Mobilizing Partnerships in a New Development Landscape
The range of participants within the global development community continues to grow with traditional and non-traditional actors taking on new and changing roles. Such an evolving landscape is inspiring a new roadmap for forming partnerships and strengthening collaboration among stakeholders.
Strengthening partnerships to deepen collaboration
In fiscal 2018, the World Bank reaffirmed its commitment to work with partners of all kinds to tackle shared global development challenges.
Philanthropy and the private sector. To support and align with the strategic emphasis on Maximizing Finance for Development, the World Bank sharpened its focus on building partnerships with an expanding group of influential actors including foundations, new philanthropists, impact investors, social entrepreneurs, and other private sector leaders. This work catalyzes innovative partnerships and activates new champions in support of institutional priorities, including forced displacement, climate, gender, and human capital.
Civil society. The World Bank continued to strengthen engagement and collaboration with civil society organizations (CSOs), including faith-based organizations. Throughout the year, the Bank encouraged CSO participation in key policy discussions, and it enhanced its engagement with CSOs beyond Washington, DC, including in Indonesia where the World Bank Group and IMF will hold their 2018 Annual Meetings.
The Civil Society Policy Forum hosted at this year’s Annual and Spring Meetings enabled the Bank and CSOs to deliberate on critical issues such as citizen engagement, financial intermediaries, education, energy, and climate change. More than 1,000 CSO participants attended the Spring Meetings—the largest contingent to date—demonstrating the enduring interest from CSOs in engaging with the Bank. A new CSO Innovation Fair, held during the spring Policy Forum, also provided a unique opportunity for CSOs to engage one another, delegates, and Bank staff through a showcase of their advocacy campaigns, online data tools, and other innovative products and interventions.
Parliamentarians. As elected representatives, parliamentarians are key to integrating citizen voices into programs and promoting lasting development results. In this context, the Bank expanded its engagement with parliamentarians through initiatives such as a pilot outreach program with European parliamentarian staff who facilitate engagement between legislators and the World Bank, with the aim of deepening shared understanding, knowledge, and collaboration. The Bank also launched a global young members of parliament (MPs) initiative with a core group of influential parliamentarians under the age of 45, in an effort to cultivate the next generation of parliamentary leaders committed to overcoming international development challenges. This year the Bank organized a parliamentary field visit to Vietnam, which allowed a delegation of 29 MPs from 15 countries to see the impact of Bank-financed infrastructure projects in Hanoi.
The Annual and Spring Meetings continue to provide important engagement opportunities with parliamentarians. The 2018 Annual Global Parliamentary Conference, co-organized with the Parliamentary Network and the IMF, hosted 205 MPs from 58 countries, including 9 heads of parliament (speakers and vice-speakers), 20 committee chairs, and 35 members of finance or budget committees. The Conference covered a range of topics including youth unemployment and job creation, human capital, governance, gender, and development finance.
Partnering within communities. The Bank works actively to engage and contribute to its local community, whether in Washington, DC, or at country offices around the world. Through the Community Connections program, the entire World Bank Group and its staff personally partner with local communities and nongovernmental organizations via staff donations, matching corporate philanthropy, volunteerism, in-kind donations, and an internship program for students from local public high schools to strengthen the communities in which it works. Together, these programs leverage a motivated, highly educated, and international workforce for the betterment of communities where they live around the world.
Working together to address the critical issues of our time
The World Bank Group is actively working across the institution to strengthen the collaboration and partnerships that can help bring immediate attention to critical global issues.
Fragility. Today more than 68 million people worldwide have been forced from their homes, and by 2030 almost half of the poor will live in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Tackling fragility and displacement, and closing the gap between humanitarian and development work, is critical for the global development agenda and a priority for many of the Bank’s partners and stakeholders.
This year, the World Bank focused its annual Advisory Council—a gathering of global leaders representing the private sector, impact investors, philanthropists, and foundations—on fragility to tackle this critical issue from all fronts. Participants discussed the Syrian refugee crisis and presented a collective perspective of the challenges and opportunities facing actors working in fragile situations. They also discussed how to leverage each actor’s strengths, such as the patient capital of foundations, the Bank’s convening power, and the private sector’s ability to be agile, create jobs, and spur economic growth. The Advisory Council discussions led to a commitment from foundations, the private sector, and the World Bank Group to explore the feasibility of a matchmaking platform in support of refugees and host communities. This would aim to match private sector companies with opportunities for refugees and unlock investment financing. It would be accompanied by a global advocacy effort to change the narrative around refugees.
Climate change. This fiscal year the Bank mobilized partnerships across public, private, multilateral, and civil society spheres to advance the climate agenda. Work continued on shaping Invest4Climate, a platform being developed with UN partners to leverage public and philanthropic funding to crowd in more private sector investment for climate action in developing countries. And in May, the Bank delivered the second edition of “Innovate4Climate”—a new annual conference bringing together finance, business, technology, and policy leaders to drive climate investment.
Since 2011, Connect4Climate (C4C) has built a global network of more than 500 partners among civil society, youth coalitions, the private sector, international organizations, and others. C4C connects individuals and groups, amplifies discourse and interaction, and shares information to promote climate-related events and activities, with a strong emphasis on engagement with youth. This year, C4C was involved in initiatives that heightened awareness and advocacy on climate change. These included All4theGreen in Bologna, a program of more than 80 events focused on climate change leading up to and during the G-7 Environment Ministerial Meeting in June 2017, and Uniting4Climate, a campaign developed in collaboration with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the governments of Fiji, Italy, and Germany ahead of and through the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Bonn in November 2017 and the One Planet Summit held in Paris in December 2017. C4C has also successfully continued its long-standing engagement with the film industry through the Film4Climate global campaign dedicated to advancing climate action and the inclusion of sustainability messages in films and creative visual storytelling.
