Publication: Capacity Building in Africa : An OED Evaluation of World Bank Support

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Operations Evaluation Department
This evaluation assesses the relevance and effectiveness of Bank support for public sector capacity building in Africa, over the past 10 years. It draws on studies of Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, and Mozambique; aggregate assessments of country strategies and operations across the Bank's Africa Region; and, reviews of three corporate and Regional programs dedicated to capacity building-the World Bank Institute, the Institutional Development Fund, and the Bank-supported African Capacity Building Foundation. Main findings suggest recent changes in approach have made Bank support more relevant; most capacity support remains fragmented; sector-specific capacity building approaches need strengthening; tools and instruments could be more effectively and fully utilized; and, quality assurance is inadequate. These findings underscore the importance of approaching capacity building in Africa as a core objective, and ensuring that Bank capacity building support is country-owned, results oriented, and evidence-based. The evaluation recommends that: the Bank strengthen its knowledge base, and amplify its framework for public sector capacity building, to better help countries; sector and thematic leadership should develop sector-specific guidance on diagnosing public sector capacity needs, and ways of monitoring and evaluating interventions; regional senior management should ensure that Country Assistance Strategies are used effectively to help countries identify, and strengthen the capacities they need to plan, implement, and measure the results of their poverty reduction strategies; and, the Bank should reassess what role training should play in its capacity building support, how it should be provided, and what should be the respective roles of a central training unit, and Regional programs in any future support for this activity.
Operations Evaluation Department. 2005. Capacity Building in Africa : An OED Evaluation of World Bank Support. © Washington, DC: World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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