Engaging with Partners on Shared Priorities

Our partnerships—with multilateral institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector, foundations, think tanks, and other stakeholders—have become more important than ever as multiple crises worldwide strain the resources of governments and donors, threaten hard-won development gains, and present more complex and daunting development challenges. Partnerships are playing a key role as we help respond to COVID-19, address food insecurity, tackle the global learning crisis, and boost climate mitigation and adaptation. At the country, regional, sectoral, and global levels, we focus on dialogue, knowledge exchange, and operational collaboration to maximize our collective impact, mobilize more resources, improve efficiencies, and limit aid fragmentation. Working together enables more effective and wide-reaching advocacy on shared priorities, generating further collective action and fostering a better enabling environment for our work. By collaborating with partners, we are also able to implement projects and reach people in otherwise inaccessible contexts, including situations of fragility, conflict, and violence (FCV), such as South Sudan and Yemen.

In April 2022, the Bank Group launched a new global work program to invest in child care with partners including the governments of Australia, Canada, and the United States; the Bill & Melinda Gates, Conrad N. Hilton, Ford, William and Flora Hewlett, and LEGO foundations; and Echidna Giving. It is expected to generate at least $180 million in funding over the next five years to scale up quality, affordable child care in low- and middle-income countries. Another platform is the Bank’s Partnership Fund for the Sustainable Development Goals, a catalytic multidonor trust fund that works to strengthen global partnerships and cooperation toward achieving the goals. In fiscal 2022, it allocated over $4 million to initiatives that promote investments in environmental, social, and governance approaches and low-carbon development. 

We support regional efforts such as the Great Green Wall Initiative, a partnership of more than 20 African countries, the African Union, the EU, and the UN that seeks to help restore degraded landscapes, improve agricultural productivity, and promote livelihoods across Africa. And in South Asia, we are partnering with the Asian Development Bank, development agencies, and industry groups and utilities to support WePower, which promotes women’s participation in the energy sector as well as their access to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

We work with partners to exchange ideas and perspectives on shared priorities, emerging issues, and global public goods. This includes our senior leadership’s engagements with think tanks through public events and roundtable discussions: urgent topics include the COVID-19 response, crises and economic recovery, long-term development priorities, fragility, debt sustainability, food security, climate, and education.

Examples of key partnerships in all regions and sectors where we work can be found in the chapters on Regional Engagements and Working Toward Development Goals amid Crises.

Highlights from fiscal 2022

In fiscal 2022, we engaged closely with the G7, G20, IMF, other multilateral development banks (MDBs), the EU, and UN agencies to address countries' development challenges and support good country outcomes. At their Rome Summit in October 2021, G20 Leaders voiced support for the 20th replenishment of IDA, acknowledging the high financing needs of low-income countries and IDA’s value proposition. This helped pave the way for a $93 billion IDA replenishment in December. Under the Italian and Indonesian G20 presidencies, we coordinated with the IMF to advance the debt agenda, including debt transparency and options to strengthen the Common Framework for Debt Treatments Beyond the DSSI. And in response to growing country needs and at the request of the G20, we are preparing the Pandemic Preparedness and Response Financial Intermediary Fund, to be housed at the Bank.

The Bank Group provided expertise and advocacy on climate mitigation, sustainable infrastructure, and support for vulnerable poor countries amid overlapping crises, in support of the U.K. and German G7 presidencies. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, we have worked closely with the G7, the European Commission, and MDBs to scale up support for the country, using financing instruments that facilitate coordination among donors while reducing transaction costs. Cooperation includes efforts to address the war’s spillover effects on developing countries and to support refugees from Ukraine and their host communities.

We partnered with the EU to support countries on shared development and humanitarian priorities, including disaster risk management, health, climate financing, and financial inclusion. Our strong cooperation on the FCV agenda allowed us to strengthen efforts to address crises in Sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan, and Ukraine.

