External Consultations included the following:
The WDR process builds in extensive opportunities for consultation, although there are no fixed parameters and the exact approach to consultation differs from one year to another. In common with earlier efforts, the WDR team consulted policymakers, staff from other international organizations, civil society organizations, private sector companies, development partners, academics, research institutions, as well as offices of the Executive Directors and WBG colleagues.
This year’s WDR faced the additional challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made it impossible to conduct the usual face-to-face consultation meetings. Nevertheless, the team was able to turn this to some advantage as consultation events went virtual making possible much wider participation encompassing hundreds of stakeholders. Due to travel restrictions, the team needed to rethink its approach to consultations through online media, in particular by conducting:
Many consultations in the digital format using partner networks, allowing more people with diverse backgrounds to participate in each event;
Consultations throughout the development of the report until the finalization of the Yellow Cover version, allowing us to consistently integrate feedback as versions were being drafted;
Focused regional and targeted stakeholder consultations in multiple languages, allowing opportunities for hard to reach organizations to engage in these consultations;
Interactions with core contributing units to the WDR as part of ongoing debates in certain areas like tax, leveraging wider consultations that were taking place under these related issues.
Much of the consultation process was front loaded in the schedule to allow each interaction to have more time and scope for influencing content and tone of the Report. As one example, this year’s WDR placed emphasis on the web publication and review of the Report Concept Note, as well as the parallel consultation window that ran from October 2019 to October 2020, the formative period during which the White and Yellow Cover drafts were being produced. The objective was to cast our net wide and gather diverse feedback at critical junctures in the development of the Report. The concept note was also published publicly for comments.
The consultations started as early as October 2019 with a high-level round table, a side event of the World Bank annual meetings that was chaired by the Chief Economist, and continued until October, 2020. The team also conducted a series of bilateral consultations that ran from April through June, 2020, with the National Statistical offices of Canada, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Palestine, and the United Kingdom.
Multiple events dedicated to WDR2021 were organized by partners for convening consultations across a wide variety of stakeholders comprising of government officials, civil society organizations, academic institutions, private sector and international organizations: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft for Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ); the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada for organizing consultations (across Asia, Africa, and Latin America and Caribbean) in French, Spanish and English; Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (GPSDD); GW Elliot School of International Affairs, Columbia and Cornell Universities; Mastercard Advocacy Center of Excellence, Kearney Global Business Policy Council, and the Fletcher Institute for Business in Global Context; Committee for the Coordination of Statistical Activities (CCSA); United Nations World Data Forum (UNWDF); OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC); Global Data Barometer, Open Government Hub
The team organized and held a dedicated consultation event for the civil society members and several bilateral consultations with the private sector, including Amazon, Facebook, Google, Alibaba, De Novo, UA-IX (Ukranian Internet Exchange Point), CADE (the Brazilian competition authority), Lori Sytems (Kenya) and Power2SME (India), Master Card, encompassing technology firms, platforms-based businesses, Internet Exchange Points, payment industries, and cyber security firms. The team also reached out for guidance on specific topics from experts based in several different institutions from multiple countries, including: University of Southern California, Beijing law firm, Data and cybersecurity practice at WilmerHale, Global co-head of the Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity practice, Hogan Lovells, Hunton Andrews Kurth's global privacy and cybersecurity practice, Atlantic Council, multinational corporation (Beijing), DataPrivacy.Com.Br (Sao Paolo), Interswitch (Lagos, Nigeria), Hamu & Co. (Lagos, Nigeria), Aelex Law Firm (Lagos, Nigeria), Oxford Internet Institute, NYU, Georgetown University, Rockefeller Foundation, OECD and UNCTAD.
To ensure the report is informed by the perspectives of varied stakeholders, the team constituted an Advisory Panel comprised of high-level government officials, national statistical agencies, competition authorities, and private sector leaders, and a Technical Board comprised of leading researchers. Technical board members provided detailed technical feedback to specific chapters.