Global Themes

About Us

Global Themes brings together five thematic areas that are priorities for the World Bank Group: Climate Change; Fragility, Conflict & Violence; Gender; Infrastructure, PPPs & Guarantees; and Knowledge Management.

These themes represent the big development challenges of our time and are fundamental to the twin goals of the World Bank Group of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.

Our Approach

Global Themes is focused on building synergies among these five groups to maximize their global impact and develop innovative solutions.

Global Themes’ staff serves as a center of expertise to address a variety of global development challenges with tangible interventions that improve outcomes for people around the world, whether it is closing the economic gaps between men and women, dealing with conflict prevention, tackling climate change, sharing knowledge and good practice on difficult issues, and meeting the huge demand for infrastructure by bringing in the private sector.

There are three topics that link all the Global Themes: innovative finance to mobilize resources quickly for critical interventions in climate, gender, and conflict; drawing in the private sector to maximize financing for development to meet the global goals; and transformational knowledge to change development thinking and bring innovative approaches to scale. 

Senior Management

Hartwig Schafer

Vice President, Global Themes



MEDIA CONTACT

Maya Brahamam
Sr. Communications Officer, World Bank Global Themes
Mbrahmam@worldbankgroup.org

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The World Bank Group is engaged in a crucial effort to redefine our approach to development finance, address the rising aspirations of the poor, and achieve our goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. Our approach, Maximizing Financing for Development (MFD), entails leveraging the private sector in ways that optimize the use of scarce public resources.

Our aim is to improve the lives of poor people while promoting good governance and helping ensure environmental and social sustainability. While estimates vary, analysts say it could cost up to $4.5 trillion a year in state spending, investment, and aid to meet the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Hence, it will be nearly impossible to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by relying on public funding alone. The private sector can play a much bigger role in socially and environmentally responsible investments in developing countries.

Our client countries will need a broad range of solutions to meet their development goals, to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth without pushing the public sector into unsustainable levels of debt and contingent liabilities. The Hamburg Principles, adopted at the G20 in July 2017, emphasize country ownership in defining investment priorities and the potential of the private sector in providing solutions.

Today, many governments acknowledge that the private sector can contribute to advancing development goals. Many businesses offer valuable skills, resources and access to markets. And companies increasingly see that promoting sustainable development is in their best interests.

STRATEGY

Government leaders in several developing countries are asking for WBG assistance in crowding in private solutions for development. Nine of them—Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, and Vietnam—have been identified for pilots of the MFD approach. The pilots will focus mainly on infrastructure, which underpins many other sectors that are critical to sustainable growth and poverty reduction. The efforts will build on existing WBG programs in these countries, with the aim to address binding constraints or unlock new opportunities.

We will closely monitor the impact, particularly how each country pilot benefits its citizens. Based on lessons learned, the aim is to scale up, geographically and by sector. Lessons will continue to be incorporated as the MFD approach is rolled out more generally.

HOW MFD WORKS

The Principles for Crowding-in Private Sector Finance for Growth and Sustainable Development provide a common framework for multilateral development banks (MDBs) to increase levels of private investment in support of development. With our counterpart MDBs, the WBG can promote private investments that are economically viable and cost-effective, fiscally and commercially sustainable, balanced from a risk-reward perspective, and transparent; they meet social and environmental safeguards and that align with commitments to address climate change.

The WBG and other MDBs will focus on three main areas:

  • Strengthening investment capacity and policy frameworks at national and subnational levels
  • Enhancing private sector involvement and prioritizing commercial sources of financing
  • Enhancing the catalytic role of MDBs themselves 

CONTACT US

Maya Brahamam
Sr. Communications Officer, World Bank
mbrahmam@worldbankgroup.org

Nadine S. Ghannam
Sr. Communications Officer, IFC
nsghannam@ifc.org

Vamsee Kanchi
Sr. Communications Officer, MIGA
vkanchi@worldbank.org

Senior Management

Hartwig Schafer

Vice President, Global Themes



MEDIA CONTACT

Maya Brahamam
Sr. Communications Officer, World Bank Global Themes
Mbrahmam@worldbankgroup.org

To reach the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, developing countries will need additional resources. The World Bank Group, along with its partners, is working to generate additional development funds by looking beyond conventional funding mechanisms and tapping new funding sources and engaging new partners, such as emerging donors and actors in the private sector.

In Global Themes, we are seeking to mobilize innovative funding platforms for several the big development priorities covered by our thematic groups, such as Climate Change, Fragility, Conflict & Violence, and Gender. Current innovative financing platforms include:

Climate Investment Funds (CIF)The $8.3 billion Climate Investment Funds (CIF) is providing 72 developing and middle income countries with urgently needed resources to manage the challenges of climate change and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Comprised of four programs – the Clean Technology Fund, the Pilot Program for Climate Resilience, the Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low-Income Countries Program, and the Forest Investment Program – CIF concessional financing offers flexibility to test new business models and approaches, build track records in unproven markets, and boost investor confidence to unlock additional finance from other sources, particularly the private sector and the multilateral development banks that implement CIF funding. Total CIF pledges of $8.3 billion are expected to attract an additional $58 billion of co-financing for a portfolio of over 300 projects and counting.

Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) – The GCFF is an innovative financing mechanism designed to support countries hosting large numbers of refugees and bridge the humanitarian-development divide. Contributions to the GCFF made by supporting countries are allocated to projects that improve infrastructure and delivery of public services in host countries. Allocations from the GCFF result in a significant reduction to the interest rates on loans made to benefiting countries, allowing them to access affordable and more sustainable financing to adapt to the influx of refugees.

Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi)We-Fi is a Financial Intermediary Fund (FIF) which will enable more than $1 billion in financing to improve access to capital, provide technical assistance, and invest in projects and programs that support women and women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in World Bank Group client countries. Housed at the World Bank, We-Fi draws on the Bank’s strong track record in designing and managing such funds to ensure best practice in terms of governance and efficiency. The World Bank serves as the Trustee of the facility, and has established a Secretariat for the Governing Committee, which is composed of the 14 founding contributors.

Senior Management

Hartwig Schafer

Vice President, Global Themes



MEDIA CONTACT

Maya Brahamam
Sr. Communications Officer, World Bank Global Themes
Mbrahmam@worldbankgroup.org