COUNTRY ASSISTANCE STRATEGY
(CAS)/CAS PROGRESS REPORT
Available on OPCS website
*Under revision to fully reflect the mainstreaming of the results-based CAS approach
COUNTRY ASSISTANCE STRATEGY (CAS)/
CAS PROGRESS REPORT
Table of Contents
CAS Products ................................................................................................................................... 1
Frequency ........................................................................................................................................ 1
Joint Bank/IFC ................................................................................................................................. 2
Scheduling and Pipeline ................................................................................................................... 2
Consultations ................................................................................................................................... 3
Content ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Review Procedures ........................................................................................................................... 8
Final Clearance & Board Presentation ............................................................................................ 11
Disclosure ...................................................................................................................................... 13
Implementation .............................................................................................................................. 15
Currently, there are four different types of strategy documents to present the Bank Group’s plan of
assistance for a borrowing member country:
Country Assistance Strategy. The Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) is the Bank Group’s
business plan in support of a country’s growth strategy and poverty reduction goals. Oriented
toward results, it is prepared in consultation with country authorities, development partners, and
other stakeholders. Based on systematic Bank Group collaboration, the CAS is the central tool of
Management and the Board for reviewing and guiding the Bank Group’s country programs and
the vehicle for gauging the impact of its work. The objective of the CAS is to identify the key
areas in which Bank Group support can catalyze the most, and most sustainable, poverty
reduction. A CAS is normally prepared for a single, borrowing member country, but a regional
strategy may be prepared for a group of countries (e.g., the Eastern Caribbean sub-region, the
Pacific Islands, West Africa) as appropriate.
CAS Progress Report. The CAS Progress Report (CASPR) is usually prepared around the mid-
point of the CAS cycle. It reviews the relevance of the strategy outlined in the CAS, reports on
progress toward achieving CAS objectives and outcomes, and introduces changes to the CAS
program as necessary. CASPR content is similar to that of a CAS, but the CASPR is usually
shorter, treating issues in less detail and focusing on key developments and changes since the
CAS. Review procedures, final clearance and Board presentation, and disclosure are the same as
for a CAS.
Transitional Support Strategy. For countries in transition from conflict, the Bank normally
prepares a Transitional Support Strategy (TSS). Staff preparing a TSS should also refer to refer to
OP 2.30 and BP 2.30, Development Assistance and Conflict.
Country Re-engagement Note. For Low-income Countries Under Stress (LICUS), the Bank
may prepare a Country Re-engagement Note (CRN). Staff preparing a CRN should also refer to
the CRN Guidelines (PDF 119K).
Four-year Cycle. To align with country context (e.g., PRSP and PRSP Progress Report objectives
in IDA-eligible borrowers, election cycles in all), the standard frequency of CAS preparation is a
four-year cycle (PDF 12K) for the majority of countries, with a mid-term CAS Progress Report
(CASPR). Flexibility will continue to be applied to the frequency and duration of the
CAS/CASPR, to take into account relevant country developments that may affect timing (e.g., in
countries with a three-year PRSP cycle, a three-year CAS cycle may be more appropriate).
Alignment with PRSP. Since July 1, 2002, it is expected that CASs for IDA-eligible (i.e., IDA
and blend) borrowers be preceded by—and presented to the Board following—the Poverty
Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) on which they are based. For IDA-eligible borrowers that have
not yet completed a PRSP, the Bank’s assistance program is normally updated in a CASPR,
covering a period of up to 18 months and focusing on the Bank’s support to a country’s
preparation of its PRSP.
To better exploit synergies between the Bank and IFC in country programs, each year the two
organizations agree on a categorization of CASs/CASPRs (PDF 105 K) planned for the fiscal year.
The categorization process is managed by OPCS, in consultation with IFC and the Regions. CASs
are categorized as A, B, or C according to the relative priority of private sector development and the
level of IFC activity in the country; CASPRs are expected to reflect the same level of categorization
and collaboration as the CASs on which they are based. Category A and B CASs/CASPRs are
cleared by Bank and IFC senior management, include IBRD and/or IDA as well as IFC on the cover
page of the document, and list on the inside cover page of the document the Bank and IFC teams
involved in its preparation.
Category A. Category A CASs are for countries that the Bank and IFC identify as high strategic
priority for private sector development activities. Bank and IFC staff collaborate on preparation
of the CAS/CASPR. IFC (and MIGA, as appropriate) activities are reflected in the program, and
a separate private sector strategy annex is prepared and included in the CAS/CASPR.
Category B. Category B CASs/CASPRs are for countries where the Bank and IFC see
substantial scope for collaboration and synergy in private sector development activities. Bank
and IFC staff collaborate on preparation of the CAS/CASPR. IFC (and MIGA, as appropriate)
activities are reflected in the text of the CAS/CASPR and in the standard program matrix annex,
i.e., Annex B9.
Category C. Category C CASs/CASPRs are for countries where the scope for Bank and IFC
collaboration is modest. IFC involvement in preparation of the strategy is limited; IFC (and
MIGA, as appropriate) activities are reflected in the strategy as relevant.
Scheduling and Pipeline
All CASs, CASPRs, TSSs, and CRNs are presented to the Board for discussion (not approval).
Number per Board Meeting. The Board discusses no more than three strategy documents per
week, and no more than two per Board meeting. In an effort to reduce bunching, no more than
two strategy documents are usually scheduled per week in December and June. “Stand-alone”
strategy documents (i.e., those not presented in conjunction with a lending operation) are not
usually discussed by the Board during the second half of June.
