best in low capacity, low literacy communities who find it hard to manage additional, more complex requirements. The more that operations manuals and forms “balloon” out, the less effective a CDD project becomes, especially when it comes to community empowerment objectives. Task teams should keep this in mind when considering adding requirements to meet internal reporting needs.


You are currently TTL for PNPM Generasi, which is an innovative CDD program designed to improve health and education outcomes. What do you see as the main advantages and disadvantages of this approach?


PNPM Generasi works by combining elements of household-based conditional cash transfer programs to incentivize communities to improve the uptake of health and education services; most traditional CDD programs work on an “open menu” of services where communities are generally free to invest in what they want, with some exceptions. In Generasi, communities monitor and measure performance targets on health and education-related indicators, and communities are awarded more resources if targets are met or surpassed.


This approach has several advantages. Governments—national, local, and village-level—like the clarity that PNPM Generasi provides on what communities are trying to achieve. Accounting for results also becomes easier, and implementing agencies can then take these results to other stakeholders responsible for local service delivery. Agencies are often hesitant to commit to the program and be accountable for results without knowing what the community will select under an “open menu.”


Second, PNPM Generasi’s performance-based design provides signals to people to focus on specific challenges. Community facilitators can develop expertise on selected services such as early childhood education. They can get in depth with community members when diagnosing problems and identifying specific constraints and solutions in a way that might not be available for general “open menu”-type programs.


Third, and my favorite part, is that PNPM Generasi encourages communities to work with their local health and education departments and vice versa. Communities, once empowered with project resources, have a strong interest in understanding and coordinating with service providers to complement the provider’s plans with community investments. This also gives communities more leverage when working with service providers: they initiate and build relationships with these providers and bring their own resources to the table instead of passively waiting for providers to act or provide information.


There are also disadvantages. Indonesia is a massive country and the type and quality of services varies by region. Communities on Java are more concerned with early childhood education while eastern Indonesian provinces face gaps in primary school education. Coming up with a simple, standard delivery model aligned with varied local needs is a real challenge. To respond to this, PNPM Generasi expanded its education focus from just primary school education to include early childhood education.


Another disadvantage is that PNPM Generasi’s performance bonus system requires large amounts of data, which is collected primarily by community members with some knowledge of health and education. This becomes increasingly difficult to operate the lower the capacity of a community is. To help with this, the program allows communities to invest more project resources in operational support if needed.


And does this approach work well only in Indonesia?


PNPM Generasi’s approach can work in other countries—Morocco’s National Initiative for Human Development, the Bank’s first Program-for-Results operation, adopts a similar approach, where investments are linked to particular service delivery outcomes.


A few considerations for task teams looking to adopt PNPM Generasi’s model:


The model requires a functioning “supply side”—in this case, a health and education sector—to support the demand built through the program and for the community to coordinate with. You cannot incentivize people to use services or coordinate with providers that don’t exist or are of poor quality. To implement PNPM Generasi’s model where there is a limited “supply side,” I’d advise teams to focus on a limited set of services that the community would operate independently, although these would require strong inputs on technical content to ensure quality.


Task teams should ideally keep the set of services as focused and simple as possible because of high data requirements. For PNPM Generasi, we have 10 maternal and child health and two education indicators; communities lack resources to invest in all of these services or gather data for every indicators. I’d recommend around 5 to 6 indicators/services instead, linking actual performance bonuses to a maximum of 4 to 5.


Indonesia could pivot to PNPM Generasi’s new model because the government and facilitators were already familiar with CDD from the previous program, which had been operating for about a decade. Countries going into a second- or third-generation CDD program would absolutely be able to do this; some countries innovating in CDD are Laos, the Philippines, and Yemen. Starting without such a set of experiences, on the other hand, would be much more challenging for a first-generation program.


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Tell us your favorite development story from one of the countries you’ve worked.


The story that comes to mind is from Afghanistan, around 2003 when the first round of NSP grants were going out.


We were visiting a village in rural Parwan province, about six hours outside of Kabul, where the community had built a cement foot-bridge to replace a rickety wooden structure that would often become damaged or wash away during the winter. I remember clearly the Afghan villagers told us that this was the first time that anyone—be it the government, NGOs, or other development actors—had entrusted them with the resources and responsibility to use as they saw fit.


