The key challenge that many countries face nowadays, not only in the JVI region, is boosting productivity and potential growth, while preserving macroeconomic stability. As negative output gaps close and cyclical recovery is almost complete, countries in the region need to embark on the structural reform process, to retain the current levels of economic growth. On the fiscal side, they need to strike the right balance between near-term growth support and medium-term fiscal sustainability.
This is a demanding agenda, which, among other things, requires strong capacity within the implementing government agencies. Structural reforms undertaken in the environment of fiscal consolidation can become a painful process. Thus, policy measures require careful planning, prioritization and sequencing, allowing for complementary effects. Needless to say, authorities must be well-equipped to elaborate and implement that.
The World Bank Group, as the world’s largest source of development assistance, is keeping its eye on these challenges. Sustainable growth is instrumental to achieving the Group’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.
The role of international institutions
There are several ways how international institutions, like the World Bank Group, can help countries in capacity development. First of all, we support the implementation of development projects in our client countries. For that, the World Bank provides financial resources through a variety of targeted financing instruments – investment project financing, development policy financing, results-based financing. To ensure successful implementation, we provide our expertise to the clients throughout the project cycle. This is also a good opportunity for them to get on-the-job training. Second, we provide advisory services to our clients. Last, but not least, we provide specialized training, including the courses at the JVI.
Training offered by the World Bank
We consider training to be an important instrument in achieving the goals of the World Bank. In particular, we have had strong cooperation with the JVI since its foundation in 1992. Since then, we have held over 170 courses and have trained more than 4000 participants from the countries in the region. In doing so, we pursue similar goals to those of the JVI: advancing economic capacity strengthening of the public sector, developing knowledge products and services for developing countries, peer exchange and knowledge sharing with client countries, supporting countries and their institutions through successful transition, promoting regional integration and EU accession, championing cooperation and partnership between institutions and countries.
We provide training in the areas that we consider important for sustainable development and where we have strong expertise. This also means that the contents of our training evolves with the clients’ needs. Nowadays, we hold several courses on the Joint World Bank-IMF Medium-term Debt Management Strategies (MTDS), annual borrowing plans, as well as on Trainings for Auditors related to the Debt Management Performance Assessment (DeMPA) tool. Also, we contribute to the course on Structural Reforms, which is delivered jointly by all the JVI members. We believe, the combination of courses we deliver helps our clients to develop capacity in the areas they need, enables them to attract and effectively use finance for their development needs, as well as to elaborate and implement structural reforms.
Abha Prasad and Lada Strelkova, The World Bank