Toward a Listening Bank: A Review of Best Practices and the Efficacy of Beneficiary Assessment

"This paper will first provide a descriptive overview of the beneficiary assessment (BA) work done on World Bank projects (by region, sector, phase of cycle, and so forth); it will then discuss impact, both qualitatively (with case studies) and quantitatively; and finally it will propose a course that, if taken, could lead to a Bank that truly listens and is attuned as much to the perspectives of the governments and peoples it serves as to the financial markets it helps sustain."

"BAs use the qualitative techniques of conversational interviewing, focus groups, and participant observation with representative samples of key actors, such as the intended—usually poor—beneficiaries, service providers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other local public- and private-sector leaders; analysis and the presentation of results are done as quantitatively as possible."


  • Beneficiary Assessment and the World Bank: An Overview
  • Beneficiary Assessments in Africa
  • Impact
  • Case Studies
  • Impact on Project Design
  • Impact on Direct Cost Savings
  • Summary of Quantifiable Impacts on Project Design and Objectives
  • A Note on Methodology
  • Complete the Paradigm Shift


Salmen, L. F, (1998). Toward a listening bank: A review of best practices and the efficacy of beneficiary assessment (Paper Number 23), The World Bank. Retrieved from website:

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