Pipeline. In the second half of each fiscal year, the Regions, in conjunction with Operations
Policy and Country Services (OPCS), draw up the next fiscal year’s pipeline of CASs, CASPRs,
TSSs, and CRNs. The task team leader (TTL) records the planned timing of the Board
discussion, and other required preparation milestones, in SAP.
Change of Board Date. Before changing a planned Board date, the Region consults with OPCS
(Allison Berg, ext. 85397) and the Board Operations Division, Corporate Secretariat (SECBO)
(Carol Somasundaram, ext. 80249). For a joint CAS or CASPR, Bank staff work with IFC staff
to set a mutually agreeable Board date.
The CAS/CASPR is developed in partnership with the government, usually through several
ministries/agencies and at various levels. Throughout CAS preparation, the Task Team Leader
(TTL) consults with the government and, with the government’s agreement, with other stakeholders
in the country. Consultations for CASPRs may be inherently less extensive. The TTL informs the
Executive Director representing the country of the status of the CAS/CASPR and provides him/her
with copies of any drafts that are sent to country officials.
Stakeholder Consultations. To help increase the Bank’s understanding of country conditions
and concerns, and to promote ownership of the CAS program by nongovernmental stakeholders,
the Bank encourages the government to involve civil society, the private sector, and other
stakeholders in inclusive CAS discussions. In-country consultations (e.g., via workshops and
roundtables) should be pursued with sensitivity and with the prior agreement of the government.
Since extensive public debate and consultations with a broad range of stakeholders should take
place during preparation of PRSPs, CAS consultations for IDA-eligible borrowers should build
on PRSP consultations, should focus on borrowers’ and partners’ views on how IDA can best
support the program of actions set out in the PRSP, and on how to increase IDA’s selectivity in
line with the comparative advantage of partner agencies.
Client Survey. To gain the perspective of various stakeholders in the country on the relevance,
efficacy, and efficiency of recent Bank Group interventions, as well as the proficiency,
responsiveness, and attitudes of Bank Group staff, it is good practice for the Bank—with the
government’s prior agreement—to carry out a client survey. The TTL should contact the
Development Communications Unit, External Affairs (Sharon Felzer, ext. 89105), for support in
conducting a client survey.
Harmonization. In support of the harmonization agenda, the Bank consults with development
partners in the country to ensure greater harmonization and coherence across institutions in
programs and projects to support recipient countries’ development efforts. The objective is to
ensure country ownership and country-led donor coordination, reduce aid management and
delivery transaction costs, and strengthen the strategic selectivity of the program on the basis of
the Bank’s comparative advantage.
Coordination within the Bank Group. Throughout CAS preparation, the TTL coordinates
closely with relevant sector colleagues in the Region; with colleagues in central Bank units, e.g.,
OPCS, SFR (for non-IDA-eligible borrowers), and FRM (for IDA-eligible borrowers); with IFC
and MIGA, as appropriate; with the Operations Evaluation Department (OED); and with the
Board Operations Division, Corporate Secretariat (SECBO).
The CAS should be concise (the main text should be no more than 30 pages; CASPRs should be
shorter), focused, selective, and as candid as possible. Assessments of particularly sensitive matters
may be reserved for oral statements at the Board. The CAS/CASPR should begin by mentioning the
timing of the Board discussion of the last strategy document (i.e., CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN). It
should be structured around the four pillars of the Bank’s country business model: vision, diagnosis,
program, and results. CASs/CASPRs for IDA-eligible borrowers are subject to additional
requirements. A guide to assist teams in organizing CAS content is provided by the sample table of
contents (PDF 81K); CAS content serves as the basis for organizing CASPR content. Templates for
the strategy document cover page (PDF 91K) and inside cover (PDF 91K) are also provided.
Vision. The CAS takes as its starting point the country’s own vision of its development goals and its
strategy for achieving them, as set out in a Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) for IDA-
eligible borrowers, or a national development strategy for non-IDA-eligible borrowers. If such a
document exists, the CAS provides a succinct summary and refers the reader to the relevant
document. If such a document does not exist, the CAS discusses country conditions and the major
constraints to development, avoiding political statements, which are outside of the Bank’s mandate
(for IDA-eligible borrowers, a full CAS is normally not prepared until the country has completed its
PRSP; see the frequency section). The CAS also takes into account the links between the country’s
objectives and the poverty, education, gender equality, health, and environmental targets of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and provides an analysis of the country’s status vis-à-vis
the MDGs and likelihood of achieving them.
Diagnosis. The diagnostic underlying the CAS should be comprehensive. The CAS contains the
staff’s professional assessment of the government’s program, building on the Bank-Fund Joint Staff
Assessment (JSA) of a PRSP for IDA-eligible borrowers, and drawing on relevant Economic and
Sector Work (ESW) as well as other analysis by the Bank Group or partner institutions. The CAS
uses appropriate cross-country indicators and the findings and recommendations of relevant Sector
Strategy Papers (SSPs) to prioritize among the topics listed below. It provides a thorough diagnosis
of each topic that is a major issue in the country; if the PRSP or equivalent country-owned strategy
document provides a satisfactory diagnosis, the CAS need only to refer to that discussion. For those
topics that are not major issues, the CAS may discuss them in a few sentences and explain the lighter
treatment. The CAS assessment should candidly acknowledge any differences in views between the
Bank and the government and discuss how the dialogue reflects these differences. At a minimum,
CAS diagnosis should cover the following topics:
Poverty. A sound diagnosis of the incidence, trends, and causes of poverty, including the major
obstacles to poverty reduction and the set of structural and social elements essential to poverty
reduction; a discussion of progress (or lack thereof) in poverty reduction since the last strategy;
an analysis of the linkages between poverty reduction and the level and pattern of growth in the
country; and an assessment of the country’s capacity to monitor poverty indicators. This
discussion is based on a poverty assessment or other available poverty analysis.
