Systematic Country Diagnostics

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Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) reports are prepared by World Bank Group staff in close consultation with national authorities and other stakeholders. The SCD is a diagnostic exercise to identify key challenges and opportunities for a country to accelerate progress towards development objectives that are consistent with the twin goals of ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. It is intended to become a reference point for client consultations on priorities for World Bank Group country engagement. As of June 30, 2014, SCDs are required prior to sending a Country Partnership Framework (CPF) to the Board.

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  • Publication
    Somalia Systematic Country Diagnostic Update, June 2023: Accelerating the Building of Inclusive Institutions for Resilience and Jobs
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-02-13) World Bank
    The central message of this Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) update is that Somalia should accelerate the momentum in building its institutions to develop resilience and create jobs, thus serving as a basis for transitioning from fragility to reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Poverty remains widespread, with growth and job creation insufficient for lifting incomes. The SCD update uses data from the 2022 Somalia integrated household budget survey (SIHBS), which is the first comprehensive household budget survey undertaken since the collapse of the state in 1991. Since SCD1, there have been modest improvements in some non-monetary dimensions of welfare. Somalia has benefited from new sources of financial support, which are helping to strengthen institutions through the advancement of the debt relief process. This SCD update reaffirms that the binding constraints and priorities presented in SCD1 remain valid. The SCD update presents five high-level outcomes (HLOs) that consider the progress made since SCD1, as well as the availability of new analytical work.
  • Publication
    Cambodia Second-generation Systematic Country Diagnostic Update, January 2024
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-01-23) World Bank
    Since Cambodia’s first Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD1), the country’s economy has continued to grow strongly, reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity. Growth continued to be driven largely by factor accumulation, with limited contributions from productivity, which is not sustainable over the long term. This SCD update (SCD2) finds that most pathways identified in SCD1 made moderate progress in the past five years, except for building human assets (Pathway II) which recorded only modest progress. Pathway I’s moderate progress was driven by strong export product diversification, driven by improved preferential trade access to the United States, and modest improvements in international competitiveness. A Pathway III’s moderate progress was driven by improved resilience to natural disasters as well as gains on environmental performance and urban development. Strong improvements in government effectiveness and the rule of law drove cross-cutting IV’s moderate progress. In contrast, Pathway II’s only modest progress was driven by mixed developments across health, education, and social protection - with improvements in access not consistently delivering significantly better outcomes.
  • Publication
    Armenia - The Second Systematic Country Diagnostic: Beyond Boundaries - Unlocking Potential for a Sustainable Tomorrow
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2024-01-22) World Bank
    The Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) provides an assessment of the constraints Armenia should address and the opportunities it can embrace to accelerate progress toward the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. The first-generation SCD in Armenia, published in 2017, highlighted the need for a new growth model grounded in greater productivity, and it identified four main related challenges: (1) poor external sector performance, (2) low private sector productivity, (3) insufficient labor productivity, and (4) key macroeconomic, environmental, and microeconomic vulnerabilities. This second-generation SCD looks into the future by reflecting on the five years that have transpired since 2017. It finds that the challenges identified in SCD remain valid, while it highlights new challenges related to fragility, conflict, and violence. It also finds that governance, institutional capacity, and investment in data are cross-sectoral constraints.
