The World Bank’s work on Social Development brings voices of the poor and vulnerable into development processes by making evidence-based policy and program contributions through:
- Undertaking timely social risk analysis, including poverty and social impact analyses
- Enhancing positive impacts, mitigating negative impacts, and managing social and political risks, including compliance with the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework (ESF), including policies on Indigenous Peoples and involuntary resettlement
- Partnering with communities in rural and urban settings by transferring the control over development decisions and resources to improve the delivery of basic services through the Community-Driven Development approach
- Deepening the understanding of Indigenous Peoples’ issues and needs, especially the interrelationship between cultural and community resilience, and their lands, territories and natural resources
- Mainstreaming fragility and conflict sensitivity into analysis and operations, and adopting a violence prevention lens wherever high rates of interpersonal violence jeopardize development
- Strengthening the resilience of communities and institutions to natural and human-induced shocks and changing climate trends
- Promoting gender-differentiated social and economic empowerment programs for youth and underprivileged groups
- Ensuring that World Bank-financed projects include persons with disabilities and incorporate disability inclusion
- Mainstreaming gender issues and ensuring that operations are gender-informed
- Expanding the evidence on exclusion based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI)
- Strengthening the links and engagement between citizens and their governments and promoting accountable government structures
Environmental and Social Framework (ESF)
On August 4, 2016, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new Environmental and Social Framework (ESF) that expands protections for people and the environment in Bank-financed investment projects, and promotes sustainable development.
The Safeguards review included the most extensive consultation ever conducted by the World Bank Group. It concluded nearly four years of analysis and engagement around the world with governments, development experts, and civil society groups, reaching nearly 8,000 stakeholders in 63 countries.
The ESF offers a broader and more systematic coverage of environmental and social risks, with an increased focus on the poorest and the most vulnerable. The ESF also requires attention to environmental and social issues throughout the preparation and implementation of a project. The scope of social issues explicitly addressed has been broadened and now includes specific reference to community health and safety, labor and working conditions, and occupational health and safety. The ESF also highlights additional environmental topics, for example, climate change and the management of natural resources, including water.
The ESF is effective as of October 1, 2018. All investment projects with a Project Concept Note (PCN) decision on or after that date must apply the ESF rather than the Safeguard Policies.
Last Updated: Apr 09, 2019