It sounds cliché, but I found this to be sincere and powerful expression of frustration with standard ways of doing business. Rural villagers throughout Afghanistan thought that they would benefit greatly from the program and were willing to go the extra mile to participate, often at great personal risk.

By 2004, the program was disbursing $20 million in block grants per month. I saw that NSP was having a huge impact throughout the country, and that this change was happening quickly. From that point on, I fell in love with the CDD model and wanted to work on it in one way or another for the rest of my career.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) series CDD Voiceshighlights how CDD approaches are used throughout the world to benefit poor communities.

 

Naila.jpgThis month, we’re speaking with Naila Ahmed, Senior Social Development Specialist and TTL of Afghanistan’s National Solidarity Program (NSP). Started in 2003, NSP is the Government of Afghanistan’s flagship program for rural development, mobilizing almost $2.5 billion in donor and government funding. NSP and its facilitating partners have worked through community-elected Community Development Councils (CDCs) to identify and implement some 90,000 small-scale reconstruction and development activities in the areas of water supply and sanitation, rural roads, irrigation, power, health, and education, as well as generate over 65 million paid-for-labor days for skilled and unskilled laborers.

 

How did you get started with CDD?


My career started in international business, which took me to Singapore and Hong Kong, before I decided to transition to international development. After completing my masters at Syracuse University in upstate New York, I joined the Bank as a consultant in the CDD anchor, which was then coupled with CBR— community-based reconstruction—in fragile and conflict-affected areas. I worked on analysis and operations with a focus on CDD, disasters, and livelihoods, including on the Pakistan earthquake reconstruction and rural livelihood programs in India.

 

Four years ago, I was recruited by the World Bank’s Afghanistan office, where I’ve been based until last year. I continue to support Afghanistan and the government there by task managing NSP, one of the largest CDD programs in the world, from Dubai due to the changing security situation.

 

What are some of the challenges of implementing a CDD program in Afghanistan and how have you managed them?


One challenge is the sheer variability. NSP is a national program, operating in more than 40,000 villages across Afghanistan. NSP can work in many ways across villages, each with unique scenarios and problems. To manage this, we’re always searching for solutions that go beyond just solving isolated issues. NSP’s CDD nature also encourages communities to seek their own solutions.  

 

Monitoring and supervision is also challenging. Monitoring goes beyond just going out and checking to see if infrastructure’s been built; we need visibility on how discussions, procurements, monetary flows, and construction are happening in these different villages. Fortunately, NSP has built up strong financial management agents and systems over the past 12 years and the program works with a dependable implementing agency that partners with many stakeholders. Because we have a robust feedback mechanism and have many eyes on the ground from stakeholders, issues are quickly brought to our attention.

 

Besides managing implementation, we operate across a range of functions, such as communicating, piloting projects, innovating, and conducting analytical work. For example, the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund has 34 donors, each with their own reporting needs. And we have to work through these issues with a very lean team compared to other donors and national programs.

 

Still, working with a small team has its advantages. Everyone is aware of what’s going on with other parts of the program. We have a strong mix of international and local staff who have worked on NSP for a long time and are passionate about the program. They understand the program, people, and context. Decisions, when they need to be made, are quick and well-informed.

 

A recent New York Times article notes that the NSP “has been credited as a rare success in an otherwise gloomy Afghan development sector marred by waste.”  Why has NSP done well compared to its peers?


NSP has solid institutional mechanisms built up over several years. First, NSP’s CDCs are based on traditional systems like shuras—or local councils, so while CDCs also include outside ideas like elections, local communities have adopted NSP more readily. Second, the CDD mechanism means that money disbursed through NSP goes directly to community bank accounts, reducing diversion of funds. Finally, NSP partners with non-governmental organizations who are long-time service providers and are trusted by local communities, allowing NSP to work in insecure areas where no other program or the government can go.

 

Now, donors and the government look to NSP to respond quickly to different needs because the program already works in almost every village and has robust systems. For example, the Afghanistan government created a “Jobs for Peace” program through NSP last year. Jobs are scarce, especially in rural areas where 70 percent of the population is, and have been dwindling following the drawdown of Provincial Reconstruction Teams. This program aims to quickly generate short-term employment for locals while building legitimacy for the government. It focuses on maintenance of essential rural infrastructure such as irrigation and roads, which helps improve agricultural productivity and access to markets. Donors also see “Jobs for Peace” as a way to stem the flow of refugees leaving Afghanistan.

