There is great potential in
The report titled, The Development Potential of Regional Programs, released by the Independent Evaluation Group, lists tough policies that more than 120 countries have not yet met. “One major issue is related to accountable governance arrangements”, says Catherine Gwin of the World Bank one of the report authors.
The report further shows that for regional programs to work effectively, a country must show strong ownership of any program. “Planning for sustainability of outcomes has been poor in the past, even in
“Regional projects have a strong country voice but partnerships tend to be dominated by donors”, reads the report. It gives a good example of the HIV/AIDS and transport, and
“They were all well designed to give all participating countries equitable voice and roles even though the sizes of the countries differed markedly. But the smaller countries participating in the
The level of representation in governance bodies needs to match the level of issues being addressed if agreements have to be implemented and country obligations met, say the authors.
Continuous funding for the National Malaria, Tuberculosis and AIDS programs still remains a hurdle. “This is because in the past, many issues such as management of funds and repayments have always been a major obstacle”, says an official with the World Bank. The authors say that the funding for communicable diseases such as AIDS has had great potential and importance but a lot still needs to be done.
The report only lists Gender and water programs as one of the successes of
The report shows that country-to-country partnerships are not as easy to manage as they may seem, but further shows that there is great potential if all or most of the requirements are met.
Catherine Gwin says that HIV/AIDS funding in African countries will in the future focus on transport. The World Bank is currently focusing on such a project in
Harmonizing of laws and procedures have been some of the requirements that
The report shows that a major hurdle for regional programs is the initial cost. “Regional programs cost $31,000 per million dollars lent compared with $23,000 for non-regional programs per million lent. “
The Bank has played a key role in building country commitment and donor support for regional programs through lending and non lending activities. However the bank has been less effective in helping countries asses the costs”, explains Gwin in the media briefing.
The bank says that various policies will have to be reviewed by many countries, especially in the health sector. “The health sectors is still remains among the most challenging”, says Gwin.
Currently there are only fifty-one regional projects out of a total of two thousand five hundred-investment operations bank wide, and also there are fifty-eight regional partnerships out of a total of two hundred and twenty.