Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

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These briefs report on ongoing operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.

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  • Publication
    Burundi - Investing in Leadership Development through the Rapid Results Approach
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-08) World Bank
    The government of Burundi appealed to the World Bank Institute (WBI) for help in strengthening the capacities of leadership to implement policies and programs that would achieve measurable results. The new government needed to make tough decisions on competing priorities, including allocating an estimated US$12 billion to achieve the millennium development goals, and carrying out reforms to ensure efficient allocation of public resources. The government understood it would need to invest in leadership development in order to drive change at the institutional level and achieve results, and that this would require more than the traditional classroom method of leadership training. Instead, the following approaches were needed: 1) training programs adapted to the needs of leaders; 2) a learning-by-doing approach to capacity development; and 3) a participatory approach to action planning, work planning, and defining modalities for resource management.
  • Publication
    Zambia - Social Investment Fund Project
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-07) Mastri, Lawrence
    The Zambia Social Investment Fund (ZAMSIF) is part of a two phase program (over 10 years) intended to support two of the objectives outlined in the Government of Zambia's (GRZ) National Poverty Reduction Strategic Framework & Action Plan (1999-2004). The specific project objectives were to (i) achieve sustainable improved availability and use of quality basic social services by beneficiary communities and specific vulnerable groups; (ii) contribute to the building of capacity for improved local governance; and (iii) strengthen the capacity to provide timely information on poverty and social conditions and facilitate its use in policy making.
  • Publication
    Eritrea - Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-06) Mastri, Lawrence
    The Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project aimed to strengthen the management of public records in order to contribute to the development of a historiography of Eritrea while improving the efficiency of the public sector. The project will also strengthen the management of public records both to contribute to the development of a historiography of Eritrea while improving the efficiency of the public sector. Overall the project was able to meet its objectives of testing out and developing the means for more fully integrating the conservation and management of cultural assets into local and national economic development. Furthermore, it promoted learning in many areas that are central to development at an institutional and skills level.
  • Publication
    Madagascar - Building Leadership and Management Capacity through the Rapid Results Approach
    (2008-06) Mastri, Lawrence
    In 2002 Madagascar's new government under President Mark Ravolamana recognized the urgency of addressing the peoples' high expectations for concrete economic and social improvements. While it rushed to put the economy back on track and improve the quality of life, its vision and strategy for reform was no match for the realities on the ground. By the time the Ravolamanana government assumed power in 2002, GDP had declined by 13 percent, key public services were discontinued, and the poverty rate soared from 69 percent in 2001 to 80 percent. There was widespread joblessness and high inflation. Within the government, there was little capacity for policy planning or monitoring and evaluation in most sectors. Collaboration was weak, with no existing mechanism to allow for a joint ministerial response to problems that cut across sectors. In February 2005, when the government launched its first rapid results pilot, the goal was to mitigate the effects of a significant shortfall in rice production, importation, and distribution. The crisis was solved by a combination of policy-based and technical interventions. Rice production increased significantly in two of the four targeted regions when the rapid results approach (RRA) was applied. In the region of Boeny, production went from 2.5 tons per hectare in 2004 to 4 tons per hectare in 2005, and in the region of Menabe, it increased from 22,000 tons to 37,000 tons.
  • Publication
    The Rapid Results Approach : A Tool for Leadership Development and Institutional Change
    (2008-05) Mastri, Lawrence
    The World Bank is using the rapid results approach (RRA) to link leadership to managing for results through practical capacity support to clients. The Bank helps leaders engage operational teams in government to achieve tangible results in 100 days. In the process the RRA reveals institutional bottlenecks; and diagnosing and removing these can help make a government more effective. The RRA has been applied in about 23 Bank operations in 21 countries since 2002, primarily in Africa, and also in South Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, North Africa, and to a lesser extent in Eastern and Central Europe, with some notable successes. The RRA has been used by the Bank and its clients to: (i) improve capacity for diagnosing institutional constraints; (ii) improve capacity for project/program planning and implementation; (iii) increase the results focus of a project/program; (iv) strengthen a sense of accountability; (v) enhance engagement between leadership and other stakeholders across multiple sectors; and (vi) jump-start implementation of difficult or problem projects. For public sector reform, good leadership means the ability to drive change toward achieving the right results. The Marseille Forum cases document how RRA has been used to strengthen the capacity of government leadership to make change happen in countries in transition, including those in postconflict situations, in newly elected governments, and in governments undertaking large-scale reforms.