 

As another example, we were approached by the government on how NSP could help respond to anticipated floods and droughts. So NSP has come a long way from its origins—as a way to disburse infrastructure grants—to a program that builds sustainable and representative institutions in communities and leads on good governance and basic service delivery across the country.

 

NSP’s strong capacity builds a great reputation that helps sustain it. NSP is a household name in Afghanistan: people understand NSP and its principles, and the program has a very visible, positive impact. So NSP attracts many talented, hard-working staff from the World Bank and Afghanistan government. If you look at NSP’s early days, it was all foreigners; today, the program fields only three international staff as advisors and is run and managed by well-educated, dedicated Afghans.


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What are some of the lessons that you’ve learned at NSP that are applicable to other CDD programs?


With more than a decade of implementation, NSP is a trailblazer for other national CDD programs, demonstrating how World Bank systems can be applied in fragile and conflict-affected situations.

 

First, flexibility is key. When NSP first started, the program worked through the existing halawa system—an informal network of money brokers—to channel millions of dollars since there were no banks in the country. While necessary, this was a major departure from the standardized way that the Bank channels funds. Having flexibility to work through local structures was critical in building up the NSP early on.

 

Second, strong legal and fiduciary teams are crucial and should be empowered to take risks. Our teams must constantly explore ways to operate in places where good governance is rare. The right people manage risks while maintaining service delivery even if there are isolated incidents of theft or failure—not uncommon in an environment like Afghanistan—when the program overall is doing good work.

 

Third, get your country management team’s support. Our Bank team is very supportive, advocating for us in headquarters and backing us on difficult decisions, which is especially important for a large, challenging program like NSP. Bank management have also demonstrated their commitment to NSP over the past 12 years by ensuring that strong TTLs and task teams are in place to keep the program going.

 

Fourth, build capacity while delivering services. Looking back, NSP should have seized the opportunity to integrate better with government structures as they developed at the central level. Donors often get fatigued from supporting extended programs, so building government ownership and capacity to continue the program is the key to sustainability.

Finally, having a dedicated team who stay on top of everything is especially important for fragile and conflict-affected countries like Afghanistan. The situation and political actors on the ground are constantly changing and the team has to be ready to respond. Many of our staff are local and have several years of experience on NSP. Having that institutional and local knowledge in our team helps us work more effectively and can make or break a program.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) series CDD Voiceshighlights how CDD approaches are used throughout the world to benefit poor communities.

 

imtiaz.jpgIn March, we’re speaking with Imtiaz Alvi, Senior Rural Development Specialist and TTL of the Third Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF III). Approved in 2009, this third phase of PPAF invests $250 million to build institutions of the poor that can increase their capacity, savings and access to finance, and livelihood opportunities. PPAF is an autonomous society created by the Government of Pakistan that works with non-governmental organizations (called partner organizations or POs) to mobilize poor and poorest households and community institutions at the community, village, and union council levels.

 

Imtiaz has had a long career in international development, working on issues spanning environmental and sustainable development, civil society, and human rights across Pakistan, South Asia, and Southeast Asia before he joined the Bank in 2006. Since then, he’s worked on devolution, local governance, community driven rural development projects throughout South Asia.

 

Tell us briefly about how you got involved with CDD.


In 1993, I joined the National Rural Support Program (NRSP), Pakistan’s largest participatory development NGO, as a Program Manager. I spent considerable time in the field working with local communities and field teams and had the opportunity to observe and assess the strengths and limitations of participatory approaches.

After stints with various national and international organizations working on environmental and sustainable development issues, I headed a leading rights-based NGO, Sungi Development Foundation, which works directly with communities and village organizations on livelihood and natural resource management and policy advocacy, and served on the board of the Pakistan Microfinance Network and a women’s empowerment NGO. Just before I joined the Bank, I led the Asian Development Bank’s Decentralization Support Program, acting as the focal point to the civil society sector.

 

What are some innovative approaches of PPAF III that you feel could be applied to other CDD programs?


First, PPAF III built on decades of forming community organizations in Pakistan by federating these institutions by tiers—community- (first tier), village- (second tier), and union council-level organizations (third tier). These third-tier organizations are responsible for a larger area and give community organizations greater scale and influence.