Sociopolitical and Institutional Factors. A discussion of the social, political economy, and
institutional factors—including any need for capacity building—that affect the country situation
and the Bank Group’s strategy.
Macroeconomic Framework. The CAS includes a thorough analysis of country macroeconomic
and structural performance and policies. It mentions the status of the IMF relationship and, as
relevant the IMF program, and discusses the division of labor between the Bank and Fund.
Debt Sustainability. All CASs include a discussion of debt sustainability (including a detailed
debt sustainability annex when necessary). In countries where debt sustainability is not an issue,
this should be explicitly noted.
External Environment. A discussion of the external environment, underlining any relevant
issues related to trade and/or regional integration, and its effects on the country’s economic
Governance. A careful diagnosis of governance conditions, including corruption and public
financial accountability issues, their impact on the country strategy, and the risks they pose to
Bank Group activities.
Private Sector Development. An analysis of the major obstacles to and Bank Group activities
aimed at strengthening private sector development. The level of IFC and MIGA involvement in
CAS preparation should be according to the joint category of the CAS.
Other Cross-cutting Issues. A diagnosis of other cross-cutting issues—e.g., gender, health,
nutrition, and population, infrastructure, energy, environment, financial sector—drawing on
available Sector Strategy Papers. For IDA-eligible borrowers, the CAS should include a
discussion of the status of core labor standards in the country.
Program. The CAS sets out a selective program of Bank Group assistance tailored to support the
country’s poverty reduction strategy and respond to its development priorities, taking into account
the activities of other development partners. This includes:
Track Record and Lessons Learned. The CAS contains a frank discussion of the progress and
outcomes of the Bank Group program during the previous CAS period, assessing the overall
quality of the Bank’s implementation of the program. The discussion should take into account the
program’s consistency with the CAS; its responsiveness (the extent to which the Bank’s strategy
and operations responded to country conditions and changes in those conditions); the quality of
the Bank’s portfolio management, including quality at entry, quality of supervision, adequacy of
resources, and compliance with Bank policies; country program outcomes, particularly in light of
stated outcomes in the previous CAS; and the role of borrower and partner performance in the
outcomes achieved. This discussion should draw out lessons learned from past Bank Group
involvement in the country, using the findings of Operations Evaluation Department (OED)
evaluations, Quality Assurance Group (QAG) assessments, and a recent client survey. If OED
has done a Country Assistance Evaluation (CAE), the CAS should contain a box summarizing
the CAE’s recommendations and the Management Response. In discussing the track record, the
CAS should explicitly highlight what worked well and what worked less well, including key
lessons learned, drawing the implications for the new CAS program and future Bank work.
Partners’ Role and Participatory Process. The CAS contains a thorough discussion of the role
of the development partners (e.g., IMF, Multilateral Development Banks, bilateral donors, private
sector, nongovernmental organizations), donor coordination mechanisms, enabling measures to
improve country-level harmonization of donor procedures (especially in financial management,
procurement, and environmental assessment), and Bank support for capacity building for
strengthening country-led donor coordination efforts. The CAS should include a table showing
the role of each donor, illustrating in which sectors or thematic areas each are active. For IBRD-
eligible borrowers, the CAS discusses the role of private capital flows in providing overall
country and sectoral finance and the implications for the magnitude and composition of Bank
Group support. The CAS also describes the mechanisms used to elicit stakeholder participation in
the CAS process, taking into account the need to pursue consultations with sensitivity and with
the prior agreement of the government.
Bank Group Activities. The CAS sets out the program of lending and nonlending activities
with which the Bank Group plans to support the country’s poverty reduction efforts, including
any Sector-Wide Approaches (SWAps), Learning and Innovation Loans (LILs) and, for IDA-
eligible borrowers, any planned Poverty Reduction Support Credits (PRSCs). For middle-income
countries, the CAS describes how the Bank Group’s instruments are being flexibly deployed to
meet country-specific needs, and discusses how the scope for greater reliance on the country’s
own systems for fiduciary, procurement, and safeguards arrangements is being explored. In
determining the choice of lending instruments (PDF 125K) and nonlending instruments, the CAS
takes into account country needs, policies, institutions, capacity constraints, fiduciary
arrangements, corruption, partner programs, debt sustainability, Economic and Sector Work
(ESW), and the Bank’s comparative advantage. The CAS outlines the rationale for the mix of
lending and nonlending services and establishes a strategic link between program design and
proposed analytic and advisory activities. The choice of Bank Group activities should be those
that will have the greatest development impact and are most likely to be supported by
government action. The CAS should explicitly discuss the Bank’s relative strengths vis-à-vis
development partners, indicating the areas where the Bank is decreasing or increasing its
involvement, and noting where the Bank will not be involved, because of the role played by other
development partners. The program reflects the complementarities of IBRD/IDA, IFC, and
MIGA in supporting private sector development.
