Assessment of World Bank Prioritisation of Economic Transformation in Country Strategies and Country Project Portfolios

Sherillyn Raga, November 2020


The World Bank has introduced jobs and economic transformation (JET) as a core objective of the Eighteenth Replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA18). To monitor and measure the JET content in country partnership frameworks (CPFs), the World Bank (WB) has introduced four economic transformation indicators  in the IDA18 results measurement system (RMS). The IDA18 mid-term review (MTR) awarded six out of eight CPFs a transformation tag. The IDA Deputies and Borrowers call for a strengthened role of the JET special theme under the IDA19  and this offers scope to reflect on the appropriateness of these RMS indicators.

This paper assesses the extent to which economic transformation is prioritised in the recent CPFs of Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mauritania, Moldova, Nicaragua, Niger and Tanzania . It also reviews and provides suggestions on how the IDA18 RMS indicators on economic transformation might be improved. The analysis further includes a complementary examination of economic transformation content of active IDA project portfolios in Benin and Tanzania from 2015 to 2019. The project level analysis can also serve as an indicator of the WB effort in pushing the economic transformation theme through time, especially after the IDA18. The paper concludes by offering suggestions for how the WB can improve the focus of and reporting around IDA projects for economic transformation and job creation.


Photo: Women in Niger operating a processing unit to create products using local grains. Stephan Gladieu / World Bank. Licence: (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)