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PREM Public Sector Governance . The World Bank. The “Tools of the Trade”: An Overview of The World Bank’s Governance Diagnostic and Assessment Instruments. Presented to: PREM – WBI Core Course on Public Sector Governance & Anticorruption. Presented by: Francesca Recanatini

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PREM Public Sector Governance

The World Bank

The “Tools of the Trade”:

An Overview of The World Bank’s Governance Diagnostic and Assessment Instruments

Presented to:

PREM – WBI Core Course on

Public Sector Governance &


Presented by:

Francesca Recanatini

Senior Economist

World Bank Institute (WBIGP)

February 14-17, 2005

Objective l.jpg

Which are the key elements for a governance assessment?

Which empirical tools and approaches are already available?

How can we select among them?

How can such assessments be used for policy purpose?


How to choose among governance tools?

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1. What is the purpose of the assessment?

Research and analysis

Awareness raising

Policy and Action planning

Capacity building


Key starting points

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2. What is the focus of the assessment?

Governance as a whole


Performance of a specific agency/sector

Quality of a specific public service delivered

Key starting points

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The final purpose of the assessment

The focus of the assessment

What next?

Suppose we have determined ...

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Public Official surveys



Score Cards

Investment Climate Surveys

EC Audits





Case Studies

HIPC Exp. Tracking


Existing Empirical Tools

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Use a working framework

Conceptual dimension

- Analytical Framework -

- Analytical Framework -

Governance Assessment

Implementation process

Empirical tools & sample


& use

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Clear definition of the variable we focus on and its manifestations

Translation of the definition into observable and measurable components

Selection of methodological approach

Understanding of the links between governance and

Performance outcomes

Development outcomes

Conceptual dimension

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PER manifestations




EC Audits

Public Official Surveys

IGR & GAC & Governance Cross-Country Ind.







Linking the Tools to the Blueprint

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Finding answers may require single or multiple methods and data forms

The methodological approach can be a combination of different methods (for example, qualitative, quantitative or mixed)

To each method corresponds a set of empirical tools that we can use

Data can also be qualitative and/or quantitative

Conceptual dimension, cont.

For more information on alternative methods

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Methods: data forms

- Focus Group Discussions, interviews, case studies



Lack of counterfactuals, causality is unclear

Small Samples



Context, History

Purely Qualitative

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Problems: data forms

Structured Questions


Reflect Biases of Researcher


Large Samples

Representative Samples

Clear Methods for Inferring Causality

Purely Qualitative

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Take Best of Both Worlds - Advantages data forms

Quantitative Questions Informed by Qualitative Investigation.

Hypotheses Generated by Qualitative tested for Generalizability by Quantitative.

Depth supplemented by breadth –“thick” understanding with generalizability.

History, Context, Process and Identifying Causal Links


Mixed Methods


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High Cost data forms

Time Consuming

Large Teams – Coordination Problems

Usually poorly done – more research required to understand how methods compare

Mixed Methods – Problems

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Focus on institutions vs. individuals data forms

Experiential vs. perception data

One vs. many types of respondents

Standard vs. customized empirical tools

Definition of sample and field work details

Open end vs. close end questions

Empirical dimension

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Linking the Tools to the Respondents data forms

Score cards

Civil Society











Government Officials


Private Sector

The State

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To increase impact and sustainability: data forms

Consultative and participatory approach to discuss purpose, use and features of the assessment

Engage local NGOs and academic institutions to adapt/revise tools

Public dissemination of results

Joint design of policy recommendations

Process/Capacity Building dimension

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Broader awareness data forms

Measuring governance: possible outcomes

Internet, radio

Focus groups

Enhanced local capacity

Governance Assessment

Greater consensus


Policy dialogue

Knowledge for policy and/or research

Where we are l.jpg

We defined our objective data forms

We identified a tool and a method

We defined the sample

We specified the details of the field work

We defined the process

What next?

Where we are

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The data formsuse of data to

identify an issue

measure a phenomenon

understand a process

compare experiences

evaluate constraints

quantify costs and benefits

link effect to a cause

evaluate policy choices

Analytical and Policy dimension

  • Focus on links between governance manifestations and:

    • - Quality of services

    • - Growth

    • - Public sector characteristics

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The data has to handle with care to interpret correctly the results

Key elements:

Characteristics and size of sample

Modus of data collection

Objectiveness of the data

Rigor of the approach

Margin of error


Empirical analysis – a word of caution

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Identify both weak institutions (in need of reform) and strong institutions (example of good governance)

Unbundle corruption by type – administrative, capture of the state, bidding, theft of goods and public resources, purchase of licenses and regulations

Key dimensions for governance analysis

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Assess the cost of each type of corruption on different groups of stakeholders

Identify key determinants of good governance

Develop policy recommendations

Key dimensions (cont.)

