Defining the World Bank’s role in social contract renewal, specific to each country’s social contract dynamics, can improve the World Bank’s coherence. This evaluation identifies three sets of conditions that the World Bank should take into account to gain traction on social contract issues.
These conditions include the following:
- The presence or absence of a social contract renegotiation within the country.
- The nature of the country’s social contract bargaining. This includes whether the social contract benefits the few or the many; whether it relies on corruption and clientelism; whether citizens and civil society can participate in the bargaining; whether the state is responsive to citizens’ social contract demands; and whether the state has the capacity and legitimacy to fulfill these demands.
- The World Bank’s comparative advantages in specific social contract situations. This includes its positioning compared with other development partners and its reputation and social capital among citizens and civil society.
To derive more value from social contracts diagnostics within the constraints of the World Bank’s operating environment, the World Bank must think critically about the conditions under which a social contract diagnostic can effectively guide its country engagements. This also requires more focus on citizen engagement, building partnerships, and building staff’s social contract–related capabilities.