PPAF III’s new approach also involves training institutions to create development plans that are framed around the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These plans allow communities to discuss, decide, and guide what their needs are, bringing focus and ownership to their interventions. Previously, interventions were done on an ad-hoc basis and often driven more by the POs than by the community.

 

PPAF III enables this approach by strengthening institutions through extensive capacity building: providing members training on development plans, the MDGs, and administration, with a focus on citizenship. PPAF III also created a local cadre of community resource persons, trained in various sectors, to address knowledge constraints and services in communities. This frees communities from relying on visiting external trainers and experts to address a range of socioeconomic issues from how to run a business to childhood nutrition to civic and gender rights.

 

Second, PPAF III focuses on both public and private goods—livelihoods, productivity, and income—in contrast to traditional CDD programs in Pakistan that mobilize communities for and around only public goods. In many of those cases, community organizations dissolve once the public work is completed. PPAF III set up specialized institutions to promote livelihoods, employment, and enterprise development such as Naukri ya Karobar (jobs or business) centers, production centers, loan centers, and digital hubs. These are now functioning across the country and, more importantly, are all owned and run as enterprises by the communities themselves through the third-tier organizations.

 

Third, we emphasize the holistic and deep integration of interventions in communities compared to earlier iterations of PPAF, which kept a light footprint—involving less than 25 percent of a targeted area’s community. We needed to involve more people for real social and economic transformation and to ensure sustainability. To do this, we saturate target areas with interventions through an integrated multi-sectoral approach, mobilizing more than 50 percent of households.

 

Many CDD programs aim to make themselves sustainable through gradually becoming part of government institutions and structures. Could you talk about how PPAF III has gone about institutionalizing itself in Pakistan?


PPAF is an independent apex organization—an organization that channels funds to other institutions—and does not operate on a project-by-project basis, which helps with sustainability.

 

Since its formation, PPAF has helped shape Pakistan’s development sector, partly through building relevant institutions. For example, PPAF has led the development of the nascent microfinance sector to the point where it is now setting up a for-profit organization—the Pakistan Microfinance Investment Company—to mobilize and leverage more investment for the sector.

 

PPAF’s broad network also contributes to its prominence, with agreements with over 120 partner organizations working with communities in every district. Few other development organizations have as big a network or reach in Pakistan, particularly for CDD.

 

PPAF’s value is recognized by the government as well as other donors who work with it. As such, many government schemes are implemented through PPAF, such as the recent Prime Minister’s Interest Free Loan Fund. The CEO of PPAF also sits on the government’s Economic Advisory Council. PPAF’s influence and reach have helped it link with the government and other institutions in Pakistan.


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Can you share with us your most memorable stories from PPAF III?

A group of women in a community in Sindh Province wanted to form a Common Interest Group for the handicrafts they made. This was in a community where the women told us they would never leave their homes, and the leader of the group received death threats from her own family members for pursuing the idea. Yet they went ahead and formed the group, and eventually made a display center. Now they travel across Pakistan showcasing and selling their merchandise.

 

In another community, a women’s community organization went to their mayor—who was from a highly influential political family—and asked that electricity be provided to their homes. After a few such visits where promises were made, but no action followed, they organized a sit-in at the mayor’s office, refusing to leave until their demands were met. Not only that, they now ensure that all community members pay their electricity bills, guaranteeing no theft. These stories speak to the empowerment from community mobilization and the transformation that is happening among the poorest and most vulnerable

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I’ve seen disabled persons who were previously outcasts running their own businesses through PPAF III-provided assets and trainings. There are youth groups, formed through PPAF-supported social mobilization, advocating for social issues in their communities by embracing new technologies. I have many other memorable stories that I can tell from my time with the program.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) series CDD Voiceshighlights how CDD approaches are used throughout the world to benefit poor communities.

Mohamed.jpgThis month, we’re speaking with Mohamed Medouar, Senior Rural Development Specialist and TTL of Morocco’s National Initiative for Human Development (INDH), now in its second phase. This phase of INDH started in 2011 and aims to invest up to US$2.1 billion over five years to improve supply and access to basic services, infrastructure and economic opportunity for poor and vulnerable groups, as well as strengthen local participatory governance. INDH 2, which continues from an initial phase that started in 2006, was the Bank’s first Program-for-Results (PforR) operation and is slated to conclude later this year.