Finally, the Private Sector Liaison Officers (PSLO) Network also focused key missions on sustainable energy and climate-smart agriculture in Washington, DC, and Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, respectively.
Human capital. As the global economy rebounds, more countries are within reach of achieving real economic gains. These gains may be short-lived and opportunities may be missed if countries do not invest in human capital to prepare their citizens for the jobs of the future. As the World Bank works to drive more and better investments in people, it is putting human capital at the center of its global agenda through the Human Capital Project. The Bank has engaged stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as from civil society and foundations, to mobilize global support for this effort. From the Annual Meetings’ Human Capital Summit, where government leaders including President Paul Kagame of Rwanda committed to action to invest in human capital, to the Spring Meetings’ discussion on making human capital a project for the world with Bill Gates and UK Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt, a diverse range of stakeholders are coming forward to champion the human capital agenda in partnership with the Bank.
Technology. Harnessing the power of technology and data presents exciting opportunities to create new markets, jobs, and economic growth. However, it must be adopted in a way that ensures that inequality does not increase within and between countries. The World Bank Group worked actively with partners this fiscal year to connect clients to the dynamic opportunities of technology while managing associated challenges. For example, the Bank partnered with the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) to harness the power of data from the Internet of Things to help developing countries solve their most critical development challenges. TechEmerge, a first-of-its-kind matchmaking program, connects proven technology solutions from around the world with organizations and institutions in developing markets. It also supports local pilot projects to accelerate the adoption of technology where it’s needed most. This year the World Bank Group launched the TechEmerge program for the health care market in Brazil, working with 25 health system providers across the country serving over 19 million patients annually. In addition, the Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative brings global knowledge and expertise to help countries realize the potential of digital identification systems. To help achieve this, ID4D has forged partnerships with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Omidyar Network, and the Government of Australia, whose support brings thought leadership and funding to this initiative. Lastly, the Digital Economy for Africa Initiative, launched at the Spring Meetings, brought together African governments, development organizations, bilateral donors, and the private sector to support building the foundations for digital economies in African countries.
Gender. Achieving true gender equality continues to be a deep challenge. Many women around the world lack the voice and decision-making ability to improve their livelihoods for themselves or for their families, especially in developing countries. Investing in gender equality is not only a moral imperative, but also smart economics. In fiscal 2018, the Bank continued to push for gender equality and empowering women in development through various initiatives, such as the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a collaborative partnership between the Bank, governments, multilateral development banks (MDBs), and other stakeholders to help unlock billions of dollars of financing for small and medium enterprises owned and led by women in developing countries. The initiative aims to address financial and non-financial barriers and create a better environment for women entrepreneurs. In partnership with the Government of Canada, the Bank also launched a new study on the economic costs of gender inequality, which found the global loss in human capital wealth due to gender inequality to be estimated at $160.2 trillion. The study, which helped inform the G-7 Finance Ministers meeting in Canada, offers economic evidence to help clients and partners make the case for investments that close gaps in gender equality.
Multilateral engagement. The World Bank’s participation within key international forums are important opportunities to provide a voice for developing countries and to advance critical priorities for the Bank’s clients. This year, the Bank is supporting the Argentinian G-20 Presidency’s efforts to develop infrastructure as an asset class, as well as to prepare governments and workers for an economy shaped by rising digitalization, automation, and artificial intelligence. With UNICEF and the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank is also supporting the G-20 priority of early childhood development. In addition, the Bank is leading efforts to more systematically engage with institutional investors to stimulate greater long-term sustainable financing into developing and developed countries. The Bank has also continued to follow up on work accomplished last year under the German G-20 Presidency to implement efforts to promote sustainable and inclusive economic development in Africa, mobilize greater private sector finance, and increase women’s economic empowerment. Within the G-7, the Bank is strongly supporting Canada’s prioritization of gender issues, while also demonstrating how MDBs are working more as a system through the delivery of value for money and the increased development impact achieved through private sector operations.
Small states. The World Bank uses its convening power to help small states in taking a collective stand in international forums to highlight the development challenges they face and draw more attention to their concerns. It convenes an annual Small States Forum on the margins of the World Bank Group-IMF Annual Meetings. The forum provides a platform for high-level dialogue on key issues affecting small states and allows members to showcase development initiatives and activities. The 2017 Forum in Washington, DC, discussed issues related to concessional financing, climate finance, private financing, and the blue economy.
Prioritizing partnership efforts and improving efficiencies. To more effectively collaborate with organizations on global development objectives, the World Bank Group has worked to improve coordination, better leverage capabilities, and find efficiencies with its partners. This year, President Kim signed a new Strategic Partnership Framework with UN Secretary-General António Guterres to consolidate the institutions’ joint commitment to help countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agreement deepens the partnership by focusing efforts on jointly selected priorities and by utilizing the complementary strengths of the institutions to broaden their impact. It centers on four key areas of cooperation: finance and implementation support to help countries reach the sustainable development goals; decisive global action on climate change; joint work in postcrisis and humanitarian settings; and harnessing data to improve development outcomes. In addition, the World Bank Group supports the ‘Grand Bargain’ agreement among aid organizations and donors, which seeks to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance. Launched at the World Humanitarian Summit, the Grand Bargain is a commitment to enhance efficiency, transparency, and collaboration in the way financing is provided and used in crisis situations.