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Overall, assistance provided by the International Development Association (IDA) to Bangladesh has been effective, and the partnership forged with the government has brought about some notable successes. The country has been transformed, and this has been achieved in a very difficult political climate. As might be expected with a complex array of economic, social, and political issues, progress has not been uniformly good. The disappointing progress is the result of deeply entrenched governance issues and powerful vested interests that have sought to maintain the status quo. The following are the generic lessons that cut acreoss all sectors, to guide the future Country Assistance Strategy: The role of the public sector must be redefined; there is much greater scope for the private sector, nongovernmental organizations, and local governments to be involved in providing services. Future project design must improve the accountability of those responsible for providing a service or completing a project. Much more emphasis must be given to recurrent expenditure requirements for operations and maintenance, to cost recovery, and to institutional structures or implementing agencies and organizational frameworks. More effort should be made to strengthen political commitment to needed institutional change and this should be the " acid test " for providing assistance. Project objectives should be limited to a smaller number of crucial policy changes and development impact objectives.

Publisher: World Bank

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