World Bank Scholarships Program 2021 for developing countries

The Joint Japan – World Bank Scholarship Program 2021 (JJ/WBGSP) is open for candidates of developing countries who are aspiring to apply for a master’s degree program in development-related fields. The application period will begin from March 22, 2021, onwards, and will end on May 21, 2021.

Candidates from World Bank member developing countries may avail this golden opportunity and apply for a master’s degree program. The Joint Japan – World Bank Scholarship Program offers scholarships for 48 Participating Programs.

World Bank Scholarships Program 2021 for developing countries
World Bank Scholarships Program 2021 for developing countries


Details on Eligibility Criteria for each call for applications are provided in that call’s Application Guidelines, and these detailed eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. No exceptions are made.

Broadly speaking, Developing Country nationals must:

  • Be a national of a World Bank member developing country on this list
  • Not hold dual citizenship of any developed country;
  • Be in good health;
  • Hold a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree earned at least 3 years prior to the Application Deadline date;
  • Have 3 years or more of recent development-related work experience after earning a Bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree;
  • Be employed in development-related work in a paid full-time position at the time of submitting the scholarship application. Have at least 3 years of paid development-related employment since earning a Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent university degree) and acquired within the past 6 years from the date of the Application Deadline. Please see FAQs on how to count qualified part-time employment toward this 3-year requirement. Please see Annex 2 of the Application Guidelines for a suggested list of development-related topics. The only exception to this criterion is for developing country nationals from a country that is on the list of Fragile and Conflict States featured in Annex 3 of the Application Guidelines. In these exceptional cases, we do take into consideration the limited employment opportunities in those countries listed in Annex 3.
  • On or before the Scholarship Application Deadline date, be admitted unconditionally (except for funding) for the upcoming academic year to at least one of the JJ/WBGSP participating master’s programs located outside of the applicant’s country of citizenship and country of residence listed at the time the call for scholarship applications opens. The letter of admission must be uploaded before submitting your application. For details, see “How to Apply”.
  • Not be an Executive Director, his/her alternate, and/or staff of any type of appointment of the World Bank Group or a close relative of the aforementioned by blood or adoption with the term “close relative” defined as: Mother, Father, Sister, Half-sister, Brother, Half-brother, Son, Daughter, Aunt, Uncle, Niece, or Nephew.

Please note: All eligibility criteria are strictly adhered to. No exceptions are made. Eligibility criteria WILL NOT change during an open call for applications. However, this information is subject to change between the close of one application process and the opening of the next.

How to Apply for World Bank Scholarships Program

Applicants can apply for scholarships to one of the Participating Programs. :


ATTENTION:  The call for applications for a JJWBGSP Scholarship will open on March 22, 2021 and the deadline for applying will be May 21, 2021. Guidance for the 2021 call for applications, including the call’s: (i) instructions and requirements to submit an application, the eligibility criteria applicants must meet; and the selection process are provided  in the Application GuidelinesFAQs, and the complete list of JJ/WBGSP Participating Programs. Master Degrees currently offered.  

Inquiries on how to submit an admission application to a Participating program should be submitted to the respective university. All applicants to the JJ/WBG will need to have an unconditional offer of admission from a participating program to be eligible to apply.

Once you are familiar with the application requirements and processes, click HERE to apply, and refer to the “Accessing your online application” and “Navigating your online application” to learn how access and navigate the online application.

Selection Process

The JJ/WBGSP uses the following process to review eligible scholarship applications from developing country nationals, with the aim of identifying the candidates with the highest potential, after completion of their graduate studies, to impact the development of their countries.

Two qualified assessors independently review each eligible application and score the application on a scale of 1 to 10, taking into account four main factors and the degree of cohesion among them:

  1. Quality of Professional Experience (30% weight)
  2. Quality of Professional Recommendations (30% weight)
  3. Quality of Commitment to your Home Country (30% weight)
  4. Quality of Education Background (10% weight)

The JJ/WBGSP Secretariat uses the average score of the two assessors and the following criteria to select the finalists:

  • Maintaining a reasonably wide geographical distribution of awards
  • Maintaining a reasonable distribution of awards across gender
  • Unusual circumstances/hardships, when assessing the employment experience and other aspects of an application;
  • Giving scholarships to those applicants who, other things being equal, have limited access to financial resources for graduate studies abroad.