ESW. The assessment of country policies, institutions, and capacity is underpinned by
appropriate ESW undertaken by the Bank, the government, or other development partners. In
preparing ESW, the Bank and partners should seek to support country ownership through
upstream engagement. The CAS discusses the vintage and adequacy of the stock of ESW and
includes a plan—identifying opportunities for ESW partnerships—to fill gaps in the availability
of up-to-date coverage, particularly in the following core areas: Poverty Assessment (PA);
Country Economic Memorandum/Development Policy Review/Social and Structural Review
(CEM/DPR/SSR); Public Expenditure Review (PER), Country Procurement Assessment Review
(CPAR); and Country Financial Accountability Assessment (CFAA). These core assessments
may be prepared as individual reports or in an integrated format drawing on the deeper analyses
of reports prepared by the Bank, partner institutions, or countries themselves. The ESW program
includes other diagnostic and advisory products depending on the country-specific need for
analysis to underpin policy dialogue and lending. For middle income countries, the CAS may
identify themes, leaving individual studies to be “on demand,” especially when ESW may not be
needed to underpin lending. When a client requests analytic and advisory services beyond those
that can be funded through the country administrative budget, the CAS spells out cost-sharing
arrangements for such work.
Scenarios. The CAS specifies the overall lending envelope under the most likely (“base”) case
and possible alternative (as appropriate, “low” case and “high” case) scenarios for Bank Group
assistance. It sets out the planned mix of lending and nonlending services and investment and
adjustment lending as well as grants (e.g., IDF, trust funds) and guarantees under alternative
scenarios, including specific, meaningful triggers for switching between them. The base case
reflects the condition in which the country enters the CAS period, and the most likely operational
scenario for that period. Normally, the lending level for the high case should be no more than 30
percent above the base case. Country teams should inform OPCS (Stefan Koeberle, ext. 32269),
FRM (Frederik van Bolhuis, ext. 33298) for IDA-eligible borrowers, and/or SFR (Barbara
Mierau-Klein, ext. 82269) for IBRD-eligible borrowers, when a country moves toward the high
(or low) case. In determining scenarios, the CAS considers experience with prior lending and
lessons learned through self- or independent (e.g., OED) evaluation. CASs for IDA-eligible
borrowers include a discussion of the IDA allocation (including any IDA grants (PDF 32K)
relative to country performance assessments (including governance), needs, capabilities, and
other sources of finance. CASs for IBRD-eligible borrowers should discuss creditworthiness
issues and exposure issues as relevant.
Triggers. Triggers are linked to the changes in policy performance that are most relevant to the
achievement of CAS objectives, especially those for poverty reduction. The selection of triggers
for the base and high cases are expected to be informed by the relative weaknesses in the
country’s policies and institutions, as reflected in the country’s Country Policy and Institutional
Assessment (CPIA) (PDF 286K) ratings. In countries, particularly IDA-eligible borrowers,
where weak governance, including corruption, is a significant development constraint, improved
performance in this area should be included in the triggers.
Risks. The CAS contains a candid and thorough discussion of external and internal risks that
may affect implementation of the Bank Group strategy. It highlights the most significant risks—
including development effectiveness, safeguard, and fiduciary risks—and proposes measures to
mitigate them. CASs for large borrowers should discuss exposure risks and CASs for IBRD-
eligible borrowers should discuss creditworthiness and the risks associated with changes in the
country’s access to capital markets.
Results. The CAS is results-focused, setting clear targets and indicators to monitor Bank Group and
country performance in achieving stated outcomes. It should include a monitoring and evaluation
framework that helps the Bank and country assess program implementation and results (PDF 12K).
The framework should include intermediate indicators that are good proxies for program outcomes,
precise, relevant to the objective that the program intends to achieve, and that provide enough
information to assess program implementation. As appropriate, the CAS should discuss efforts to
develop monitoring and evaluation capacity in borrowing member countries (e.g., through the Trust
Fund for Statistical Capacity Building, World Bank Institute (WBI) training programs, and so on), as
well as efforts at the country level to harmonize monitoring and evaluation approaches and
requirements among different partners. In countries where a government document, such as a PRSP,
exists with clear, specific targets and intermediate objectives, the CAS monitoring and evaluation
framework and targets should be linked to it.
Standard CAS Annexes. The standard CAS annexes are listed below. Templates for the standard
annexes are accessible in SAP’s Business Warehouse (BW); CAS teams should contact their SAP
coordinator or the ISG Help Desk (ext. 32121) for assistance in accessing the annexes in BW. While
in some cases selected data is pulled from SAP and loaded into the CAS annex templates in BW,
Country Teams are responsible for checking this information for accuracy and for fully populating
the annexes with the correct information.
Annex A1: Key Economic and Program Indicators – Change from Last CAS/CASPR.
Annex A2: Country At a Glance. Generated in BW by SIMA (this is the only annex CAS Teams
may not need to populate with data).
Annex B2: Selected Indicators of Bank Portfolio Performance and Management.
Annex B3: IBRD/IDA Program Summary.
Annex B3 (as relevant): IFC and MIGA Program Summary.
Annex B4: Summary of Non-lending Services.
Annex B5: Poverty and Social Development Indicators. Available in SIMA; type SIMA in your
Web browser, select ‘Official tables’, select ‘SID’, and select country.
Annex B6: Key Economic Indicators. Contact Regional LDB managers.
Annex B7: Key Exposure Indicators. Contact Regional LDB managers.
Annex B8: Operations Portfolio (IBRD/IDA and Grants).
Annex B8 (as relevant): Statement of IFC’s Held and Disbursed Portfolio.
Annex B9: CAS Program Matrix. At a minimum, the matrix includes columns capturing the
following information: country strategic goals/long-term development outcomes; outcomes
supported by the CAS program (including intermediate indicators to track implementation
toward expected CAS outcomes); and Bank instruments to support the achievement of expected
CAS outcomes. For a CASPR, the matrix should reflect progress achieved in regard to the last
CAS Program Matrix.