 

With a background in agronomy, Mohamed started his career with the Bank in 2004 in the Morocco country office and has since worked on rural development, CDD, agriculture, and water projects in Morocco, Tunisia and Djibouti. He has graciously volunteered to speak with us about his CDD experiences.

 

How has CDD shaped your career at the Bank?

 

Before I joined the Bank, I spent 24 years in rural development, including on agricultural extension and farmer organizations. I had the opportunity to work with different stakeholders and go on several field trips, activities that started me on the participatory approach to development and CDD.

 

Joining the Bank in 2004 and then working on the first phase of INDH in 2006 were opportunities for me to apply these skills and experience to Bank projects. My involvement with INDH only grew, starting as co-TTL in 2006 and the TTL in 2008, where I now work with my counterparts to improve the project’s implementation.

 

What are the unique factors that make Morocco the right place for a CDD approach?

 

First, Morocco is unique in the level of political support for the national program. Morocco’s monarch, who came into power in 1999, is known as “the king of the poor” and is very open to new development approaches. He’s supportive of social development programs and how participatory approaches can help poor communities. This has definitely aided CDD’s adoption in Morocco.

 

A second factor is the willingness and ability of the government to work with and support the CDD approach. The implementing agency, the Ministry of the Interior, was able to mobilize stakeholders from the provincial and regional levels and in a short time, set up the necessary institutional frameworks for CDD, including for local, provincial, and regional committees. These committees are made up in equal parts of local government officials, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and technical services.

 

Third, Morocco’s open society and large number of NGOs enabled them to play a bigger role in supporting INDH through community engagement and by serving on the various committees.

 

What are the top 3 challenges facing INDH and how did you manage them?

 

The first challenge we faced was changing the mindset of stakeholders, such as NGOs and local government, about the CDD approach and building their sense of ownership of INDH. We had to moderate our expectations about what we could accomplish within a given time frame. For example, Brazil took about 10 to 15 years for a true participatory approach to take hold. We also instituted a “learning by doing” approach that helped change their mindset as the project continued. Only by developing an understanding of Morocco’s culture and their initial attitude towards participatory approaches, and by working to change it step by step were we able to succeed in building this sense of ownership from the ground up.

 

The second challenge was building stakeholder capacity. When INDH first started, stakeholders were not very familiar with CDD and we initially suggested to the borrower that we dedicate the first year for capacity building. While this suggestion did not work out because there was a push for project achievements early on, we did develop a capacity building component to the project. After almost 10 years of project implementation, we now have experts at all levels who can support INDH’s participatory approach.

 

The third challenge was managing the project’s complexity, arising from INDH’s multi-sectoral nature—covering rural, social, service delivery, and capacity building—and its sheer scope. Our team found it challenging to apply classical development planning, and so we used SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis for our first phase. We also found it difficult to ensure compliance with Bank procedures as the number of subprojects increased. For instance, INDH now has more than 46,000 subprojects.

 

The solution came with the Bank’s PforR financing instrument. INDH was the very first Bank operation to use PforR, allowing us to use the borrower’s systems. This helped us build their fiduciary and safeguard capacity through an action plan, improving the project’s sustainability. This instrument also has funding allocated to each result, thus allowing more disbursement flexibility; under other instruments, such as Sector Wide Approaches (SWAps), the project must meet all indicators before we can disburse funds. Finally, PforR’s focus on results also helped us get buy-in from the government to increase results monitoring. All of these unique features of PforR helped us manage a very complex project.

 

What’s your favorite story from INDH?

 

In 2006, we wanted to introduce a grievance redress mechanism (GRM) as part of INDH’s first phase. However, there was a widespread reluctance by implementing agencies to embrace the GRM because they worried that it would collect complaints not related to the project. In short, they felt it would not contribute much to project implementation and may even open them up to criticism.

 

As INDH continued, we slowly tried to change their perception of a GRM from a control or criticism tool to a social accountability tool that improves project implementation. We worked hard to persuade them that they could reduce unrelated complaints by improving communication surrounding the program and informing stakeholders more about its purpose.

 

I’m proud to say that after many years of working with the client, we were able to implement a GRM at the national and provincial levels. This shows we need to have patience and understanding, convincing a client step-by-step to embrace and strengthen the participatory approach—especially if they are initially not familiar with it.


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Based on your INDH experience, what advice would you offer to those new to CDD programs such as new TTLs or team members?

