• The global extreme poverty rate has fallen by half since 1990, but inequality has increased. Robust progress on both poverty reduction and shared prosperity will require sustained growth in developing countries in the face of major financial, economic, and environmental risks and uncertainties.
  • Lending by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has fallen back to pre-crisis trend levels. In FY13, for the first time ever, International Development Association (IDA) commitments exceeded IBRD commitments. Investments by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) reached historically high levels in FY13, driven by rapid growth of short-term finance. Commitments by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) rose on the heels of a new instrument covering risks of the non-honoring of sovereign financial obligations.
  • Country program outcome ratings continued their downward slide of recent years. Contributing factors included overambitious strategies relative to country capacity and ownership, declining portfolio quality, and weak results frameworks. The World Bank Group has introduced a new country partnership framework to address these issues.
  • Overall portfolio performance in the Bank continued its decline, driven by lower outcome ratings of investment projects. Performance of development policy operations recovered after a dip in FY07–09 due to sharply rising borrower performance ratings as middleincome countries returned to the Bank during the crisis to borrow in large volumes.
  • Responding to enhanced administrative resources and staffing, project performance in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS) improved.
  • Development outcome ratings for IFC investments have declined from historically high levels. The decline was concentrated in IDA-eligible countries, infrastructure projects, and financial market operations. MIGA guarantees have performed relatively strongly.
  • The Bank Group’s risk management architecture operates effectively across a range of financial and reputational risks. But operational risks at both the entity and project levels need to be better managed. On average FCS projects had the same success rates as IBRD projects despite having entry risks that were twice as high—demonstrating the significant role that Bank performance can play in squeezing high rewards out of very high risk situations.
  • The new Bank Group strategy emphasizes the need to work as One World Bank Group. But past experience with coordination between the Bank and IFC has been mixed. Despite encouraging examples of collaboration, synergies among and within the Bank Group have not been systematically exploited.
  • As an input into the pursuit of the Bank Group’s new strategy, the review identifies four areas for continuing attention: client focus and country ownership, product excellence, informed risk management, and adequate financing.