The World Bank Group collects and analyzes feedback of its stakeholders systematically—on a three-year cycle—in all client countries. The Country Opinion Survey data helps the institution better understand local development context, enhance stakeholder engagement and partnerships, and improve its results on the ground. Tracking stakeholder opinions about effectiveness of the Bank Group’s sectoral support over time is crucial for assessing the progress on top development challenges in countries.
We continue looking at the education sector, as an example, to see how the Country Survey data can help country teams predict stakeholder perceptions and improve effectiveness of Bank’s sectoral work. Let’s look at the trending data, explore what drives the change in numbers, what can be projected for future and why, and how to work with stakeholder perceptions, using a targeted approach.
The first chart shows how the World Bank Group’s stakeholders—partners from the Government, ministries, civil society, private sector, and donor community—have changed their views on the Bank’s work in education in the Central Asian countries—Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—during the past years.
To forecast stakeholder perceptions of the Bank’s support in education in the coming years, we need to look at several dimensions. For the beginning, we can simply ask respondents what they see as top development priorities in their countries and where they would want the World Bank Group to focus its financial and knowledge resources in the future. Thus, we can anticipate a potentially increasing or declining interest in the Bank’s support in education. What’s behind this interest?
Let’s try to understand it by measuring the gap between stakeholders’ perceptions of the importance of the Bank’s support in education and the effectiveness of the Bank’s current work in education in their countries. For example, stakeholders in both Kazakhstan and Tajikistan are very interested in the Bank’s support in education, while the Tajik respondents are more positive about the Banks effectiveness in education than the Kazakh respondents. Should the Bank improve its work and/or do better outreach in Kazakhstan? Can we actually compare these data across countries?
Taking the analysis further and disaggregating the overall numbers by stakeholder groups, we add important caveats to the story: the data suggest that those clients who collaborate with the Bank directly and know its work in the education sector well are significantly more positive than those who do not closely collaborate with the institution in Kazakhstan, while in Tajikistan the opinions across these groups do not differ.
Understanding stakeholders’ perceptions of the Bank’s work and predicting the future trends could help policymakers shape a dialogue with diverse client groups and develop a targeted strategic outreach. The better stakeholders know the Bank, the more positive they generally are about the Bank’s work and effectiveness. As perceptions, both informed and uninformed ones, influence the reality.
Across all four countries, we find a strong correlation between the Bank’s effectiveness in the education sector and stakeholder perceptions of the Bank’s overall alignment with country’s development priorities and its impact on achieving development results, suggesting that ratings of effectiveness in education may drive the overall perceptions of the Bank’s work.
Country Surveys equip education professionals with the data, showing a full picture of stakeholder assessments of the sectoral work from past to future and in depth that can be used for improving effectiveness, building stronger partnerships in countries, and moving closer to the global target—the UN sustainable development goal of quality education for all—by 2030.