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Topic:World Bank Processes and Reforms
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The World Bank and global collaboration: Lessons for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) response

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The World Bank and global collaboration: Lessons for the COVID-19 (coronavirus) response
The coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) calls for an international response. But when and why does collective action work best? We studied the World Bank Group’s global collaborations to find out. The global health ecosystem is complex, with many actors, initiatives and competing priorities. The World Bank has been navigating this landscape and supporting a wide spectrum of collaborations for Show MoreThe coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) calls for an international response. But when and why does collective action work best? We studied the World Bank Group’s global collaborations to find out. The global health ecosystem is complex, with many actors, initiatives and competing priorities. The World Bank has been navigating this landscape and supporting a wide spectrum of collaborations for decades. In the early 2000s, the Bank helped create the Global Fund and GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. Since then, the Bank has found itself contributing to important global public health issues, including responding to many epidemics that are now household names – SARS, MERS, Ebola, Avian Flu, and others. Unlike these past epidemics, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly morphed into a global health and economic crisis. Addressing the multiple impacts of the pandemic will require collective action on a greater scale and bringing together, or convening, multiple actors to draw on their respective comparative advantages. Lessons from Evaluating “the World’s bank” The Independent Evaluation Group recently finished a major evaluation of the World Bank Group’s global convening. Though the report was wrapped up just before the COVID-19 outbreak, some of its key findings and recommendations are relevant to the global response: We found high demand for the World Bank Group’s global convening. The high demand is because partners see the need to come together to develop joint solutions to pressing challenges and trust the Bank Group to do a good job. Trust is always important in a crisis. Now, more than ever, people look for experts and organizations that they can trust to lead. Several factors drive effectiveness. Our evaluation found that the Bank Group’s convening is more likely to be effective when global partners share a common understanding and sense of urgency that collective action is needed; internal capacities are strong; and initiatives have clear objectives, links to country programs, and sustained engagement. These conditions are all present for the World Bank Group’s COVID-19 response. There is value in focus and continuity. A clear sense of the specific goals of the Bank Group’s convening and the scope of its engagements are essential foundations for effective global work.  If an organization, any organization, tries to do everything, it does nothing well. If debt relief for the poorest countries is the key goal, stick to that goal for some time. Don’t introduce too many competing goals, and don’t abandon the goal before it is within sight. Set goals and track progress. The Bank Group often does not give itself enough credit for the results of its global work. When there often are no clear goals for the global work, and no tracking of progress, reporting the results becomes impossible. It would help the World Bank Group to better track, assess, and report the results of its global work. Manage tensions between – and within – organizations. There is some degree of tension and competition over roles and mandates in the global community. Tension may arise with other organizations as both they and the World Bank Group seek, or are perceived to seek, pieces of the COVID-19 agenda and the organizational prestige that comes from being at the forefront of the crisis response. Also, inside the World Bank, units may compete to stake out their piece of the action. Tensions are not necessarily a bad thing, but they do need to be managed. An understanding of when collective action works best and why, with the same focus on results applied to global and other work, will help lay the foundations for even more effective joint efforts to address a host of global challenges. A recent IEG evaluation traces the successes of international collaboration in tackling global challenges.   Laying the groundwork for global teamwork Digging down into the initiatives that are at the forefront to help developing countries cope with COVID-19, reveals many of the footprints of the World Bank Group’s global work. These build on years of concerted effort setting up partnerships, cooperation platforms, data exchanges, and financial mechanisms that allow countries and organizations to join forces on shared problems. Recent examples are the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, which was co-convened by the Bank and WHO to ensure preparedness for global health crises, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), a global mechanism to finance and co-ordinate vaccine development for which the World Bank is a trustee. While these were launched in 2018 and 2017 respectively, they are in fact the fruits of the World Bank’s focused and sustained global engagements in health.  The G20’s push for bilateral debt relief for poor countries, to free up resources to cope with the impacts of the coronavirus, is another example of current global convening. This can be traced back to the World Bank Group’s and the International Monetary Fund’s convening of G20 member countries over many years, working on debt relief, crisis responses and diverse initiatives in many sectors. The global effort to address the COVID-19 pandemic will face many more challenges, and drawing on lessons from past experiences of convening can help individual actors navigate the complex terrain of collective action. The World Bank plays a large convening role in global health issues. Learn more in Appendix F of The World’s Bank: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Global Convening. Image Credit: adapted from shutterstock/ GoodStudio and shutterstock/ Marish

The World’s Bank: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Global Convening

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The World’s Bank: An Evaluation of the World Bank Group’s Global Convening
This first-of-its-kind evaluation assesses the scope and effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s convening on major global development challenges.This first-of-its-kind evaluation assesses the scope and effectiveness of the World Bank Group’s convening on major global development challenges.