 

First, account for context. While guidelines on organizations for developing a CDD framework are important, they must adapt to each context. In Morocco, we tried to understand why a GRM was not popular among our stakeholders at the initial stage of the program before adopting a step-by-step approach to changing their minds. A blanket insistence on a GRM from the start may not have worked as well.

 

Second, prioritize capacity building. The program is more successful when stakeholders know their role and are able to truly participate in the CDD approach. Early in our program, some of the local government and NGOs found it difficult to perform as efficient partners when they lacked the necessary experience. For INDH, we asked the borrower to develop territorial and provincial capacity building programs that trained the stakeholders on cross-cutting skills and issues such as participatory approaches, fiduciary aspects, and social issues. We also requested that they provide technical support to the stakeholders, especially on income-generating activities, which helped the overall sustainability of the project. This push on capacity building has paid off for INDH.

 

Last, a robust monitoring and evaluation system is important.  With that, you can capture your project’s results and impact on beneficiaries, and positive results promote support by decision-makers for these types of approaches.

This new year, the Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) series CDD Voiceshighlights how CDD approaches are used throughout the world to benefit poor communities. As part of this series, we’re interviewing seasoned task team leaders about their insights and experiences from working on CDD programs.

 

Foluso.jpgThis month, we’re speaking with Foluso Okunmadewa, Lead Specialist with the Social Protection and Labor Global Practice (GSPDR) and TTL of the Nigeria Community and Social Development Project (CSDP). Started in 2009, this project increases access by the poor to improved social services throughout Nigeria, mobilizing approximately US$237 million in community-driven investments.


An economist by training, Foluso has been with the Bank for more than 20 years and has worked primarily on Africa, social protection, and human development. He has graciously volunteered to chat with us about his experience on CDD programs. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

 


What got you started on CDD work?

 

I first started in 1995 as a short-term consultant with the World Bank working on a qualitative poverty assessment, meant to complement the quantitative data published by the government’s statistics office. From the assessment team’s discussions, one reason why poverty reduction often failed was because the community was not involved in program design and implementation. We realized there was a need for an integrated and participatory approach to poverty reduction effort in the country going forward. So that was the major recommendation in the poverty assessment report.

 

Returning to the World Bank in 1999, I began my first CDD operational work—the Community-Based Poverty Reduction Project. Since then I’ve been a member of every CDD project from the country office, including the Local Empowerment and Environmental Management Project and the National Fadama Development Project, which all looked at how we can help communities identify, design, implement, and even monitor subprojects to improve their livelihoods. Having progressed through several models to CSDP, we’ve arrived at a model that’s working well for Nigeria and really helps improve basic and productive services for its citizens.

 

Looking back, my training, interest in CDD, and work with the Bank were what got me started on CDD.

 

What are some of CSDP’s achievements that you're most proud of?

 

Through CSDP, we’ve been able to improve the social capital of communities. The CDD approach of CSDP brings communities together by providing resources around which they can plan their work and offers a way for the government and communities to work with each other. Because of CSDP and other CDD programs, participatory planning is no longer a new approach in Nigeria and is becoming more widespread, finding use in almost every other area of intervention and improving social capital for communities.

 

We’ve also been able to build better partnerships between community groups and state and local governments. As a result of the CSDP’s CDD approach, some local governments are beginning to recognize community groups as a “fourth tier of government”—besides the federal, state, and local levels—and will provide resources and tap into these groups’ capabilities.

 

Finally, CDSP has improved the well-being and welfare of people through improved access to schools, health services, rural mobility, rural enterprises, and better management of natural resources.

 

What are the challenges facing CSDP and how have you managed them?

 

One challenge is the slow integration of CDD into Nigerian government systems; progress also varies from state to state. Our hope is that the government will increasingly allocate resources to these programs, reducing program dependence on World Bank contributions. To this end, we continue to engage in dialogue and advocacy with the government, showcasing CDD mechanisms and results to encourage administrators to integrate CDD more fully into their systems.

 

Another challenge we face is declining government funding for these programs, which reduces our ability to do more work with community groups. This propels the World Bank to consider additional financing to mitigate these effects.

 

Finally, Nigeria continues to lack a national CDD policy framework despite a long history of such programs. The federal government, which is responsible for policy and resourcing, needs to issue an integrated CDD framework to help standardize principles and the way states and local governments implement CDD programs or address problems. Such a CDD framework would be of great value now that the federal government is faced with resettlement and recovery of households in northeastern Nigeria’s conflict-affected areas.

