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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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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Mali - Economic Policy and Public Finance Management Credit

2008-01, Mastri, Lawrence

The Economic Policy and Public Finance Management Credit (EPPFMC) was part of the Country Assistance Strategies (CAS) base case lending scenario of budget support operations. The thematic coverage of the EPPFMC focused on policy and institutional issues in macro, public finance, and selected sector areas. It complemented self-standing sector investment operations covering health, education, rural infrastructure, agricultural competitiveness, support to growth, and transport corridors. The EPPFMC aimed to: (i) promote growth and poverty reduction through (a) strengthening macroeconomic and fiscal management and (b) implementing key actions underpinning Mali's long-term growth and competitiveness; and, (ii) improve efficiency, accountability, and transparency in public finance management through strengthening (a) public expenditure management at central and decentralized levels and (b) the public procurement system. Some of the lessons are as follows: (a) The operation demonstrated the merits of including in Mali's policy-based lending operations, policy and institutional reform measures complementary to and supportive of ongoing sector operations. (b) For a country such as Mali, with weak institutional and administrative capacities, it is important to be realistic on what can be achieved, and be selective on which issues are undertaken within a short timeframe. This lesson was adhered to in the EPPFMC. (c) Policy measures should be better matched to the objectives sought. In the Mali cotton case, although the cotton reform actions were and continue being implemented, the cotton sector remains in a precarious financial situation due not only to weak management but also to (a) stagnant or adverse international cotton prices and (b) an appreciating currency, resulting in lower local-currency denominated revenues on marketed cotton.

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How to Monitor an Ambitious Agenda : The Africa Results Monitoring System

2007-09, Mohan, P. C.

The Africa Results Monitoring System (AfricaRMS) is a new tool for dynamic learning that monitors and reports data and stories of African development. It is meant to bolster the Africa Region's Results Agenda. AfricaRMS is a first-of-its kind system in the Bank, and the only website where anyone can see how the Bank spends, where and what is obtained from the spending, and where results are achieved. It offers a clear window into Bank work and a comprehensive view of country growth in Africa. This brief tells the story of AfricaRMS, how it's applied, its structure, about the team that built it, and partner's countries.

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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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Mali - Private Sector Assistance Grant

2008-03, Mastri, Lawrence

The principal objective of the project was to help foster the development of private sector enterprises, so that they could lead the growth of Mali's economy. The project aimed at putting in place mechanisms and measures to support the government's strategy of breaking from past reliance on the public sector. The project proposed to achieve this by: (a) completing implementation of improvements to the regulatory environment that had been introduced starting in the late eighties; (b) assisting a private business support structure, APEP, the Agence pour la Promotion de l'Entreprise Privee, to coordinate a program of institutional support to private non-financial enterprises; (c) improving the functioning of economic chambers (principally the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Mali), the Government's office charged with public enterprise reform, BEP, and departments of the administration responsible of administering regulations affecting private enterprises; and (d) inducing the strengthening of the banking sector and the preparation of a coherent financial sector strategy.

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Multi-Dimensional Results Measurement in CDD Projects : Experiences from the Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda Social Action Funds

2007-12, Pidatala, Krishna, Lenneiye, Nginya Mungai

In the last decade, Malawi, Tanzania, and Uganda have used the Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach to implement projects that exhibit multi-sectoral linkages, complex institutional structures and implementation processes, creative tension between the supply and demand sides, and convergence at the Local Government Authority (LGA) level in environments compounded by the pace of decentralization. The projects have broadened the issue of results focus from the measurement of a few input-output indicators to include intermediate outcomes (which measure beneficiaries potentially reached by outputs produced by the projects). In the process, these projects have been able to scale up from 'isolated boutique-type projects' to a mass production of outputs through participatory decision-making, local capacity development, and community control of resources. At the national level, the projects have contributed to: (a) poverty reduction, (b) improved social welfare, and (c) improved transparency and accountability.

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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.

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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.

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Mozambique - Municipal Development Project

2007-11, Mastri, Lawrence

The project was designed as a long-term capacity building and institutional development project utilizing a pilot funding program, Municipal Grant Fund (MGF), as the first stage of support for municipal infrastructure and services. The original four components included (a) Legal and Institutional Reform; (b) Municipal Capacity Building; (c) Municipal Grants; and (d) Project Management and Technical Assistance. The restructured project development objectives were to assist the Government of Mozambique to operationalize the legal, institutional and fiscal framework for municipal governance; develop a sustainable training and technical assistance system and increase the capacity of municipality officials and personnel; and establish an operating mechanism for providing grants to municipalities through a pilot program in eight cities to finance capital investments for municipal capacity building and infrastructure. Some of the lessons learned are as follows: (a) The design of a project and in particular of a pilot program should be simple and within the capacity of the staff and agencies responsible for its implementation. (b) Team leaders from government and Bank project teams must develop strong working relationships built on effective communication so that both organizations are working toward the same objective.