Institutions shape how countries foster poverty reduction, support sustainable growth, and respond during crises. 

World Bank projects and country partnerships operating in challenging contexts in Sub-Saharan Africa routinely integrate and show results in institutional capacity development. Addressing institutional challenges in these and similar contexts involves multiple organizations and is like running through a labyrinth because of the need for quick decisions, unclear processes, shifting objectives, and trial and error. The cases reviewed for this EIN consistently supported institutional reforms in a variety of challenging contexts with, for example, compromised financial systems, corruption, and civil conflict. 

To help navigate institutional capacity development, this Evaluation Insight Note (EIN) answers the question: How can the World Bank help address institutional capacity development needs in Sub-Saharan Africa based on the body of work of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) from 2008 to 2022? 

Although an overall framework has not been defined to guide institutional capacity, the World Bank has often usefully diagnosed and addressed institutional capacity development needs by applying the Institutional Change Assessment Method. Using this method helps harness four elements that can enhance both the process and the results of institutional capacity development: