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The World Bank's Use of Country Systems of Procurement: A Good Idea Gone Bad?
Development Policy Review (2009)
  • Christopher Pallas, Kennesaw State University
  • Jonathan Wood
The World Bank's newest country-systems policy, adopted in 2008, allows borrowers to use their national systems to conduct procurement and manage finances for Bank-funded projects. In principle, it will incentivise institutional reform, increase local ownership, and facilitate donor harmonisation. In practice, its content and the handling of stakeholder input seem to indicate that the Bank's dominant desire has been to preserve its market share. This article demonstrates (i) how deficiencies in the policy may reverse the Bank's work on governance and undercut aid efficiency, and (ii) how its handling of public consultations on the policy ignored the Bank's best practices. It concludes with steps for improving the policy, including re-opening dialogue with key stakeholders.
  • World Bank,
  • country systems,
  • procurement,
  • governance,
  • NGOs,
  • private sector,
  • donor harmonisation
Publication Date
March, 2009
Citation Information
Christopher Pallas and Jonathan Wood. "The World Bank's Use of Country Systems of Procurement: A Good Idea Gone Bad?" Development Policy Review Vol. 27 Iss. 2 (2009) p. 215 - 230 ISSN: 1467-7679
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