World Bank
Report Year
1st MAR Year

Make Optimal Use of Informal Learning and Tacit Knowledge:
- Strengthen the Bank's mechanisms for capturing, disseminating, and using tacit knowledge (for example, on-the-job mentoring, hand-over, team learning, peer-to-peer learning, and peer review) to ensure that suitably qualified staff, especially those with substantial experiential and tacit knowledge, provide their best advice to other staff at critical junctures (including about operational approaches that have worked in the past, what the lessons from failure point to, and how best to adapt global good practices from within and outside the Bank to specific local contexts).
- Strengthen the behavioral skills of staff so that informal learning both by individuals and project teams is maximized.

Recommenation Adoption
IEG Level of Adoption by Year: mar-rating-popup MNTNTNT Management Adoption by Year: mar-rating-mng-popup SNTNTNT
NANot Accepted
NRNot Rated
Findings Conclusions

Bank staff report that learning by doing and person to person conversations are the most important sources of learning in operational work. A high value is placed on mentoring and learning from peers. There is concern about the learning discontinuity involved in weak handover arrangements between incoming and outgoing task team leaders.

Original Management Response

WB: Agree. Management is committed to strengthen the use of informal learning and tacit knowledge through, for example, more systematic mentoring opportunities, increased opportunities for bite-sized learning, and strengthening staff's ability to apply knowledge about informal learning, mindsets and group effects in their day-to-day operational work.

Action Plans
Action 1
Action 1 Number:
Action 1 Title:
Action 2a: Improve the capturing and dissemination of tacit knowledge
Action 1 Plan:

Action 2a: Improve the capturing and dissemination of tacit knowledge
Indicator: Launch and use of Library of bite-size learning on the Open Learning Campus
Baseline: No repository of curated staff and client bite-size learning
Target: Library of bite-size learning is launched; all Global Practices and Cross-Cutting Solution Areas contribute to and use bite-size learning on the Open Learning Campus
Timeline: Q2 FY17

Action 2
Action 2 Number:
Action 2 Title:
Action 2b: Increase mentoring opportunities for staff
Action 2 Plan:

Action 2b: Increase mentoring opportunities for staff
Indicator: Formal adoption of mentoring framework, including central coordination function, and existence of specific mentoring initiatives

Baseline: Fragmentation of mentoring programs and lack of coordination
Target: 1) Framework for mentoring is formally adopted; 2) 3 mentoring programs are operational and valued by staff; 3) a central coordination function for mentoring is operational
Timeline: Q2 FY17

Action 3
Action 3 Number:
Action 3 Title:
Action 2c: Strengthen behavioral skills of operational staff to promote informal learning
Action 3 Plan:

Action 2c: Strengthen behavioral skills of operational staff to promote informal learning
Indicator: Prospective TTLs and Managers who receive relevant training
Baseline: Beyond Leadership Development Programs, behavioral skill-building is mostly ad-hoc
Target: In FY16 and FY17,400 prospective TTLs, 600 supervisors and 500 Managers are trained through modules that cover behavioral skill-building
Timeline: Q4 FY17

Action 4
Action 5
Action 6
Action 7
Action 8
IEG Update:
No Updates
Management Update:
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IEG Update:
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Management Update:
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IEG Update:
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Management Update:
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IEG Update:

IEG notes the progress made on building a 3000-piece "bite-sized learning" library through the Open Learning Campus (OLC) and the many steps taken to strengthen the Bank's mentoring program. Evidence that the 'use' of tacit knowledge is occurring, in addition to its capture and dissemination through OLC would be helpful. Also, each of the various channels through which informal learning takes place and tacit knowledge is conveyed (e.g., project hand-overs, peer reviews, and other forms of team and peer-to-peer learning) need to be strengthened, not just the mentoring program.

Management Update:

Excellent progress has been made on recommendation 0359.
On Action 2a, the Open Learning Campus (OLC) ecosystem was launched in January 2016 as an online destination for development learning that builds the leadership and technical capabilities of all development stakeholders. The OLC features a curated library of over 3,000 pieces of bite-sized learning compiled through direct collaborations with operational teams across all GPs and CCSAs. OLC will continue expanding the curated library by packaging World Bank Group tacit knowledge into actionable learning, and incorporating external knowledge through cooperation with global development partners.
On Action 2b, implementation highlights include:
Target 1: Framework for mentoring is formally adopted.
A WBG Staff Mentoring Roadmap was developed and endorsed by Management in FY16. The Roadmap outlines mentoring priorities both at corporate and unit levels, and increases access more broadly across the Bank. It also defines the role of a central function to maximize impact, and determines the incentives and success measures for delivering an effective program.
Target 2: 3 mentoring programs are operational and valued by staff.
In FY16, corporate mentoring priorities were identified and included:
Mentoring for new managers program (MLM) (On-going)
GE Readiness program (February 2016)
Diversity ; Inclusion Mentoring (PRISM) program (Design complete; launch Fall 2017)
Young Professionals and Analyst programs (Design complete; launch Fall 2017)
Design of mentoring materials for Directors identified by the Executive Talent Review Team (Delivered in February 2016)
Feedback from program coordinators for the programs already launched suggests that the orientation and training sessions are equipping both mentor and mentee participants with the knowledge and skills to build and sustain successful mentoring relationships. As part of the program implementation, mid-cycle feedback will be sought from participants to assess progress with relationships. Feedback from the MLM mentoring program resulted in continuing the mentoring program post-pilot to 4 additional cohorts. Additional data will be collected by a survey in Fall 2016.
Data from 3 recent unit-level (demand-driven) program evaluations reveals high levels of mentor/mentee engagement, satisfaction with matches, setting specific learning goals, achieving majority of set learning goals, learning new skills useful in work from the relationship, motivation to improve performance at work.
Target 3: A central coordination function for mentoring is operational.
A central program team was convened to support implementation of the WBG Mentoring Program. The team consists of a program manager, a lead consultant on mentoring, and other consultants with experience in communication and other technical skills. The role of the team is to support and provide advisory services in the design and implementation of corporate priority and unit level programs, and maintain a strategic focus on mentoring in the WBG. The team also manages the online mentoring platform Chronus, which is a potentially important vehicle for scale, tracking results and refining matches.
FY16 marked the launch of key WBG-wide initiatives: Mentoring Month (January 2016), as well as the first ever Mentoring Matters! recognition and awards event (June 2016), both designed to increase visibility of mentoring, recognize mentoring contributions and program excellence.
For the second year running, mentoring was included in the FY16 Talent review process as an official developmental action - for both mentors and mentees and is one of the primary mechanisms for identifying mentors and mentees for the PRISM program.
One of the goals of the recently launched Agile Pilots initiative and forthcoming Knowledge Management action plan will accelerate progress in this area.