Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs

415 items available

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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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Health Expenditures, Services and Outcomes in Africa

2010-04, Peters, David H., Kandola, Kami, Elemendorf, A. Edward, Chellaraj, Gnanaraj

In the past thirty years, Sub-Saharan African countries have made remarkable improvements in health conditions and status. However, they still suffer from some of the worst health problems in the world, and AIDS is making conditions much worse than they will be otherwise. This study, health expenditures, services, and outcomes in Africa considers 48 countries of Sub-Saharan Africa and outlines broad patterns of health spending, service delivery, mortality, fertility and nutrition in the early to mid-1990s. The study focuses on how to better monitor progress and use information to identify problems and improve health outcomes within and among different African countries. Good information about inputs, processes and results in the health sector is vital for policymakers to make intelligent choices about health strategies and investments, and often is simply not available. For purposes of the study, countries were classified as lowest-income, low-income and middle-income categories. Over three quarters of the African countries are low income or even lowest income countries, and nearly all have weak health management systems.

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Zambia - Social Investment Fund Project

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.

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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.

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Africa Region - Regional Environmental Information Management Program

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).

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Ghana - High Forest Biodiversity Conservation Project

2008-08, Mastri, Lawrence

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) supported High Forest Biodiversity Conservation Project intended to increase the ecological security of globally significant biological resources, especially within threatened tropical moist forest ecosystems. The project aimed to establish effective systems for the protection of 30 Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) in all tropical forest biomes in Ghana in four regions within the high forest zone - namely, Ashanti, Eastern, Central, and Western regions. The project focused on communities living at the periphery of these GSBAs.

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Eritrea - Cultural Assets Rehabilitation Project

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.

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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.

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Burundi - Investing in Leadership Development through the Rapid Results Approach

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.

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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.

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PREM Anchor Support to the Africa Region

2008-04, Danny Leipziger

The goal of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Network is to shape policies and to help countries build successful national strategies for sustained, shared growth, and to strengthen partnerships at the country level for improved aid effectiveness. There is no region in which this goal is more challenging than in Africa. In support of the Africa Action Plan (AAP), the PREM Anchor has actively stepped up its support to the Africa Region (AFR) in fiscal year 2006 (FY06).As of the end of January 2006, Anchor staff had provided nearly 83 staff weeks in direct cross-support alone. Activities have included knowledge generation, high level policy support on missions, the development of toolkits and diagnostics to improve policy advice on growth strategies, among others. Most of this work has been provided on a demand driven basis, and PREM plans to continue providing such services subject to its budgetary and skills capacity. This note illustrates how the PREM Anchor's support to the PREM Anchor support to the AFR connects with the objectives of the AAP. The PREM Anchor is working closely with the AFR on ways to improve the results focus and analytical foundations of poverty reduction strategies (PRSs). A study is under way on the integration of PRS reporting and budget implementation covering eight African countries to improve existing reporting instruments and assess how to better align PRS reporting with budget reporting. Work is also under way to strengthen the quality of second generation PRSs and their relevance as a framework for scaling up and improving aid effectiveness.