Government ministers can play such a significant role in the implementation of development projects under their portfolio that a high turnover of ministers may have implications for aid effectiveness. This paper examines the link between ministerial continuity in borrower governments and the performance of World Bank education projects implemented between 2000 and 2017 in 114 countries. I use a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to trace the link between number of ministers during project implementation and project outcome ratings. There is a statistically significant and qualitatively meaningful negative correlation between ministerial turnover and project performance. Delays caused by transition and reshuffling of senior managers by new education ministers are shown to constitute possible causal mechanisms. There is some evidence that strong supervision by World Bank staff could mitigate the negative implications of ministerial turnover on project outcome.
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