Signs and Smokesignals

10 April 2009

Asked by e-mail about the fund, Alejandra Videos, a Senior Communications Officer with the World Bank replied, We dont have anything new to report on the Facility. Well let you know if anything comes up. Another Bank official explained that no disclosure about the funds expenditures is necessary under Bank rules because it is bank-executed activity. E-mails to the UK development agency communications office have not been returned.

Nevertheless, some hints of how the GPF will be used have filtered through.

The Bank recently advertised to hire a “senior public sector specialist,”explaining that “The Zambia Country Management Unit has just received funding from the Governance Partnership Facility (GPF) which will assist the country team implement the country governance and anti corruption agenda (CGAC) included in the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) 2008-11.”

The advertisement goes on to indicate that, among other tasks, the specialist will assist the government of Zambia in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Construction Sector Transparency Initiative, Freedom of Information legislation, and other demand-side interventions, and the Zambia Governance and Anti-Corruption Council.

The Bank is also seeking a “monitoring and evaluation specialist” to review the GPF’s performance.

Involving CSOs in the GPF

The origins of the GPF were outlined in a 2008 World Bank report on its governance and anticorruption strategy:

The GPF allows for Bank execution of grants, but also enables nongovernmental entities (e.g., civil society organizations, think tanks) to access funds to execute some of the activities funded under the other three Windows (through Window 4). This will only allow nongovernmental organization-executed components embedded in the proposals for the other Windows.

The three windows phrase refers to the three general topical areas to be funded: the implementation of comprehensive and innovative governance programs at country level, governance work in frontier areas, and efforts to stimulate innovation and strategic shared learning and strengthen knowledge networks in the area by enhancing staff access to knowledge networks and funding policy-relevant research on governance.

The fourth window was basically an accounting mechanism to legally permit funds to go to CSOs in connection with these projects. Similarly, a section on financing from the World Banks governance and anticorruption strategy document said:

Financing. At the country level, the Bank will continue to pursue this agenda in partnership with other donors that have traditionally engaged actively with civil society and media, and will work to strengthen these partnerships. Because the Banks traditional financing instruments are geared to work with the executive, nontraditional funding mechanisms have a special salience in this area. A number of grant facilities already have proven useful. Examples include the Japan Social Development Fund, which (with the concurrence of government) provides grant support directly to CSOs working with communities; trust funds which provide financing for innovative accountability mechanisms and capacity-building of both government and civil society, like the Bank Netherlands Partnership Program priority support for social accountability, the Norwegian Governance Trust Fund, and the Trust Fund for Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development; and the financing provided through the Development Grant Facility to the Partnership for Transparency, a highly effective organization that gives small grants to civic watchdogs. The WBG will encourage other donors to increase financial support for such organizations as well.


By Toby McIntosh

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Filed under: IFTI Watch


In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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