Global and Regional Partnership Programs (GRPPs) are programmatic partnerships in which:

  • The partners dedicate resources (financial, technical, staff and reputational) toward achieving agreed objectives over time
  • The activities of the program are global, regional, or multi-country (not single country) in scope
  • The partners establish a new organization with shared governance and a management unit to deliver these activities.

IEG annually reviews a number of GRPPs in which the World Bank Group (WBG) is a partner, in accordance with a mandate from the Bank's Executive Board in September 2004. The three main purposes are (a) to help improve the relevance and the effectiveness of the programs being reviewed, (b) to identify and disseminate lessons of broader application to other programs, and (c) to contribute to the development of standards, guidelines, and good practices for evaluating GRPPs. IEG does not, as a matter of policy, recommend the continuation or discontinuation of any programs being reviewed.

In the absence of a global government that can collect taxes to provide global and regional public goods directly, partnership programs with shared governance arrangements have become the principal instrument for doing this. The number of Global and Regional Partnership Programs has also grown because of dissatisfaction with traditional aid mechanisms, the involvement of new actors and constituencies in development, new information and communication technologies that facilitate collective action, and collective decisions to concentrate resources on achieving selected Millennium Development Goals.

Through these partnership programs, the World Bank Group is engaged with other international and regional organizations, other donors, private foundations, leading international NGOs, civil society organizations, and universities around the world. The World Bank Group plays many roles in GRPPs, depending on the program—as convener, financial contributor, trustee, member of the governing body, chair, host of the secretariat, administrative support and/or implementing agency.

grp-chart1.GIF


The nearly 120 programs in which the WBG is currently involved are spending about $7 billion annually. Bilateral donors and private foundations provide the lion’s share of that amount. The WBG contributes about 2.5 percent—from its administrative budget and the DGF—but has become the largest trustee, handling about 80 percent of the trust fund resources ($5 billion annually) dedicated to these 120 programs. Still, the Bank has operational responsibility for only one-fifth (about $ 1billion) of these resources-- the remainder being financial intermediary trust funds for programs located outside of the WBG.

The GRPPs employ a diverse array of governance arrangements associated with the history and culture of each program. There has been an observable trend from shareholder models of governance, in which only financial contributors are entitled to sit on the governing body, to stakeholder models with representation from beneficiary countries and civil society organizations as well, but this often comes at a cost to efficiency if the number of participants representing diverse interests becomes so large. About 78 percent of GRPPs in which the World Bank is involved have stakeholder models of governance. The WBG is represented on the governing bodies of all 24 GRPPs that employ shareholder models of governance, but only in 60 of 90 programs that employ stakeholder models.

Evaluation Principles and Standards

IEG is playing a leading role in developing principles and standards for evaluating GRPPs under the auspices of the OECD/DAC Network on Development Evaluation. The Sourcebook for Evaluating Global and Regional Partnership Programs is a free-standing document which builds on principles and standards for evaluating development assistance that have been developed by the OECD/DAC Evaluation Network, the United Nations Evaluation Group, the Evaluation Cooperation Group of the Multilateral Development Banks, evaluation associations, and others. The Sourcebook also draws on IEG's experience in reviewing GRPPs as well as the feedback received at the Stakeholder Consultative Workshop held for this purpose in Paris in September 2006. Click here for more information.