Social Contracts and World Bank Country Engagements: Lessons from Emerging Practices

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Social Contracts and World Bank Country Engagements Lessons from Emerging Practices
The objective of this evaluation is to take stock of social contract knowledge to assess the World Bank’s role in helping countries reshape their social contracts, especially through the integration of social contract diagnostics into country engagements.The objective of this evaluation is to take stock of social contract knowledge to assess the World Bank’s role in helping countries reshape their social contracts, especially through the integration of social contract diagnostics into country engagements.

From what works to how, and for whom

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From what works to how, and for whom
How we can better connect evaluation and evidence to meaningful outcomes.How we can better connect evaluation and evidence to meaningful outcomes.

Conversations: Creating Markets, what are the drivers of success?

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Conversations: Creating Markets, what are the drivers of success?
An expert panel discussion about the factors underlying the success of IFC's new corporate strategy.An expert panel discussion about the factors underlying the success of IFC's new corporate strategy.

Measuring up: When “what works” doesn’t

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Measuring Up: When “What Works” Doesn’t
What an essay about closing the achievement gap in US public schools tells us about “what works” in international developmentWhat an essay about closing the achievement gap in US public schools tells us about “what works” in international development

Results and Performance of the World Bank Group 2018

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results and performance of the world bank group 2018, rap 2018
The Results and Performance of the World Bank Group (RAP) report is IEG's annual review of the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group. The report synthesizes trends in ratings and identifies explanatory factors behind portfolio performance.The Results and Performance of the World Bank Group (RAP) report is IEG's annual review of the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group. The report synthesizes trends in ratings and identifies explanatory factors behind portfolio performance.

World Bank Group Evaluation Principles

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This document, World Bank Group Evaluation Principles, sets out core principles for evaluation as well as underlying principles for selecting, conducting, and using evaluations, as relevant to the World Bank Group’s mission, and each institution’s mandate, system of governance, and operating environment. It is informed by international evaluation principles and good practice standards and builds Show MoreThis document, World Bank Group Evaluation Principles, sets out core principles for evaluation as well as underlying principles for selecting, conducting, and using evaluations, as relevant to the World Bank Group’s mission, and each institution’s mandate, system of governance, and operating environment. It is informed by international evaluation principles and good practice standards and builds on knowledge of current practices and processes around evaluation in the World Bank Group. In agreeing to this common set of principles, we aim to enhance development results by strengthening accountability and learning through evaluation.

IEG Work Program and Budget (FY20) and Indicative Plan (FY21-22)

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To maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an Show MoreTo maximize its relevance and value added for the World Bank Group (WBG), IEG will align its work program with WBG strategic priorities. IEG also aims to maintain a clear line of sight with the WBG mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as with commitments made in the IBRD and IFC Capital Packages and in the context of IDA replenishments. Furthermore, IEG will keep an increased focus on outcomes, countries, clients, and beneficiaries in its work, and aim to foster a greater outcome orientation throughout the WBG. To achieve this strategic vision, IEG will focus its work program on the key development effectiveness questions that the institution and its clients are most concerned about. For each of these questions, we will strive to answer “why”, “how, “where”, “when”, and “for whom” specific interventions or programs have achieved results or not. By working more closely with operational units and other evaluation initiatives across the WBG, we will seek to significantly enhance IEG’s value added for the Board and WBG management. The work program will be anchored around a series of “streams”, building evidence over time on connected themes and trying to bridge between project, country, sector and strategic impact: Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV), Gender, Maximizing Finance for Development, Human Capital, Climate Change, Growth and Transformation. In addition, IEG will work along an ‘effectiveness’ cross-cutting stream, aimed at examining systemic issues in WBG effectiveness, as well as working towards building a stronger outcome focus for WBG operations and strategies.

Five years ago the World Bank changed its operating model. What difference did it make?

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Five years ago the World Bank changed its operating model.  What difference did it make?
Emerging lessons of the early implementation of the World Bank’s new operating model.Emerging lessons of the early implementation of the World Bank’s new operating model.