Annex B10: CAS Summary of Development Priorities.
Two Bank Group-wide reviews of CASs, CASPRs, and TSSs—via the Operations Committee (OC)
or the Regional Operations Committee (ROC)—are conducted during the strategy preparation
process: the Upstream Review, which occurs near the beginning of preparation; and the Final
Review, which occurs as the draft strategy nears completion before the Board discussion. Review
procedures for CRNs are outlined in the CRN guidelines (PDF 119 K).
Upstream Review. The Upstream Review occurs following Country Team/Regional concept
discussions, but before extensive external consultations are held, to provide systematic Bank Group-
wide guidance on the development of the strategy. Network Anchors and other Bank Group
stakeholders are expected to participate/comment. Steps to follow in preparing for an Upstream
Contact OPCS. Contact Tevfik Yaprak, Economic Adviser, Country Economics Team, OPCS,
Determine the level of Upstream Review. In consultation with OPCS, decide whether the OC
(chaired by the Managing Director) or ROC (chaired by the Regional Vice President) will review
the strategy at this stage.
Schedule Upstream Review. In the case of an OC Upstream Review, work with OPCS to
schedule the meeting; in the case of an ROC Upstream Review, schedule the meeting according
to Regional procedures (the TTL should consult the Regional front office).
Issue Upstream Review invitation and circulate documentation. For an OC Upstream
Review, OPCS, working with the Region, issues the meeting invitation and prepares the agenda.
The Region, in consultation with the OC Secretary (Stefan Koeberle, ext. 32269) circulates the
documentation at least five working days before the meeting. After the meeting, OPCS drafts a
decision note, clears it with the Managing Director, and distributes it. For an ROC Upstream
Review, the Region, using a standard Bank Group distribution list maintained by OPCS, issues
the meeting invitation, prepares the agenda, and circulates the documentation at least five
working days before the meeting. After the meeting, the Region prepares, clears, and distributes
minutes, using the standard Bank Group distribution list maintained by OPCS.
Upstream Review Documentation. The Upstream Review note should be short (no more than 10
pages in Word, or main issues for Upstream Review may be outlined in a PowerPoint presentation
instead). It is intended to provide a clear sense of strategic options for the country and the Bank
Group, and to indicate the cost to the Bank’s administrative budget of implementing each of the
options. The Upstream Review note/presentation normally includes brief coverage of the following:
Country Vision. For IDA-eligible borrowers, a brief description of the PRSP or status of the
PRSP process; for non-IDA-eligible borrowers, a brief mention of the national development
strategy or other country-led process for setting out the country’s development vision; also, a
discussion of the links between country objectives and the achievement of the poverty, education,
gender equality, health, and environmental targets of the MDGs.
Country Context. A description of the country context, including the political economy,
macroeconomic and structural issues; governance issues, including any risks corruption may pose
to Bank projects; and the external environment, including medium-term external financing needs.
Poverty. A description of the country’s progress (or lack thereof) in poverty alleviation since the
last CAS, based on a poverty assessment or equivalent analysis.
Sectoral Issues. A brief summary of recent progress made in sectoral and cross-cutting reforms
and the main challenges ahead.
Track Record. A summary of the Bank Group’s track record in the country (e.g., based on
Country Team assessments, OED evaluations, etc) and its comparative advantage relative to
other development partners; a summary of the results of the client survey if it is available at this
Consultations. A description of the participatory process to be followed in developing the
Portfolio Performance. An analysis of the country portfolio, describing problem projects,
examining root causes of unsatisfactory performance, and reviewing remedies and implications
for proposed lending and the future portfolio.
Bank Group Program. A broad description of the proposed Bank Group strategy, including an
overview of proposed lending and nonlending activities; indicative scenarios and suggested
triggers; a discussion of debt sustainability issues; a discussion of risks (specifically,
development effectiveness, safeguard, and fiduciary risks and, for large borrowers, a discussion
of the exposure risks to the Bank); for IBRD borrowers, a discussion of creditworthiness; and an
outline of the targets and indicators proposed to monitor Bank Group and country performance in
achieving expected outcomes.
Issues for Management Attention. A discussion of any specific issues, especially controversial
ones, that need to be brought to management’s attention.
Budget. A discussion of any country program budget issues, using the Business Planning and
Reporting Tool (BPRT; contact the Chief Administrative Officer/Regional Resource
Management Team for further guidance on the BPRT).
Final Review. The Final Review occurs after government and external stakeholder consultations
have been held and the country program has been elaborated, but before final clearance, to provide
systematic Bank Group-wide input on the strategy ahead of the Board discussion. Network Anchors
and other Bank Group stakeholders are expected to participate/comment. If participants flag any
remaining issues, they work with the TTL to resolve them before final clearance. Steps to follow in
preparing for a Final Review include:
Contact OPCS. With sufficient time (at least two months) before final clearance ahead of the
planned Board discussion, contact Tevfik Yaprak, Economic Adviser, Country Economics Team,
OPCS, ext. 37752.
Determine Level of Final Review. In consultation with OPCS, decide whether the OC (chaired
by the Managing Director) or ROC (chaired by the Regional Vice President) will review the CAS
at this stage. In many instances, the Upstream Review will have determined what level (i.e., OC
or ROC) and type (i.e., actual or virtual) of Final Review will be held.
Schedule Final Review. In the case of an OC Final Review, work with OPCS to schedule the
meeting; in the case of an ROC Final Review, schedule the meeting according to Regional
procedures (the TTL should consult the Regional front office).