  • Publication
    North Macedonia Systematic Country Diagnostic Update: Navigating Challenges, Embracing Opportunities
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-11-10) World Bank
    The 2018 North Macedonia SCD evaluated the country’s economic development and recognized its impressive progress in reducing poverty and advancing shared prosperity. Between 2002 and 2018, income per capita doubled, and the country rose from lower-middle-income to upper-middle-income status. In the wake of the global financial crisis, a sustained increase in the incomes of households in the bottom 40 percent of the distribution halved the headcount poverty rate to about 20 percent, and years of inclusive growth drove one of the world’s steepest declines in inequality. While this assessment was broadly positive, it also highlighted challenges that could make progress difficult to sustain unless structural reforms were advanced including within the European Union (EU) accession negotiations context. The SCD presented three complementary pathways for North Macedonia to achieve faster, more inclusive, and sustainable growth: (i) increasing productivity; (ii) enhancing job opportunities for all; and (iii) achieving sustainability through effective governance, fiscal prudence, enhanced environmental management and resilience to natural hazards. Five years later, these same pathways remain central to inclusive growth and poverty reduction in North Macedonia. North Macedonia envisions a future characterized by higher productivity and better paid jobs; enhanced infrastructure and public services that allow a more balanced regional development; a sustainable environment and higher resilience to shocks; and, ultimately, being a member of the EU. Unfortunately, the country lags on these aspirations and grapples with the pressing issue of population decline and emigration. Numerous factors contribute to the wave of emigration, encompassing political polarization, corruption, eroded trust in public institutions, perceptions of socioeconomic inequality, persisting intergenerational poverty, low-quality healthcare and education systems, and alarming levels of air pollution.
  • Publication
    Georgia Systematic Country Diagnostic Update: Keeping the Reform Momentum
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-10-26) World Bank
    Since the release of the first Georgia Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) in 2018 Georgia has regained upper middle-income status and has shown resilience amid a rapidly changing external environment. Economic growth has remained robust despite shocks, driven by capital accumulation. Consistent with the slowdown in the labor contribution to growth, poverty reduction has slowed in recent years, as income from wages has decreased. Georgia has struggled to create quality jobs, and labor force participation has declined. Constraints to firm productivity and growth limit the ability of enterprises to create good jobs. Georgia has made significant strides in access to social services, but human capital formation is undermined by quality constraints, particularly in education. In terms of sustainability, Georgia has so far been unable to decouple carbon emissions from economic growth. The report discusses as well other aspects of resilience, in terms of response to shocks and overall governance. Going forward, this SCD update identifies ten policy objectives and four high level outcomes (HLOs). These HLOs are: (i) enhanced creation of good quality jobs by boosting productivity; (ii) improved and more equitable human capital; (iii) enhanced readiness to climate change and the green transition; and (iv) improved resilience to shocks.
  • Publication
    Brazil Systematic Country Diagnostic: Update
    (Washington, D.C., 2023-10-11) World Bank
    This Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) update argues that development challenges identified in SCD1 remain relevant. Moreover, there is a renewed urgency to build the capacity of individuals to generate income and a reinforced need for timely action in a transition to a greener economy. The update builds on the evidence collected in a long series of recently published analytical reports to review the challenges identified in SCD1 and inform the definition of the update’s challenges. The first constraint is complemented by the definition of another challenge so that not only the need to have productive jobs is highlighted, but also the poverty‐reduction prerequisite of building the income‐generating capacity of all individuals (through human, natural, and financial capital) is explicitly stated. The third constraint is also expanded to underscore Brazil’s need to address increased exposure to climate change risks in a timely manner. The update identified four development challenges that must be overcome, which are linked to three desired high‐level outcomes (HLOs). These outcomes, reflecting transformative changes that are critical to achieving the twin goals, are defined as long‐term sustained improvements in the well‐being of the poorest and most vulnerable. The HLOs are: (i) increased access to high quality job opportunities; (ii) improved households’ accumulation and use of productive assets; and (iii) reduced vulnerability to climate shocks.
