THE SOUTH-SOUTH EXPERIENCE EXCHANGE FACILITY IMPLEMENTATION PROGRESS REPORT 2018
The South-South Facility 2018 Implementation Progress Report offers a qualitative and quantitative review of the Facility’s activities and results for the calendar year 2018. It provides an overview of the scope and reach of the SSF’s portfolio which focuses on strengthening capacity for better development outcomes. The report includes snapshots of specific achievements to illustrate the impact of South-South peer-learning among development practitioners and policy makers worldwide.
The global development community recognizes that knowledge sharing, or peer-to-peer learning, is a powerful instrument to share, adapt and meaningfully scale-up what works in development. The convincing power of learning directly from peers on-side and in person – and their practical knowledge – far outreaches the impact of learning from books or theoretical experts. South-South peer learning at the political level inspires and motivates leaders to implement reforms, while at the technical and operational levels, it serves as an avenue for exchanging practical ‘how-to’ knowledge for improved project design and implementation.
Launched in 2008 as a multi-donor trust fund, the South-South Facility enables the sharing of development experience and knowledge among developing and emerging countries by funding knowledge exchange activities. These knowledge exchanges are based on demand expressed by World Bank client countries seeking to address development challenges or implementation bottlenecks. They are designed with a strong focus on achieving results. Since 2017, the South-South Facility provides support through two windows:
- Window for Stand-alone knowledge exchanges: One-off (just-in-time) exchanges allowing for very agile and responsive interventions to meet immediate knowledge needs of countries or to unlock implementation bottlenecks. Stand-alone knowledge exchanges are implemented within one year from grant effectiveness.
- Window for Programmatic knowledge exchanges: Enable longer-term multiple countries to participate in multiple exchanges to address long-term strategic issues requiring deeper engagements. Programmatic knowledge exchanges are cross-regional and implemented over one to three years.
Since 2017, to ensure a stronger focus on results, the South-South Facility uses an integrated knowledge sharing approach, which includes the provision of technical assistance to each grant recipient team. This assistance focuses on knowledge exchange design, implementation and monitoring, and is provided by seasoned knowledge exchange facilitators with practical experience both in supporting knowledge sharing activities and in implementing development projects. In 2018, through a series of workshops and hands-on clinics, three staff from the Development Economics Knowledge Management Unit (DECKM) were trained on how to (i) use a systematic and results-focused approach to knowledge exchange, (ii) use a range of instruments and activities that contribute to a successful knowledge exchange, (iii) present respective benefits of various tools and methods for capturing knowledge, and (iv) address ways to measure and report results. This allowed to strengthen the pool of knowledge exchange facilitators capable of supporting SSF grantees in World Bank operations teams.
The strong linkage between knowledge and financing is an important comparative advantage of the Facility. The 16 active grants in the SSF 2018 portfolio were supporting 39 World Bank investment lending projects. These projects have a total cumulated value of US$13 billion.
In 2018, due to limited funding, less than 20% of SSF support requests could be accommodated. To address this situation, the SSF Secretariat team prepared a scale-up proposal that aims to expand the Facility’s portfolio, refocus it on strategic development challenges and enhance development outcomes.