Issue Final Review invitation and circulate documentation. For an OC Final Review, OPCS,
working with the Region, issues the meeting invitation and prepares the agenda. The Region, in
consultation with the OC Secretary (Stefan Koeberle, ext. 32269) circulates the documentation at
least five working days before the meeting. After the meeting, OPCS drafts a decision note,
clears it with the Managing Director, and distributes it. For an ROC Final Review, the Region,
using a standard Bank Group distribution list maintained by OPCS, issues the meeting invitation,
prepares the agenda, and circulates the documentation at least five working days before the
meeting. After the meeting, the Region prepares, clears, and distributes minutes, using the
standard Bank Group distribution list maintained by OPCS.
Standard Distribution List. OPCS maintains standard distribution lists for CAS Upstream and Final
Reviews, which can be typed into Lotus Notes. These lists include Network Anchors as well as other
Bank Group stakeholders (e.g., LEG, OED, QAG, SFR, FRM, WBI, IFC, MIGA). For ROC
reviews, Regions should always include “ROC Bank-wide TO: list” in the To: line of the email,
and "ROC Bank-wide CC: list" in the cc: line of the email when issuing invitations, or circulating
documentation and minutes. Regions should add relevant Regional staff (e.g., the Regional Vice
President, Country Team members, other Regional colleagues, etc) as well as a representative of the
IMF to this standard distribution list. For OC reviews, OPCS handles the distribution of meeting
invitations, agendas, and decision notes; the Region, in consultation with the OC Secretary (Stefan
Koeberle, ext. 32269), circulates the documentation using the standard distribution list. Note that for
OC-level reviews, Regional participation is usually limited to the Regional Vice President and four
Regional staff members. As is customary, for OC and ROC reviews the To: list or their
representatives are expected to attend and comment; the cc: list may choose to do so.
ROC BANK-wide TO: list
ROC Bank-wide CC: list
OC Members To: List
OC cc: list
Final Clearance & Board Presentation
Final Clearance. No less than 30 working days before the scheduled Board date, the Country
Director sends the final draft CAS, CASPR, or TSS to the Regional Vice President (with a copy to
Stefan Koeberle, Adviser, Country Economics Team, OPCS) for review and clearance according to
Regional procedures (the TTL should consult the Regional front office). Lead times for the clearance
of CRNs may be shorter than for other strategy documents. The Regional Vice President’s (RVP)
office should thoroughly review the strategy to ensure high quality standards, including editorial and
formatting issues, of the document. The TTL (on behalf of the Country Director) prepares a
transmittal memorandum that covers the following points:
Cleared by SFR/FRM and LEG. It indicates that the strategy has been cleared by SFRCR for
IBRD-eligible borrowers (contact Barbara Mierau-Klein, ext. 82269) and/or FRM for IDA-
eligible borrowers (contact Frederik van Bolhuis, ext. 33298) and LEG (contact the Regional
Chief Counsel), and describes any unresolved issues.
Fully Costed. It indicates that the strategy is fully costed and consistent with the available
country program budget. Attached to the memorandum is an updated copy of the relevant portion
of the Business Planning and Reporting Tool (BPRT), showing the costs of each type of activity
planned in the strategy (lending preparation, supervision, nonlending services, etc) and the total
cost of the country program (contact the Chief Administrative Officer/Regional Resource
Management Team for further guidance on the BPRT).
Disclosure Status. It states that the Region has consulted with the government and that, for an
IDA-eligible borrower, the government consents (or does not consent) to disclosure of the CAS,
CASPR, TSS, or CRN or, for a non-IDA-eligible borrower, has submitted its written request for
disclosure. It also states that (for both IDA and IBRD borrowers) the government has provided its
written consent to the release of a CAS or TSS Public Information Notice (CPIN or TPIN), and a
copy of the draft CPIN/TPIN is attached.
At least 23 working days before Board presentation, the TTL forwards the RVP-cleared final draft
strategy to the Managing Director (MD) for review and clearance ahead of the Board discussion,
under cover the transmittal memorandum , copied inter alia to Stefan Koeberle, Adviser, Country
Economics Team, OPCS. OPCS reviews the document, consulting with relevant Bank units as
appropriate, and advises the MD on final clearance. When the MD agrees that the strategy is ready
for Board discussion, he signs off by initialing cover page. When appropriate, OPCS works with the
TTL to finalize the document and/or resolve any remaining issues. If necessary, the TTL and OPCS
work with Board Secretariat (SECBO, Carol Somasundarum, ext. 80249) to arrange for another
Board date if additional time is needed to finalize the strategy.
For a joint CAS or CASPR , Bank staff work with IFC counterparts to prepare the final draft of the
strategy for clearance. IFC’s Executive Vice President and Managing Director (or designate) clears
the final document at the same time as the Bank Managing Director, and IFC staff return a signed
copy of the IFC clearance memo to the Bank TTL, who attaches the IFC clearance to the Bank’s
clearance, and uses the twice-cleared document for further processing.
Board Distribution. At least 18 working days before the scheduled Board date, the TTL sends the
MD-cleared strategy document to SECBO (Carol Somasundaram, ext. 80249). The TTL indicates in
the Board Document Submission Form if the strategy will be disclosed (see the disclosure section):
If an IDA-eligible borrower objects to disclosure, the TTL indicates the reason for this in the
Board Document Submission Form, and SECBO’s memorandum to Executives Directors
requests the agreement of the Executive Directors on this matter.
