March 2019

Guidance on Systematic Country Diagnostics

Evidence-based Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs) identify priorities through which a country may most effectively and sustainably achieve poverty reduction. This guidebook aims at supporting teams preparing SCDs.


World Bank Group

Document Type

Tools and guidelines

Building Block

Assessment and diagnostics

Useful Links


#DiagnosticTools #MultistakeholderDialogue #SustainableGrowth #InclusiveGrowth

The World Bank Group (WBG) conducts Systematic Country Diagnostics (SCDs) which contain useful information and data for the preparation of INFF-related assessment and diagnostics. The SCD aims to help the country, the WBG and other development partners establish a dialogue to focus their efforts around goals and activities that have high impact and are aligned with the global goals of ending absolute poverty and boosting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

The content of the SCD is context specific for any given country. However, each SCD incorporates the following set of themes or topics:

  • Frames the issues/challenges with respect to achieving the country’s development goals in terms of the current trends and patterns in poverty reduction, inclusion and sustainability.
  • Identifies the critical factors driving or constraining economic growth.
  • Identifies the critical factors determining the inclusiveness of growth, namely increase in welfare of the poor and less well-off.
  • Analyses the sustainability (environmental, social and fiscal) of the current pattern of
  • growth, distribution and poverty reduction.
  • Identifies, on the basis of the analyses under the previous points, a select set of priorities or focus areas for a country, in order to maximize its progress toward ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity in a sustainable manner.

As part of the Country Engagement approach, SCDs are prepared by WBG staff in close consultation with a country’s national authorities and other stakeholders. Over 100 such diagnostics have been completed since 2014.