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Issue: the government wanted to monitor progress in terms of

Transparency of public administration activities

Civil society “participation” and voice

Quality of public services

An example – Peru 2002

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Purpose of assessment: monitoring

Focus of the assessment:


Citizens’“Participation” and Voice

Quality of public services

What next?

Peru 2002, cont.

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Purpose of assessment: monitoring

Final users: government and civil society

Key feature:

Comparability across time

Ability to identify progresses

Type of information needed: agency-specific

Approach: objective, and based on citizen’s feedback

Peru 2002, cont.

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Conceptual dimension

Transparency in the management of resources

Quality of basic health and education services

Quality of complaint and feedback mechanisms

Empirical Tool

Score card/Questionnaire to households

Focus on agency-specific information

Objective, experiential data

Close-end questions

Peru 2002, cont.

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Process/Capacity building:

Partnership between WBI and with National Statistical Office on methodological issues

Data and results publicly available

Analytical dimension

Monitoring of indices’ performance over time

Link between indices of performance and measures of poverty

Peru 2002, cont.

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To develop the following yearly indicators:

Index of transparency and civil society participation

Index of quality of public services

To focus on households/users only

To promote a partnership between the National Statistical Agency and citizens

Peru 2002 – Decisions taken

Governance and a c diagnostic surveys l.jpg

A demand-driven process to improve governance, build local capacity and consensus

Key elements: participation, transparency and analytical rigor

Outcomes: greater local capacity, new policy actors, baseline governance data, and action plan for policy reform

Governance and A-C diagnostic surveys

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7. Monitoring and Evaluation of NAS capacity and consensus

6. Implementation by Government

5. Revision of the NAS

4. Public dissemination + discussion

WBI Technical Assistance

3. Draft of the NAS

2. Diagnostic surveys + analysis

1. Establishment of Steering Committee

Key Partnership: Government + Civil Society

The process


CNA: report and strategy to newly elected gov (January 2001); integration of strategy in the 2002-2006 government plan

Challenge: poor governance and corruption

Country Implemented


Highly fragmented civil society

Joint effort to build consensus and focus on rigorous approach

Sierra Leone

Strong commitment (civil society, state, donors) => surveys and report within a year. Results will be used for Institutional Reform Loan

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Bad capacity and consensus

Governance Variables for Selected Countries (View of the Firm, EOS 2003) - Percentage Firms Reporting Low Governance


Source: EOS (firm survey), 2003. Y-axis displays percentage of firms who reported low Governance (1-3) in each governance dimension.

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(Various countries, 2001) capacity and consensus

Extent of corruption

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National and municipal agencies are ridden by different types of corruption(based on public officials' responses, a Latin American country, 2001)

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Bribes and Quality of Service in Public Sector types of corruption(as reported by public officials in Honduras, 2001)

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Quality of education by district types of corruption(Sierra Leone 2003)

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Obstacles to using courts in Zambia types of corruption(as reported by households and firms)



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Corruption increases inequality types of corruption

The thin lines represent margins of error (or 95% confidence intervals) for each

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The costs of corruption types of corruption(Investment Climate Survey, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, 2003)

As reported by managers

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The costs of corruption types of corruption(Investment Climate Survey, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, 2003)

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Corruption imposes barriers to households to access basic social services

Sierra Leone Roads Transport Authority

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Mechanisms to participate to policy process social services

% of households reporting to use the following channel to participate

in the policy process

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Internal Transparency social services


Quality of norms and rules

“Accountability” & citizen voice

Rule application and supervision

Salary Satisfaction

Agency Missions


Quality of services

The determinants of governance – a set of new indicators

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Index of Quality of Rules social services(to manage personnel and budget resources)



As reported by public officials

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Index of Voice and Accountability social services



As reported by public officials

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About Governance Diagnostics and Statistical Capacity Building:

Governance Diagnostic Surveys Country Sites:

Worldwide Governance Indicators 1996-2002:

The Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS) 1999-2000:

The Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey (BEEPS II) 2002:

Courses and Surveys: Governance Diagnostic Capacity Building:

Step by Step Guide to Governance Diagnostic Empirical Tools Implementation:

WBI Governance on the Web

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Q&A Building: