By emphasizing empowerment and putting resources in the direct control of community groups, community driven development (CDD)’s rapid spread stems from its promise of achieving inclusive and sustainable poverty reduction. Yet despite its popularity, evidence on whether these programs work still remains limited and scattered. Recently, two significant efforts have been made by the World Bank to pull together the different strands of evidence there is on CDD and provide a summary picture of what we know and what we don’t:
- The first – Vijayendra Rao and Ghazala Mansuri’s Policy Research Report on Localizing Development – Does Participation Work – is a comprehensive review of some 500 evaluation studies on participatory approaches (including CDD) carried out globally over the last half century.
- The second – Susan Wong’s meta-analysis paper on What have been the impacts of World Bank Community-Driven Programs? – looks at a much narrower subset of just Bank-financed CDD projects. It covers the findings from the 17 Bank-financed CDD projects implemented over the last decade that had undertaken robust impact evaluations.