  • Publication
    Lesotho - Education Sector Development Project
    (2008-05) Mastri, Lawrence
    The objectives of the Education Sector Development Project (ESDP) addresses critical needs in the areas of basic education, such as expanding access through the construction, and furnishing of new classrooms. The project aimed to revise curricula, develop instructional materials, and strengthen the system of assessment. In addition to recruiting more teachers, training for teachers at both pre-and-in service was planned to upgrade the standards of teaching. To address the needs of students enrolled in Technical and Vocational Education programs, the project proposed to introduce standardized craft curricula, strengthen skills certification and testing, and improve policy and management capacity within the sub sector. The project planned to support the National University of Lesotho in its efforts to introduce quality enhancement and cost containment measures. Finally, the objectives included improving sectoral management by reorganizing the Ministry of Education (MOE), promoting decentralization, and school level management.
  • Publication
    Africa Region - Regional Environmental Information Management Program
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-04) Mastri, Lawrence
    The primary goal of the Regional Environmental Information Management Program (REIMP) was to improve planning and management of natural resources in the Congo Basin, with specific focus on biodiversity conservation, by providing the various stakeholders with appropriate information on the environment in response to the needs they identify. The project has five objectives: (i) ensure the circulation of environmental information and optimize benefits from existing initiatives; (ii) foster involvement of decision makers in environmental information use and facilitate sound land use planning in the Congo Basin; (iii) provide users (public and private sectors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), sub regional, and international organizations) with environmental information meeting their demand; (iv) strengthen national capacities for environmental information management; and (v) implement a Regional Fund for Local Initiatives (REFLI).
  • Publication
    Uganda’s Virtual Poverty Fund : Pro-Poor Spending Reform
    (2008-03) Sudharshan Canagarajah; Tim Williamson
    The provision of debt relief to Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPCs) commencing in the late 1990s, and the growing interest among donors in providing direct budget support, increased donor focus on national budget systems. Given that debt relief and aid resources are fungible, donors were concerned that such debt relief be verifiably used to benefit the poor in the recipient country. In effect, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), acting on behalf of donors, asked that HIPC governments put in place systems to track the use of resources freed up by debt relief and show that these were in fact used to finance pro-poor programs. This required governments to have the capacity to identify policies and programs that would benefit the poor and to effectively channel and track resources to such programs. This note considers the Uganda Virtual Poverty Fund (VPF) to understand how well it served to allocate resources to pro-poor programs and what weaknesses were observed that may need to be corrected as other countries employ mechanisms similar to the VPF.
  • Publication
    Building Capacity in Management and Financing in the Road Sector
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-01) Brushett, Stephen; Sampson, Les; Waithaka, Solomon
    This report as about onging operational, economic, and sector work carried out by the World Bank and its member governments in the Africa Region.This note focuses post-experience training in disciplines including, but not limited to, management and finance to enable the new institutions and the governments concerned to reap the benefits of international best practices and to effectively internalize the key lessons of experience. It argues that short course programs aimed at an executive audience can be considered a highly effective and timely means of delivery of the benefits of training.
  • Publication
    Cameroon - Higher Education Technical Training Project
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2007-12) Mastri, Lawrence
    The Higher Education Technical Training Project's objective was to introduce, develop, and test a new and improved model of public higher technical education in Cameroon in the Institut Universitaire Technologique (IUT) Douala. If successful, the model could then be used as a basis for reforming other higher education institutions in Cameroon. The IUT Douala was among the most advanced in this process, and IDA believed that it could serve as a reference for other institutions. The project had defined eight indicators to evaluate the achievement of the development objective in establishing a new model for technical higher education. The indicators provided a measure of the involvement of the private sector and of the impact on students. Except for two indicators, which were dependent on the granting of full financial autonomy, all other indicators were fully met. Some of the lessons are as follows: (a)The development of a pilot in an institution requires an assessment of the organizational and managerial capacity of the institution to carry out the experiment. (b) Well defined qualitative indicators are crucial to help pilot the implementation process. (c) Developing a cooperative relationship with the private sector takes time. The private sector needs to be convinced that real and sustainable benefits can be gained from this cooperation. (d) Study tours by key stakeholders to countries which have undergone a similar process helps gain support for the reform and build momentum.