World Bank Infrastructure Investment
The GIF is now accepting applications from interested governments for project preparation and transaction structuring support The application process involves several, iterative steps—designed to ensure effort invested in preparing project applications is well-spent, by first identifying whether a proposed project appears likely to be consistent with the GIF’s eligibility and selection criteria before committing the time and resources needed to develop a detailed GIF Application. These steps are described below.
Who can apply?
GIF project preparation support is provided to governments in Emerging Markets and Developing Economies (EMDEs), and delivered by the GIF’s Technical Partners As such, GIF applications should be submitted by prospective client governments, with support and in coordination with one or more Technical Partner as needed. Technical Partner teams are also welcome to reach out to the GIF team to ascertain whether a project might be eligible (by completing a project overview, as described further below).
Eligible governments include national or sub-national governments of the recipient member countries of the GIF’s Technical Partners. Applications may be submitted on behalf of a prospective client government by the ministry response for finance, responsible line ministry, or other department, agency, or publicly-owned entity. As described further below, before completing the application process letters of support from all relevant ministries, including the ministry of finance at the national level, will be required.
How to apply?
Step 1: Complete and submit a “Project Overview” (download here)
The GIF application process is started by submitting a “Project Overview” for the proposed project or infrastructure investment program. This overview should take no more than an hour or two to complete, and includes sufficient project details to confirm eligibility and initially check against selection criteria, as well as brief information on current project status and likely needs. A Project Overview may be submitted to the GIF Management Unit by a government directly, or by a GIF Technical Partner team on behalf of a Government. The GIF Management Unit will review the project overview, discuss the project with its proponents, and consult with other Technical Partners active in the region. Potentially eligible candidates will be sent a package of application material, including the application template and guidance material as well as a planning grant request form, and invited to submit a full GIF application.
Step 2 (if necessary): Request a Planning Grant to support the process of developing a full GIF application
Having reviewed the detailed application requirements as described below, and in discussion with the GIF Management Unit, the project proponent should consider whether all the information needed to complete the full application is available. If not, the applicant can request a planning grant of up to $150, 000. Within this limit, planning grants may be used as needed to:
- Finalize project identification, for example, analysis to select the first-mover project from a priority infrastructure investment program
- Analyze possible “fatal flaws”—that is, pre-feasibility level analysis of major outstanding project viability questions, as needed to give reasonable confidence that a project is expected to be viable (and hence comply with the GIF Project Selection requirements)
- Plan the project preparation and transaction implementation process, as needed to complete Part 2 of the full GIF Application.
Planning Grant requests should be submitted jointly by the prospective client government and the GIF Technical Partners that will implement the planning work, in close consultation with its government counterparts. If the government is not already working with a Technical Partners, the GIF team will be happy to connect them at this stage. Planning Grant requests will be reviewed and approved by the Management Unit, based on consistency of the project with GIF requirements and the adequacy of the proposed scope of work for the planning grant to enable completion of a well-prepared and potentially eligibly GIF application for the project. Applicants will be notified of the MU’s approval within two weeks of submission of a complete Planning Grant request.
Step 3: Prepare and submit a full GIF Application
The full application asks applicants to flesh out the information already contained in the project overview by providing more detail on three key aspects:
- Evidence and rationale for the compliance of the GIF project with the selection criteria;
- Project status and preparation work completed so far; and
- The proposed scope of the GIF Activity, by project stage in the context of a clear, credible, and comprehensive plan for completing project preparation and bringing the project through to successful close.
The full GIF Application must be submitted by the government entity that will act as the primary counterpart for the GIF Activity, and accompanied by letters of support from all relevant government ministries—at least, the ministry responsible for finance and the responsible sector ministry. In most cases (and in particular, if a planning grant has been used) one or more GIF Technical Partners will also already be supporting the Government in preparing the application, although this is not a requirement. The Management Unit will review each application for consistency with GIF requirements and completeness, as well as potential consistency of the proposed GIF Activity with portfolio diversity targets, given the GIF’s existing portfolio of Activities. If there are gaps or more information is required, the GIF Management Unitwill liaise with the prospective client Government and supporting Technical Partners as needed to complete the application.
Step 4: Prepare an Activity Implementation Plan
Once the application has been reviewed and found to be complete, the next step is to agree and finalize activity implementation arrangements. These arrangements will be set out in an Activity Implementation Plan, to be attached to the application. This plan will build on the information provided in the full application, but require more detailed information on cost and procurement plans for external advisors, activity timeframe and milestones, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the GIF Technical Partners involved (the Activity Implementation Team) and their Government counterparts. The roles and responsibilities of each partner will be agreed among all interested Technical Partners by consensus, in consultation with the Government, as set out in the GIF Operating Guidelines. “Interested Technical Partners” in this case are expected to include, but not necessarily be limited to, those Technical Partners that have supported the application preparation.
Step 5: Approval of GIF activities
Once the Activity Implementation Plan is complete, the full proposal will be submitted for approval: either to the GIF’s Governing Council (for activities over US$500, 000—expected to comprise the majority of GIF support activities), or to the Management Unit (for activities under that threshold). The applying government and all Technical Partners involved will be notified of the Governing Council’s decision within four weeks of completion of the full GIF proposal.