Engaging Citizens for Better Development Results

Published by: 
Independent Evaluation Group (IEG), World Bank Group
Author(s) / Contributor(s): 
Publication Date: 
October, 2018

Document Type:

This evaluation poses the question of the effectiveness of the Bank Group’s attempt at mainstreaming citizen engagement. More specifically, four lines of inquiry guided the evaluation:

  1. What is the magnitude and nature of citizen engagement mainstreaming within World Bank Group operations, and how have they changed over time? 
  2. What is the quality of design of citizen engagement activities? How much attention is paid to social inclusion and closing the feedback loop with citizens? 
  3. What are the extent and quality of monitoring and evaluation of citizen engagement activities, and what is the evidence of results (contribution to strengthening existing country systems for participation and to improved development outcomes)? 
  4. To what extent is the Bank Group corporate environment enabling citizen engagement mainstreaming? 

As the World Bank Group Strategic Framework states, engaging citizens can be transformational and contribute to development outcomes. For this to happen, engagement needs to be “thick” and strategic, that is, use multiple and innovative tools to improve the country’s authorizing environment; it needs to ensure inclusion, so that diverse voices are heard, especially those of traditionally marginalized groups; it needs to build citizens’ and governments’ capacity to engage so that change can be long-lasting; and, crucially, it needs to be regular and continuous throughout the project cycle to ensure that citizen feedback is properly taken into account. So, how is the Bank Group doing?