Prioritizing strategic interventions across the World Bank Group
The World Bank—IBRD and IDA—works in close coordination with IFC and MIGA to leverage the collective strength of the Bank Group. Our comparative advantage comes from the powerful combination of country depth and global breadth, public and private sector instruments and relationships, multisectoral knowledge, and the ability to mobilize and leverage financing to support countries’ development priorities. Collaboration across the Bank Group has grown over time and spans activities at the country, regional, sector, thematic, and global levels.
Through our financing, we help countries build stronger systems and institutions and extend the impact of policy and institutional reforms beyond the boundary of a single project. Our convening power and partnerships help shape and amplify global development priorities. The Bank leads in operational innovation, learns from experience, and uses evidence and high standards to deliver country results. Long-term relationships, deep country understanding, and a growing presence on the ground make us a trusted advisor and honest broker. We are increasingly working in the world’s most difficult settings—in fragile and conflict-affected states and where poverty is most entrenched—while maintaining the quality of our portfolio. We continue to innovate in financing, standards, and approaches, most recently with the introduction of the Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), which came into effect in October 2018.
Sustaining and accelerating progress toward global goals requires a strong Bank Group, so that we can provide innovative solutions and advice along with financial firepower commensurate to the size of the challenge. Our Board of Directors and management have supported creating a better Bank Group with their approval in October 2018 of a capital package consisting of a $13.0 billion capital increase—our largest ever—and a series of financial and policy reforms. This will enable the Bank to support borrowers with an average annual financing capacity of about $100 billion during fiscal 2019–30, up from $65 billion during fiscal 2014–16. The capital package will allow the Bank Group to serve all clients, enhance our leadership on global issues, mobilize finance for development, and continue to improve our business model.
Defining our engagement with countries
The Bank Group has a country-based model for providing financial, analytics, and advisory services to our borrowers. These services—both the existing portfolio and planned new activities—are outlined in the Country Partnership Framework (CPF), prepared jointly by the Bank, IFC, and MIGA. The CPF frames our engagement with the country for a period of four to six years and is informed by analysis, in particular the Systematic Country Diagnostic (SCD); the country’s own development goals; and our comparative advantage relative to other sources of financing and development services.
The CPF sets out objectives for the Bank Group’s program and provides an indicative mix of financing and analytical and advisory instruments to support it effectively. It includes a results framework of agreed outputs and outcomes for activities under implementation and indicative ones for planned activities. These are used to establish the program’s strategic direction and enable assessment of its effectiveness at the CPF’s conclusion.
Each CPF is discussed with the Board of Directors and benefits from their guidance and inputs before it is made publicly available. The SCD is the analytic underpinning of our engagement in a country. It is prepared in consultation with national authorities, the private sector, and other stakeholders, but reflects the views of the Bank Group. It also serves as the reference point for consultations with the country and collective efforts on goals and measures that will have the most development impact.
The SCD and CPF are key elements of our country-based model and can provide an analytical foundation for country platforms. As of the end of fiscal 2019, the Bank Group has prepared SCDs in 104 countries and new CPFs in 79 countries.
The Multiphase Programmatic Approach, introduced in fiscal 2018, allows countries to structure a long, large, or complex engagement as a set of smaller, linked phases under one program. The approach centers on adaptable design and learning from implementation to ensure that operations are more responsive to evolving country and project circumstances. It supports faster integration of experience within and between phases to maximize results. Madagascar’s Improving Nutrition Outcomes Program is the first to use this approach.
The Bank Group supports small states in addressing their unique development challenges through the Small States Forum, which comprises 50 members, including 42 countries classified as small states according to the Bank definition and eight countries with larger populations that face similar challenges. The forum meets semi-annually at the Spring and Annual Meetings. The Spring 2019 Ministerial Roundtable focused on the blue economy and marine pollution, adaptation and resilience, and economic and financial sustainability.
Setting global standards
The Bank plays an important role in setting and promoting global standards in the areas of sustainability, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness, integrity, and value for money. We pursue this role by: (i) continually evolving and updating our policy framework to reflect and promote international standards and best practices, (ii) collaborating and harmonizing efforts with other multilateral development banks and bilateral development agencies, (iii) participating in global forums to help shape their agenda, and (iv) providing hands-on support and technical assistance to help client countries adopt and implement the evolving standards.
The 2016 reform of our Procurement Framework embeds and promotes key principles in all Bank-financed procurement: integrity, value for money, economy, fitness for purpose, efficiency, transparency, and fairness. We have also brought our environmental and social requirements into closer harmony with emerging international standards through the new ESF, with an emphasis on transparency, anti-discrimination, public participation, and accountability.
The Bank is also a standard-setter in bringing value not only to what we finance, but how we finance by ensuring transparency in our funding.
As Independent Evaluation Group reports indicate, outcome ratings for Bank lending have continued to improve. Its most recent Results and Performance of the World Bank Group report found that the share of projects rated moderately satisfactory or above rose from 69 percent of projects closed in fiscal 2012–14 to 76 percent in fiscal 2015–17. Bank performance ratings rose in tandem, from 70 percent for projects closed in fiscal 2012–14 to 76 percent in fiscal 2015–17.