The JJWBGSP Secretariat presents the finalists for the Participating Program scholarship to the JJ/WBG Steering Committee (composed of members of the World Bank Board of Directors and WB management) for approval. Winners are notified soon after the JJWBG Steering Committee approval. 

World Bank Scholarships Program Benefits

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship provides the recipient with the following benefits:

  • Economy class air travel between your home country and the host university at the start of your study program and immediately following the end of the scholarship period. In addition to the two-way air travel, scholars will receive a US $500 travel allowance for each trip;
  • Tuition for your graduate program and the cost of basic medical insurance obtained through the university.
  • While on campus during the scholarship period, a monthly subsistence allowance to cover all living expenses (accommodations, food, etc., including books). The amount of the allowance varies depending on the host country.

Please note all JJ/WBGSP scholarships cover the duration of the graduate program or two years, whichever is less.

The JJ/WBGSP scholarship does not cover:

  • VISA application(s) costs
  • Expenses to bring and/or support a scholar’s family members;
  • Extra-curricular courses or training;
  • Courses that do not meet the minimum credits required to earn the graduate degree;
  • Language training not provided by the graduate program;
  • Additional travel during the course of the study program;
  • Expenses related to research, supplementary educational materials, field trips, participation in workshops/seminars, or internships; or
  • Educational equipment such as computers.
  • Resident permit fee

Note: The JJ/WBGSP scholarship may only supplement, and does not duplicate, any other source of financial support/fellowship you might have. If you are notified to be a semi-finalist or if you are awarded a scholarship, you must inform and document to the JJ/WBGSP at that time if you have other sources of scholarship funds. 

Countries Eligible for The Joint Japan World Bank Scholarships Program

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Albania
  3. Algeria
  4. Angola
  5. Armenia
  6. Azerbaijan
  7. Bangladesh
  8. Belize
  9. Benin
  10. Bhutan
  11. Bolivia
  12. Burkina Faso
  13. Burundi
  14. Cabo Verde
  15. Cambodia
  16. Cameroon
  17. Central African Rep.
  18. Chad
  19. Comoros
  20. Congo, Dem. Rep. of
  21. Congo, Rep. of
  22. Côte d’Ivoire
  23. Djibouti
  24. Dominica
  25. Egypt, Arab Rep.
  26. El Salvador
  27. Eritrea
  28. Eswatini
  29. Ethiopia
  30. Fiji
  31. The Gambia
  32. Georgia
  33. Ghana
  34. Grenada
  35. Guatemala
  36. Guinea
  37. Guinea-Bissau
  38. Guyana
  39. Haiti
  40. Honduras
  41. India
  42. Indonesia
  43. Iran, Islamic Rep. of
  44. Iraq
  45. Jamaica
  46. Jordan
  47. Kenya
  48. Kiribati
  49. Kosovo, Republic of
  50. Kyrgyz Republic
  51. Lao People’s D.R.
  52. Lebanon
  53. Lesotho
  54. Liberia
  55. Libya
  56. Macedonia, FYR of
  57. Madagascar
  58. Malawi
  59. Maldives
  60. Mali
  61. Marshall Islands
  62. Mauritania
  63. Micronesia, F. S.
  64. Moldova
  65. Mongolia
  66. Morocco
  67. Mozambique
  68. Myanmar
  69. Namibia
  70. Nepal
  71. Nicaragua
  72. Niger
  73. Nigeria
  74. Pakistan
  75. Papua New Guinea
  76. Philippines
  77. Rwanda
  78. Samoa
  79. São Tomé and Principe
  80. Senegal
  81. Sierra Leone
  82. Solomon Islands
  83. Somalia
  84. South Sudan
  85. Sri Lanka
  86. St. Lucia
  87. St.Vincent & the Grenadines
  88. Sudan
  89. Suriname
  90. Syrian Arab Republic
  91. Tajikistan
  92. Tanzania
  93. Timor-Leste
  94. Togo
  95. Tonga
  96. Tunisia
  97. Tuvalu
  98. Uganda
  99. Ukraine
  100. Uzbekistan
  101. Vanuatu
  102. Venezuela, Rep. Bol. de
  103. Vietnam
  104. West Bank and Gaza
  105. Yemen, Republic of
  106. Zambia
  107. Zimbabwe


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