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The World Bank's Use of Country Systems for Procurement: A Good Idea Gone Bad?


  • Christopher L. Pallas
  • 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. Copyright (c) The Authors 2009. Journal compilation (c) 2009 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher L. Pallas & Jonathan Wood, 2009. "The World Bank's Use of Country Systems for Procurement: A Good Idea Gone Bad?," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 27(2), pages 215-230, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:27:y:2009:i:2:p:215-230

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