Realism must temper expectations about rapidly increasing the number of joint projects in the future. Internal coordination, resource, policy and procedural challenges are magnified compared to single institution project. Additional resources and time are needed regardless of commitment amounts because of the intense coordination required internally and with external stakeholders. Sufficient budgets are required for the additional administrative, preparation, coordination costs of having more “jointness.” Current staff incentives, including promotions, have to recognize and reward WBG staff for working collaboratively on joint projects.
Crucially, WBG management expectations for more joint projects rest on public and private sector clients’ willingness to procure products or services from two or more WBG institutions. For clients, joint projects entailed added transaction costs due to more coordination, overlapping processes, and differing requirements. Standardization of documents can help accelerate joint projects’ timelines and minimize expensive legal fees for clients. Increased efforts to explain the nuances of different WBG instruments and financing package, especially to implementing agencies, would go a long way in their understanding about the potential additionality of blended WBG support.
But we still don’t understand fully the value-proposition of WBG joint support from our clients’ perspective. Documenting client ex ante and ex post feedback on the reasons for seeking WBG co-financing projects can go a long way in understanding the true market test and value of WBG co-financed projects.
And we still have a lot to learn about the development outcome of co-financed projects from a One WBG perspective. Current project evaluation systems remain focused on single institution. Inventive approaches, mechanisms, and methodologies to effect this reorientation need to be devised, explored, and tested.