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Towards the Country Partnership Framework

New Approach to Country Engagement

The World Bank Group is developing a new approach to country engagement that will make its country-driven model more systematic, evidence-based, selective and focused on the goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable manner. We are developing a new directive to guide the process. A revised draft of the directive and Board paper have now been distributed to the Boards of the World Bank Group for discussion on May 27, 2014. If you have additional feedback or questions, please send them to

The World Bank Group will strengthen the focus of its country programs by developing a more evidence-based and selective country engagement model in the context of country ownership and national priorities, and in coordination with other development partners. In place of the Country Assistance Strategy, we will be implementing a new approach to country engagement underpinned by a more consistent and rigorous identification of the key opportunities and constraints and featuring mechanisms to adjust and learn over the course of the engagement.

Step 1: What are the biggest constraints to reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity in a sustainable way? A Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD) (Interim Guidelines can be found here) will use data and analytic methods to support country clients and World Bank Group teams in identifying the most critical constraints to, and opportunities for, reducing poverty and building shared prosperity sustainably, while considering the voices of the poor and the views of the private sector and other stakeholders.

Step 2: What are the most important contributions the World Bank Group can make? The Country Partnership Framework (CPF) will lay out the development objectives that WBG interventions expect to help the country achieve and attendant program of indicative WBG interventions. The CPF objectives are derived from those country development goals that reflect the Bank Group’s comparative advantage as well as alignment with the goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity.

Step 3: How are we doing? Performance and Learning Reviews will identify and capture lessons; determine midcourse corrections, and help build the WBG’s knowledge base, including effective approaches for integrating inclusion and sustainability dimensions (including gender and environmental sustainability) into the SCD and CPF.

Step 4: What did we learn? Completion and Learning Reviews will identify and capture end-of-cycle learning to contribute to the WBG’s knowledge base.