Good governance can speed up post-COVID economic recoveries

Good Governance Can Speed Up Post-COVID Economic Recoveries Good Governance Can Speed Up Post-COVID Economic Recoveries

While economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic is beginning in several countries globally, growth prospects are subject to several downside risks. Peace and stability are growing concerns, debt levels are increasing, and fiscal resources are already stretched; we will need to do more for climate change-resilient economic growth.

Now, commodity prices are rising, and emerging food shortages present grave implications for the fight against poverty.  

During the pandemic and after, demands on the role of government have increased, while confidence in government has fallen. Expectations from citizens and the private sector for more openness, greater accountability, and less corruption are growing as governments continue to navigate their new operating environments. 


Source: Afrobarometer, aggregate samples of all countries for rounds 6, 7 and 8.)
Source: Afrobarometer, aggregate samples of all countries who responded to survey question "How much do you trust each of the following, or haven't you heard enough about them to say? [Parliament]" in survey rounds 6 (2014/2015), 7 (2016/2018), and 8 (2019/2021).


In this scenario, the World Bank’s Global Practice launch of its Governance and Institutions Umbrella Program (G&I UP) could not have come at a better time. The Program will work with clients and partner countries to help them set up stronger and more effective central and local-level public sector institutions, which are critical to addressing the challenges they face. 

Although it may appear to be so, this is not a time for quick fixes. Instead, it should be seen as an opportunity to reshape the way government works to be fit to handle problems, both in the present and in the future. Effective management of scarce fiscal resources requires capable and accountable institutions that use technology and people to reduce opportunities for corruption and are accountable to the people  through effective oversight by formal and informal institutions. 

The development objective of the G&I Umbrella Program is that client countries improve public sector performance and institutional reform, increase the application of digital and technology solutions in the public sector, and enhance transparency and accountability. The program supports countries to build capable, efficient, open, inclusive, and accountable institutions through its following modules: 

  • MODULE 1: Organization and People to cover Public Institutions Reform and Decentralization. 
  • MODULE 2: Open Government, Anticorruption, and Technology.
  • MODULE 3: Institutions of Accountability, which covers Justice and the Rule of Law, Legislative Bodies, and Multi-stakeholder Engagement. 

The Program is designed to serve as a mechanism for the World Bank to convene and align key stakeholders in the pursuit of country-owned reforms to provide governance arrangements that support the development agenda and the twin goals of the World Bank. The Umbrella Program follows a new trust-fund model the Bank has established across the institution to reduce trust-fund fragmentation, streamline processes, and strengthen strategic alignment with Bank and development partner priorities. It is our belief that this collaboration will increase our collective impact and help us attain our goals. 



The first annual work program for FY23 contains a diverse selection of projects across many thematic and geographic areas. A few examples of our first generation of engagements include:

  • Beneficial Ownership Transparency project in Nigeria to accelerate reforms by sharing information and building capacity to reveal the identity of individuals who ultimately enjoy the benefits of property rights.
  • Cost of Corruption global grant to foster gathering data, discussion, and awareness raising among policymakers.
  • Social Contract and Citizen Engagement initiative leveraging a wide spectrum of stakeholders and civil society organizations in country diagnostics, strategies, and programs. This will also focus on the Sahel and the central Africa region. 
  • Future of Government initiative and an accompanying flagship report.


This initiative is made possible by our founding funders, the Hewlett, Chandler, and MacArthur foundations, and the Transparency and Accountability Initiative they are part of. They will soon be joined by other partners, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), which is using the G&I UTF to expand its support in the Europe & Central Asia region. We believe this initiative holds the potential to be a transformational driver for the Governance agenda in the years to come, and we will keep you updated on any new developments. Reach out to us if you want to be involved.  

To learn more about the initiative, read the G&I UP Brochure.

African countries face some of the highest water risk in the world


Arturo Herrera Gutierrez

Global Director for Governance Global Practice in the Equitable Growth, Finance, and Institutions Practice Group (EFI) Vice Presidency

Reinhard Haslinger

Program Manager “Governance & Institutions” and Sr. Operations Officer/ Operations Team Lead - Governance Global Practice

Mathieu Cloutier

Senior Economist, Governance Global Practice

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