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BRIEF May 23, 2018

UN-WBG Strategic Partnership Framework



The United Nations and the World Bank Group are committed to helping countries implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, guided by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Financing for Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

Each institution has clear mandates, strategies and programmes in place and draws on distinct capabilities and expertise to deliver on their responsibilities to Member States. We must work with the agility needed for rapidly changing contexts and requirements, adapting to technology-driven trends, other frontier issues and increasing complexities that could disrupt the way we work.

Partnership lies at the heart of any successful approach to realising the 2030 Agenda. The partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank Group has a special place in seeking to achieve results at scale to help transform economies and societies, starting with the 1947 Relationship Agreement between the two institutions.

Recognising the ambition of the 2030 Agenda – the world’s plan for peace, prosperity, and a healthy planet – the United Nations and the World Bank Group agree to strengthen their partnership by focusing on jointly selected priorities and by leveraging institutional complementarities and synergies, thereby broadening their combined impact.

With prevention as an overarching theme, the partnership recognises and builds on considerable success in past and on-going collaborations between the United Nations and the World Bank Group, such as the Global Concessional Financing Facility, the United Nations-World Bank Partnership Framework for Crisis-Affected Situations, and country-level engagement, such as the Somalia Development and Reconstruction Facility. The United Nations and the World Bank Group aim to expand and deepen their partnership at international, national, and sub-national levels in policy development and advocacy, joint analysis and assessments, programme design and delivery, and financing for development, and seek to achieve scaled, measurable impacts to accelerate progress towards 2030.

Partnership initiatives will focus on, but will not be limited to: effectively mobilising finance and implementation capacity for the Sustainable Development Goals, including climate finance; improving implementation through joint initiatives and local capacity building; supporting action at the nexus between peacebuilding, humanitarian action, and development assistance; and collecting and utilizing data in a way which supports greater targeting for development impact.

The partnership will be structured and advanced along four key focus areas:

1.     Implementing and financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

We will promote investments in human capital, including through the Human Capital Project – which will accelerate progress on health and education outcomes by prioritizing fiscal space for transformational policies – physical infrastructure, and implementation capacity, particularly at the local level. The two institutions will also take joint action through partnerships with private investors and other financial actors to: mobilize financing for the 2030 Agenda, including climate finance; support governments to improve domestic resource mobilization, including through tax reform, carbon pricing and curbing illicit financial flows; and enhance the capacities of countries to attract and manage increased private sector investments for maximum development impact.

2.     Climate Action

The two institutions will bring together national governments, financial institutions, private investors, philanthropies, and development banks to support transformational climate action to achieve the commitments of the Paris Agreement. In this regard, the jointly launched Invest4Climate Platform and action on carbon pricing and Green Bonds provides a key opportunity to mobilize, coordinate, and deliver financing to help countries make the transition to a low-carbon, resilient future.

3.     Humanitarian-Development Nexus and its linkages to peace

The World Bank Group and United Nations will strengthen collaboration and joint action in post-crisis and humanitarian settings for early investments in prevention, economic and social stability, institutional strengthening, and longer-term development towards achievement of the 2030 Agenda. In this context, the United Nations-World Bank Partnership Framework for Crisis-Affected Situations, recognizing the commitment to ‘leaving no one behind’, provides the foundation for building resilience for the most vulnerable people by reducing poverty, promoting shared prosperity, enhancing food security, preventing violent conflict, providing legal identity for all persons – including through the Identification for Development initiative – and building and sustaining peace in crisis-affected situations.

4.   Realizing the data revolution

We will work with governments, development banks, civil society and the private sector at the global and country levels to strengthen national statistical systems and to enhance countries’ digital data capacities. We will focus our efforts on strengthening the responsible collection, analysis and use of data for evidence-based decision making in support of the 2030 Agenda – including through new approaches for addressing critical data gaps and obtaining real-time data, sub-national and disaggregated data and statistics, as well as ensuring privacy, data protection and respect for individuals’ rights with respect to the management of their data. We will endeavor to develop a common framework for making data and microdata open and accessible across the United Nations System, in support of integrated approaches to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The work will leverage the joint leadership of both institutions via the Cape Town Global Action Plan for Sustainable Development Data adopted at the First United Nations World Data Forum. This will be implemented within a framework of collaboration and partnership with all stakeholders who are working to improve data for the 2030 Agenda and to leave no one behind.

The partnership between the United Nations and the World Bank Group is uniquely placed to enhance the positive dynamic between policy, institutional development, and financing, relevant to every Sustainable Development Goal.  The success of the partnership depends on strategic guidance, effective operational arrangements, and a strong mechanism for knowledge development, learning, and accountability.

The leadership of the United Nations system and the World Bank Group will meet annually to review the partnership.  In parallel, the technical teams of the United Nations and the World Bank Group will meet to ensure effective implementation of commitments assumed under this Strategic Partnership Framework, including by enhancing coordination between the teams at the regional and country levels.


Signed at World Bank Group Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 18 May 2018


António Guterres                                                             Jim Yong Kim

Secretary-General                                                           President

The United Nations                                                         The World Bank Group