Collaborative Governance | World Bank Institute (WBI)

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. We connect practitioners and institutions to help them find suitable solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the "how" of reform, we link knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations. Read More »

Collaborative Governance


More than one billion people do not have access to clean water, electricity, and other services crucial for their health and livelihood. Failures in service provision have been linked to poor governance - the lack of transparency and access to public information, weak accountability relationships, and low levels of citizen participation. 

The main challenge that often confronts countries attempting to undertake governance reforms is not "What" (what is the problem and what are the remedies for it?) but “Why” (why does the problem persist?) and “How” (how to manage the often complex process of change that accompanies any reform).

The World Bank Institute’s (WBI) Governance practice attempts to grapple with both the "Why" and the "How" - with considerably greater focus on the latter. 


WBI’s Governance practice believes that supporting open and collaborative governance will enable local change agents to achieve development results in their own contexts. Guided by this vision, WBI seeks to strengthen the capacity of citizens to use innovative tools and practical approaches toward engendering participatory and sustainable change. 


WBI’s Governance practice is working to connect and leverage international expertise on good governance through global, regional and country-based institutions and practitioner networks. By investing in the “How” of reform, WBI uses a series of innovative and collaborative approaches that complement technical solutions in addressing development challenges.

Our approach focuses on three key strategies through which structured learning, innovation, knowledge exchange and cutting-edge tools are integral components.

Supporting Open and Collaborative Governance: WBI is helping governments engage with citizens and organizations from the private and civil society sectors and vice versa by using innovative concepts such as building coalitions and tools aimed at ensuring that all stakeholders have the ability and capacity for effective engagement in order to solve difficult governance challenges. Examples of these approaches include fostering open budgets (using tools such as BOOST for budget data visualization); promoting contract transparency and monitoring (in extractive industries or in public procurement) and facilitating all this through utilization of ICT tools. WBI's Private Sector for Good Governance (PSGG) program is also working across sectors to increase transparency and ensure better service delivery.

Enhancing Social Accountability: Transparency is crucial in helping citizens know their rights. It helps by ensuring that their governments are accountable for their actions and policies. It can help citizens find out the attendance rates of teachers in rural schools or how the profits from a mining contract are implemented by the government. 

WBI is helping citizens gain Access to Information to disseminate knowledge to promote improved governance such as budget monitoring, consistent public expenditure tracking, and performance monitoring. It is helping create and strengthen networks such as the Affiliated Networks for Social Accountability (ANSA), Voices Against Corruption, parliamentary networks and the media

Leadership for Coalition Building: WBI has launched a collaborative leadership program to support change agents to navigate “the how” of moving development programs forward.  Delivered during the course of a year, the program includes an intensive skills building workshop and results laboratory. The program defines leadership as a process that enables change agents to influence attitudes, mindsets and values of stakeholders.

It does this by applying coalition building diagnostics and stakeholder mapping to understand reform environments; building multi-stakeholder support through strategic communication; attaining results throughout the project life-cycle via a rapid results approach; and accessing quality-assured support through expert networks of local practitioners.

WBI Brochure: Supporting Open and Collaborative Governance (PDF 850 KB)

Brochure Insert: Open government and open aid (PDF 201 KB)

Brochure Insert: Promoting citizen feedback through information technologies (PDF 192 KB)

Brochure Insert: Multistakeholder collaborative action (PDF 205 KB)

Brochure Insert: Participation and oversight by nongovernmental actors (PDF 213 KB)