Non-IDA eligible borrowers must request disclosure in writing, and the TTL attaches the written
request to the document package submitted to SECBO. If the government of a non-IDA-eligible
borrower does not request disclosure, SECBO’s memorandum to Executive Directors indicates
that release of the strategy will be restricted. However, a CPIN is issued, and the TTL attaches a
copy of the CPIN, as well as the written notice of the government’s agreement to publish it, to
the document package submitted to SECBO.
After SECBO has reviewed the document package, the TTL takes it to the Internal Documents Unit
(MC C3-220, ext. 32000) for a document number, and then to the Print Shop (MC C3-316, ext.
80701). SECBO/the Print Shop distributes the strategy to Executive Directors at least 15 working
days before the Board meeting.
STEPS FOR CAS, CASPR, & TSS CLEARANCE AND DISTRIBUTION TO THE BOARD
Minimum # of
Step Responsibility Description
(NB: lead times
for CRNs may be
CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN Strategy cleared by RVP according to Regional
submitted to RVP for TTL/CD procedures, with copy to OPCS (Stefan Koeberle),
clearance under cover of transmittal memo.
CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN RVP-cleared strategy sent to MD, with copy to OPCS
submitted to MD for 23 (Stefan Koeberle), under cover of transmittal memo.
TTL takes MD-cleared strategy to SECBO with cover
memo indicating whether government agrees to
CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN
disclosure (for non-IDA-eligible borrowers, written
submitted to SECBO, IDU, 18 TTL
request to disclose is included in the package); TTL
and the Print Shop
then takes document to IDU for a document number,
and then to the Print Shop.
CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN SECBO/Print Shop distributes strategy to Executive
distributed to Executive SECBO Directors.
Board Discussion. SECBO coordinates with the TTL in preparation for the Board discussion. The
Country Director is expected to attend the Board discussion (physically or via video conference); the
Regional Vice President may choose to do so. Regional staff request SECBO to invite key IMF staff
to attend the Board meeting. During the Board discussion, the Country Director and/or TTL respond
to any questions about the strategy from Executive Directors. For an IDA-eligible borrower whose
government has requested that the strategy not be disclosed, the Executive Director representing the
country communicates to the Board the exceptional circumstances that justify the request.
Link with Lending Operations. If a lending operation is presented in conjunction with the
CAS, the TTLs coordinate on a single brief speech that focuses on responding to written
questions received from Executive Directors and that describes any relevant developments since
the documents were circulated.
Link with PRSP Discussion. For IDA-eligible borrowers, the CAS should be based on the
country’s PRSP. The Board has stipulated that a CAS for an IDA-eligible borrower be presented
to the Board for discussion only after the Board has discussed the PRSP on which it is based.
This is to ensure that the CAS takes into account relevant comments from the Board’s discussion
of the PRSP. (See the frequency section.)
Link with CAE Discussions. The Operations Evaluation Department (OED) and the Policy
Support Division, Corporate Secretariat (SECPS) work together to schedule presentation of a
certain number of OED Country Assistance Evaluations (CAEs) to the Board’s Committee on
Development Effectiveness (CODE) so that CODE’s discussion of the CAE will precede the
Board’s discussion of the CAS for the same country.
Chairman’s Concluding Remarks. At least one business day before the strategy document is
discussed by the Board, SECPS requests input from the TTL for the “Chairman’s Concluding
Remarks.” The TTL provides a draft statement of a few paragraphs that reflects the issues expected
to be raised by the Board on the strategy, in light of conversations with Executive Directors’ offices.
SECPS draws on and revises this during the Board discussion. The final “Chairman’s Concluding
Remarks” are no more than one page, single-spaced. They highlight the main conclusions of the
Board discussion (but do not imply that the Board has approved or rejected the strategy), particularly
whether Executive Directors found the strategy’s focus appropriate, which elements were stressed,
and any major concerns expressed. The remarks do not attempt to summarize the entire discussion or
give the views of individual Executive Directors. SECPS clears the “Chairman’s Concluding
Remarks” with the Regional Vice President and forwards them to SECBO for clearance by the Chair,
and circulation to Executive Directors. Once finalized, the “Chairman’s Concluding Remarks” are
made publicly available, except when the strategy itself is not disclosed.
As stated in the Bank’s disclosure policy, the presumption is in favor of disclosure of information,
subject to the provisions in the policy statement, including stratgy documents. The following outlines
the policy and procedures for disclosure of strategy documents; staff should also refer to the
IDA-eligible Borrowers. Early in preparation of a CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN, the TTL/CD
informs the government of an IDA-eligible borrower in writing that it is Bank policy to make the
document publicly available after it has been discussed by the Board and finalized, unless, in
exceptional circumstances, the government of the country concerned objects to such disclosure
and the Executive Directors agree that the strategy may not be disclosed. The TTL/CD requests
the government’s no-objection to disclosure. If the government objects, the TTL/CD explains
that the government should bring the matter to the attention of the Executive Director
representing the country. If the objection has not been cleared by the time of Board discussion,
SECBO’s memorandum to Executive Directors requests the Board’s agreement to non-
Non-IDA-eligible Borrowers. Early in preparation of a CAS, CASPR, or TSS, the TTL/CD
informs the government of an non-IDA-eligible borrower that it is Bank policy to make the
document publicly available at the written request of the government after it has been discussed
by the Board and finalized. The TTL/CD ascertains whether the government anticipates
requesting the Bank to disclose the strategy. If so, in sufficient time (at least two months) before
the Board discussion, the TTL obtains the government’s written request for disclosure. The
written request is distributed to the Board along with the strategy ahead of the Board’s
CAS Public Information Notice. With the government’s consent, the Bank issues a CAS (or TSS)
Public Information Notice. The CPIN/TPIN is a note of up to two pages that summarizes the key
elements of the country’s economic and social situation, its development agenda, and the Bank’s
strategy. For both IDA- and IBRD-eligible borrowers, the TTL drafts a CPIN/TPIN in sufficient time
(at least three months) before the Board discussion of the strategy document. The TTL shares the
CPIN/TPIN with the government and obtains the government's written consent to disclose it. The
draft CPIN/TPIN is distributed to the Board along with the strategy document for Board discussion.
