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Problem-driven political economy analysis holds considerable promise for development practitioners
seeking to identify policies and strategies that are most likely to deliver solutions for difficult development
challenges. This volume takes stock of the World Bank’s experiences applying this approach. The eight good
practice cases presented in this volume illustrate recent Bank achievements. Problem-Driven Political Economy
Analysis: The World Bank’s Experience shows how political economy analysis can be applied to specific
development challenges from different sectors, highlights the range of empirical evidence that can be used
and discusses the types of recommendations and follow up actions that result.
Each case opens by describing the specific challenge or opportunity that prompted the analysis:
an emerging natural resource boom in Mongolia, a growing need for subsidy reform in Morocco, difficult
constellations around electricity sector reform in the Dominican Republic, electricity and telecommunications
reforms in Zambia, the development of inclusive commercial agriculture in Ghana, infrastructure
programs at the subnational level in Sierra Leone, local infrastructure provision in Papua New Guinea, and
the allocation of local roads and health services in the Philippines.
The cases then review key findings, describing how political economy drivers impeded first best economically
efficient or technically sound reforms and how the incentives at play offer opportunities forengagement.
Each case then sets out the feasible policy recommendations derived from the analysis, including
specific recommendations for how development interventions can be adapted to existing political economy
constraints and―where possible―how to engage on expanding the space for reform. Finally, there is a
reflection on the uptake and effects of the problem-driven analysis on World Bank operations and on policy
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