 

What’s your favorite personal story from CSDP?

 

One story I like to tell whenever I have the opportunity:

 

A community put together a rural electrification program, so they bought poles and electrical strings, wired their houses, and put a transformer in the village. Everyone had lights and small-scale businesses were doing very well.

 

One day, a lorry passing through knocked down two of the electrical poles before driving off, cutting off the village’s electricity. The villagers had to sleep in darkness when they returned from the fields in the evening. The next day, they called a village meeting to decide what to do – since the community owned the project, they had to put together money for repairs. One old woman at the meeting said, “Wait a moment!” before pulling out a paper from her pocket – she had written down the vehicle number. Eventually they tracked down the lorry’s owner, who agreed to pay for repairs.

 

Without seeking outside help, the villagers restored their power supply within a week.

 

This is a story that speaks to how when people build their own facilities, their deep sense of ownership creates monitoring, restoration, and sustainability systems that you cannot find anywhere else. These systems are established by the fact that the project is owned by the people themselves.


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Based on your CSDP and CDD experience, what advice would you give to a new CDD TTL or other new CDD team members?

 

First, focus on social capital. Where is the social capital? What is it that brings people together more easily? What kind of culture, mechanisms, or dynamics do they have? You can build some of project’s systems around these answers.

 

Second, build mechanisms around existing government structures. While some people may feel that a particular government structure is corrupt or inefficient, there is always a part where you can link the CDD program, opening the door for gradually integrating whatever mechanism you are using for CDD into the government system. Building a CDD system completely outside the government is a recipe for them to shut it down completely.

 

Third, avoid elite capture at all costs. Micro-projects, not mega-projects, are the best way to start. Small projects within what the community can manage are generally not attractive for rent-seekers, while larger grants often invite elite capture. As the communities become more familiar with the project, you can always increase the size of the envelope.

The Community-Driven Development (CDD) Global Solutions Group (GSG) and the GSURR Global Programs Unit held a Core Course on CDD from December 7 to 8 as part of the GSG’s strategy to develop the CDD talent pool within the Bank. Helping to develop the next generation of Bank staff to lead and work on CDD projects is a priority of the GSG especially as the World Bank seeks to ramp up its operations in fragile and conflict-affected situations, where CDD is often used as an early engagement strategy.

 

Held in conjunction with the GSURR Forum’s Learning Week, the two-day training event helped sensitize participants to core CDD principles and design considerations and build the unique technical and operational skills needed for CDD through a combination of presentations, case studies, and exercises, as well as through interactions with several senior staff members who lead CDD operations worldwide. Topics included key design considerations, community mobilization and the sub-project cycle, citizen engagement, fiduciary principles and considerations, monitoring and implementation support, and emerging issues and contexts in CDD.

 

Leveraging the presence of many field staff who were attending the GSURR forum, the Core Course fielded participants and speakers from the World Bank’s many country offices, including Indonesia, Myanmar, Vanuatu, Mongolia, the Philippines, and Uganda. Reflecting CDD’s cross-cutting nature, the 25 course participants hailed from units across the Bank including social development, urban development, agriculture, social protection and labor, fragility and conflict, disaster risk management, and strategy and operations support.

 

Participants rated the course highly, scoring the overall course an average of 6.25 out of a maximum of 7 points—or a very good/excellent rating—in a post-course evaluation.

 

“Really useful overall,” wrote one participant in their post-course evaluation. “Very responsive to participant feedback – well done!”

 

“An excellent two-day introduction to CDD,” wrote another.

 

The CDD GSG thanks the many CDD program design and implementation experts — Nikolas Myint, Maria (Malu) Loreto Padua, Nicolas Perrin, Kalesh Kumar, Moses Wasike, Kyung Min In, Markus Kostner, Ed Bresnyan, Evi Hermirasari, and Dea Widyastuty — who generously shared their technical expertise and specific project experiences with course participants. The GSG also notes with special thanks the course facilitator, Colum Garrity, of the GSURR Knowledge and Learning team.

 

The course was designed and implemented by the CDD GSG, which offers support and resources to the community of CDD practitioners, and the GSURR Global Programs Unit. To view course materials, click here. To learn more about other CDD related resources, or to join the GSG, please contact us at cddgsg@worldbank.org.