Final Disclosure. For strategy documents that will be disclosed, final disclosure should occur within
two months of the Board discussion. The process is as follows:
Revisions After Board. After the Board discussion, the TTL revises the CPIN/TPIN and
strategy document as appropriate to take into account Executive Directors’ comments, drawing
on the “Chairman’s Concluding Remarks” (refer to the section below if no revisions are
necessary). The TTL sends the revised CPIN/TPIN and strategy document to the government for
any final comments, revising it further if necessary. If any major substantive revisions are made,
the TTL consults with OPCS (Tevfik Yaprak, ext. 37752), and then sends the finalized strategy
to the Regional Vice President (RVP)—together with a cover memo indicating what revisions
were made—for clearance and approval to disclose. The TTL takes the final, RVP-cleared
version to SECBO (Carol Somasundaram, ext. 80249/Librada Penid-Lopez, ext. 82839), the
Internal Documents Unit (IDU, MC C3-220, ext. 32000), and the Print Shop (MC C3-316, ext.
80701), in that order, for distribution to the Board. SECBO’s cover memo to the Board indicates
what revisions have been made, and notifies Executive Directors that the CPIN/TPIN and
strategy document will be disclosed after five working days in the absence of objection. After
this period, the TTL checks with SECBO (Carol Somasundaram/Librada Penid-Lopez) to ensure
that no objections were received, and SECBO instructs the IDU and the InfoShop, through the
Eboard system, to make the CPIN/TPIN and strategy document publicly available (posting an
electronic copy on the Bank’s external website and making paper copies available at the
InfoShop). Once the documents have been publicly disclosed by the InfoShop, Regional External
Relations staff work with country counterparts to carry out dissemination and the documents can
be made available on the Region's web site. SECBO also instructs the IDU and the InfoShop,
through the Eboard system, to make the “Chairman’s Concluding Remarks” publicly available
except when the strategy document is not disclosed.
No Revisions After Board. If no revisions to the strategy are necessary after the Board
discussion, the TTL confirms this with SECBO (Carol Somasundaram/Librada Penid-Lopez),
who then informs the IDU and the InfoShop, through the Eboard system, that the Board version
of the CPIN/TPIN and strategy document can be publicly disclosed. Once the documents have
been made publicly available, Regional External Relations staff work with country counterparts
to carry out dissemination and the documents can be made available on the Region's web site.
SECBO also instructs the IDU and the InfoShop, through the Eboard system, to make the
“Chairman’s Concluding Remarks” publicly available except when the strategy document is not
At any time, a country government may request in writing that the Bank disclose a CAS or CASPR
discussed before August 1, 1998 (the date of effectiveness of the disclosure policy for
STEPS FOR CAS DISCLOSURE AFTER BOARD DISCUSSION
Final disclosure of the CAS, CASPR, TSS, or CRN should occur within two months of Board discussion
Step Responsibility Description
If no revisions are necessary after the Board discussion, TTL confirms this with SECBO, who instructs IDU to make the
Board version of the document publicly available.
After Board discussion,
TTL revises strategy to take Board comments (drawing on Chairman’s
CAS, CASPR, TSS, or
TTL Concluding Remarks) into account, and then obtains/incorporates any final
CRN revised and
comments from the government.
Revised CAS, CASPR,
Final version of strategy sent to RVP—with transmittal memo indicating
TSS, or CRN cleared TTL/CD
what (if any) revisions were made—for clearance and approval to disclose.
RVP-cleared version of
TTL takes RVP-cleared final strategy to SECBO, IDU, and the Print Shop for
revised CAS, CASPR,
distribution to the Board; SECBO cover memo indicates any revisions made
TSS, or CRN submitted
and notifies the Board that the strategy will be disclosed after 5 working days
to SECBO, IDU, and TTL
in the absence of objection; after 5 working days, TTL checks with SECBO
Print Shop for final
to ensure that no objections were raised, and to instruct IDU to make the final
strategy publicly available on the web and through the InfoShop.
Chairman’s Concluding SECBO and SECBO coordinates with IDU to make the Chairman’s Concluding Remarks
Remarks disclosed IDU publicly available when strategy disclosed.
The Bank and the government monitor CAS implementation (PDF 12K) and assess progress toward
the targets and indicators to monitor Bank Group and country performance in achieving stated
outcomes. The Bank collaborates with the government and external partners to ensure coordination
and, to the extent possible, harmonization of activities during implementation. As necessary, the
Bank and government work together to fine-tune the strategic approach to adapt to changing
circumstances. During implementation, additional capacity building activities and risk management
and mitigation measures are undertaken as appropriate.
Samples (accessible at: http://opcs/CAS/cs.html)
Transmittal Memorandum for CAS Clearance by RVP and MD (PDF 104K)
CAS Board Document: Cover Page and Inside Cover Page (PDF 91K)
CAS Board Document: Memorandum to Executive Directors (PDF 74K)
CAS Table of Contents (PDF 81K)