  • Publication
    Systematic Country Diagnostic Update for Guinea-Bissau: Addressing Fragility for Sustained Poverty Reduction and Shared Prosperity
    (Washington, DC, 2023-09) World Bank
    The Systematic Country Diagnostic Update (the Update) revisits Guinea-Bissau’s development challenges and the prioritization of policy actions to make sustained progress towards decreasing fragility, reducing poverty, and achieving inclusive economic growth. Leveraging new data and analytics, the Update takes stock of recent developments and reviews the findings of the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD), published by the World Bank in 2016. Because major constraints to development remain unchanged, the new version of the SCD is being prepared as an update. The Update proposes five High Level Outcomes (HLOs) that link binding development challenges, priority policy actions, and the World Bank twin goals of ending poverty and increasing shared prosperity. The Update employs a bottom-up approach to revisit Guinea-Bissau’s development prospects, considering the current global context. The analytical approach consists of four steps and is informed by the current global context (chapter 2): First, it appraises the progress (or lack thereof) in the development challenges that Guinea-Bissau’s faces in the areas of governance and fragility, poverty and inclusion, economic growth, and the sustainability of the development process (chapter 3). Second, based on this comprehensive review, four binding constraint areas are identified (chapter 4). Third, based on recent analytical work, internal and external consultations, and a predefined prioritization methodology, the list of Priority Policy Areas (PPAs) is updated (chapter 5). Fourth, to link the PPAs with the World Bank’s twin goals, five HLOs are proposed.
  • Publication
    Costa Rica SCD Update (June 2023)
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-11) World Bank
    This note provides an update on the World Bank’s 2015 Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) of Costa Rica. The SCD is a core analytical product of the World Bank and a key input underlying the World Bank partnership framework with client countries. This SCD update is based on consultations with counterparts in Costa Rica and with World Bank sectoral leads and on data analysis and a literature review. The update examines the main development challenges in the country, and it describes high-level outcomes that, if achieved, will contribute sustainably to reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity. Annex A provides background on the process of preparing this SCD update. Annex B offers a schematic overview of key developments since the publication of the original SCD, developments that underlay the narrative of the update. Annex C outlines some of the data and evidence gaps that the team encountered while drafting the SCD update.
  • Publication
    Suriname Systematic Country Diagnostic (June 2023)
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2023-08-11) World Bank
    Suriname is a small, natural resource-rich, densely forested, upper-middle-income country, which, though it has great economic potential, is undergoing challenging times. Substantial offshore oil deposits were recently discovered in the Suriname-Guyana Basin, with potentially significant implications for the country’s fortunes in the medium term. Weak institutions and governance challenges, however, are holding back growth and development. This systematic country diagnostic (SCD) identifies the strengthening of the institutions that contribute to accountability and good governance as the critical challenge to inclusive and sustainable growth. Converting oil revenues into assets that support sustainable and equitable growth will require public spending and investment without overwhelming the absorption capacity of the domestic economy, prudent fiscal policy, and the saving of some of the resource wealth in foreign financial assets. Significant and urgent improvement in governance and institutions is needed to achieve this outcome.
  • Publication
    Kyrgyz Republic - Systematic Country Diagnostic Update: From Vulnerability to Resilience
    (Washington, DC, 2023-05-04) World Bank
    The Kyrgyz Republic has recorded steady progress in poverty reduction and shared prosperity over the past twenty years. The government’s national development program to 2040 sets a clear target for continued growth and improved living standards. The overarching theme of the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) update is the need to improve the economic environment to create jobs and efficiently provide public goods and services while ensuring the efficiency of natural resources to build climate resilience, reduce vulnerability, and support green growth. The central goals of rising prosperity and falling poverty face three threats in the current international context: (i) slowing global growth and higher vulnerability to external shocks - disruptions to trade and transit, food, and energy price shocks that jeopardize the progress on fighting poverty, and climate shocks; (ii) a decline in competitiveness as relative productivity performance deteriorates because of poor opportunities for the private sector amidst dominant state owned enterprises (SOEs), large infrastructure gaps, and inadequate banking and capital markets; and (iii) institutional under-preparedness to address the new generation of complex development tasks and manage risks through long neglect, especially in public policy and governance, but also in capabilities to handle climate change risks. In this context, this report finds that the transition of the Kyrgyz economy to productivity driven growth is constrained by the following key issues: continued dependence on old drivers of growth; progress on poverty reduction and inclusion stalls, and the potential for further gains remains uncertain; little progress on institutional reforms and governance strengthening; and increased environmental risks, natural resource degradation, and vulnerabilities.