The Bank Group continues to work with UN agencies and other international organizations—including UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNHCR, UNDP, WTO, and the International Committee of the Red Cross—to address development challenges and build resilience. This includes about 40 collaborations with the UN on the global response to COVID-19, such as support for vaccine deployment in developing countries through the Multilateral Leaders’ Task Force, as well as the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility (COVAX), the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Trust, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, and the Global Fund. We are also working to boost countries’ recovery and address structural challenges such as fragility, food security, and climate change. We draw on these partnerships at the UN General Assembly, the UN Chief Executives Board, the Financing for Sustainable Development Forum, and the High-Level Political Forum.

We engage with bilateral partners to exchange views and boost progress on key development issues. In September 2021, the Bank Group held high-level strategic consultations with Sweden, where we discussed priorities including climate finance architecture and mobilizing more private capital for adaptation. In December 2021, when Japan hosted the final IDA20 pledging session, President Malpass met with the president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency to reaffirm our partnership on priorities such as FCV, inequality, and climate change. And in May 2022, we marked the 75th anniversary of IBRD’s first loan—$250 million to help France rebuild after World War II—at an event in Paris with French ministries, Agence Française de Développement, and Banque de France, where we also signed a new establishment agreement between France and the Bank Group.

We partner with civil society organizations (CSOs), particularly from the global south, on a broad range of development goals. During this year’s Annual and Spring Meetings, the Civil Society Policy Forum—our largest platform to engage these groups—brought together over 2,000 stakeholders, more than half of them from developing countries. In addition to leading 40 sessions, CSOs had an opportunity to engage directly with our senior leadership through events with President Malpass, our Board, and our managing directors. CSO speakers from developing countries participated in several flagship events at the meetings to share their perspectives from the field. We also exchange knowledge with CSOs throughout the year via discussions with technical experts on key issues such as debt, gender, climate, the business enabling environment, and IDA. And we share information through our newsletter, which reaches over 11,000 subscribers, as well as regular announcements, bilateral meetings, and monthly calls.

Also in fiscal 2022, we introduced the Insights & Opportunities Briefings series, where we convene private and philanthropic partners with Bank Group teams to exchange knowledge and identify opportunities for collaboration. To date, briefings have focused on our COVID-19 response, gender equality, climate change, and Africa’s food security; they have featured participants from Unilever, Bank of America, Mastercard Foundation, IKEA Foundation, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Standard Chartered, HP, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Bank Group continued to engage private sector and foundation partners on many aspects of the COVID-19 response. We also participated in deep-dive discussions with foundation partners about projects and approaches to leverage impact in gender, climate, and education at the country level. And we are exploring opportunities to partner with private and philanthropic organizations that have made net-zero emissions commitments, notably on food systems transformation, access to clean energy, and water management.

The Refugee Investment and Matchmaking Platform mobilizes the private sector to support refugees by promoting employment, investment, and tailored products and services. First piloted in Jordan, it expanded to Djibouti, Iraq, and Lebanon in fiscal 2022. To serve more countries and further gather knowledge, the Platform will extend its work as the World Bank Private Sector for Refugees Platform for the Mashreq though June 2025. And through the Digital Development Partnership, we bring together public and private sector partners—including Google, GSMA, and Microsoft—to advance digital solutions and accelerate safe and inclusive digital transformation in developing countries.

We worked with several faith-based organizations and faith actors in fiscal 2022—such as the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty Initiative, the UN Task Force on Religion and Development, the Joint Learning Initiative, and the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development—on pressing development priorities, including COVID-19, fragility, climate, and human capital. We also supported a research working group on the role of faith in development, which has helped inform our work and convene stakeholders.

We engage legislators and partner parliamentary organizations, notably the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF, to exchange knowledge and advocate for green, resilient, and inclusive development. Global events, including two Global Parliamentary Forums, convened more than 300 members of parliament from every world region on priorities such as climate, COVID-19, vaccines, gender, fragility, digitalization, private sector investment, taxation, and governance. These and other engagements allow parliamentarians to share best practices from around the world that can be adapted to their country contexts.

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