In 2014, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced that by 2018 citizen engagement will be at the center of all World Bank-supported projects. This was followed by the World Bank’s elaborate strategic framework for citizen engagement to mainstream citizen engagement in World Bank Group (WBG)-supported policies, programs, projects, and advisory services and analytics to improve their development results and within these operations, contribute to building sustainable national systems for citizen engagement with governments and the private sector.
The WBG strategy incorporates citizen engagement, including beneficiary feedback, specifically in its treatment of inclusion, which entails empowering citizens to take part in the development process and integrating citizen voice in development programs as key accelerators to achieving results. Five principles guide the approach to mainstreaming citizen engagement in WBG-supported operations: 1) it is results-focused; 2) it involves engaging throughout the operational cycle; 3) it seeks to strengthen country systems; 4) it is context specific, and 5) it is gradual. Under the right circumstances, citizen engagement can contribute to achieving development outcomes to support the goals the WBG aims to support through all the operations it funds: eradicating extreme poverty and sustainably boosting shared prosperity.
With support from the Accountability Research Center (ARC) of the American University, in collaboration with AFIC, GACC, CHRRC, and PPDC AFIC undertook the monitoring of citizen engagement implementation in World Bank development response to the various projects in the respective countries of Uganda, Ghana, Malawi and Nigeria.