Organization
World Bank
Report Year
2015
1st MAR Year
2016
Accepted
Yes
Status
Active
Recommendation

Adjust Institutional Incentives to Promote Learning and Development Outcomes:
- Take steps to ensure that the staff's Overall Performance Evaluation and salary ratings, the Bank's career development and promotion system, and the system for time and budget allocations in Work Program Agreements, give sufficient weight in practice to learning and knowledge sharing for the purpose of improving development outcomes, so that the pressure to lend does not compromise development outcomes.
- Strengthen the technical stream by consistently promoting suitably qualified technical experts to higher level positions.
- Provide better guidance to operational staff about the evidentiary standards needed to assess project outcomes and to establish attribution with due regard for factors outside the project that may have influenced outcomes.

Recommenation Adoption
IEG Level of Adoption by Year: mar-rating-popup NMNTNT Management Adoption by Year: mar-rating-mng-popup MSNTNT
CComplete
HHigh
SSubstantial
MModerate
NNegligible
NANot Accepted
NRNot Rated
Findings Conclusions

Under the reorganization, the approach to performance rewards and recognition is being overhauled, but so far staff remain doubtful that this will increase the incentive for learning and knowledge sharing. The Overall Performance Evaluation has, in the past, given insufficient weight to learning and knowledge sharing and it remains to be seen how much this will change.
Past attempts to create a technical career stream have met with limited success and the newly-created post of global solution leads may be a way to rectify this lack.
The Bank is overhauling its approach to performance rewards and recognition but it is too early to say whether this will increase the focus on development outcomes.
The evidence that the Bank uses to evaluate projects at completion is typically insufficient to demonstrate that the results observed are attributable to the project.

Original Management Response

WB: Partially Agree. Management notes that "Create, Apply and Share Knowledge" is already one of the WBG Core Competencies. During the end-year evaluation, staff's absolute performance against both the business and professional development objectives set at the beginning of the year are evaluated. This process also includes an assessment against the WBG core competencies (http://myhr.worldbank.org/hronline/l4/view?cid=23526755).
Management also notes that the criteria used for assessing staff eligibility or promotion readiness is based on business needs and other factors (e.g., number of positions, budget implications). When a business need exists, any staff with a demonstrated strong track record of high performance (evidenced in performance rating history and performance evaluations) and meeting all competency criteria for their job stream in the current and next levels (based on the competency framework) can potentially be promoted. Systematically promoting staff to the next level, only based on technical expertise and with abstraction of business needs and resource implications, would not be feasible.
Management also notes that the generalization that evidence is insufficient to demonstrate attributable results is not substantiated by the report. However, Management does agree that there is a need to improve guidance to staff. Management commits to review the existing guidance for preparing Implementation Completion Reports and training for staff.

Action Plans
Action 1
Action 1 Number:
0360-01
Action 1 Title:
Action 3a: Strengthen mobility of staff as a key driver of the organization’s global reach, knowledge and expertise, and provid
Action 1 Plan:

Action 3a: Strengthen mobility of staff as a key driver of the organization’s global reach, knowledge and expertise, and provide clarity around the experience needed to maintain the WBG’s comparative advantage in delivering solutions for clients.
Indicator: Set the direction of and adopt the career development framework principles.
Baseline: Lack of a career development framework
Target: 1) build a more robust career and talent governance approach 2) determine protocols for succession planning for key roles across Bank operations 3) develop career paths for key roles across Bank operations.
Target: Q1FY17

Action 2
Action 2 Number:
0360-02
Action 2 Title:
Action 3b: Improve guidance to staff on assessment of project outcomes
Action 2 Plan:

Action 3b: Improve guidance to staff on assessment of project outcomes
Indicator: New ICR guidance note developed and published
Baseline: 2006 ICR guidance note on OPCS website
Target: Staff use the revised ICR guidance note to assess project outcomes.
Timeline: Q4 FY17

Action 3
Action 3 Number:
0360-03
Action 3 Title:
Action 3c: Strengthen M&E skills for staff
Action 3 Plan:

Action 3c: Strengthen M&E skills for staff
Indicator: Number of staff trained.
Baseline: No coordinated global M&E training program in place for staff.
Target: M&E training in in HQ and the field is incorporated into the core operational learning program 200 staff are trained in FY16 and FY17
Timeline: FY17 Q4

Action 4
Action 4 Number:
0360-04
Action 4 Title:
Action 3d: KMAP initiatives
Action 4 Plan:

KMAP includes initatives to improve incentives for knowledge sharing tailored for different units and staff at different levels

Action 5
Action 5 Number:
0360-05
Action 5 Title:
Action 3e: Staff learning
Action 5 Plan:

Senior management announcements and FY18 budget instructions establish minimum time and budget for staff learning

Action 6
Action 6 Number:
0360-06
Action 6 Title:
Action 3f: New corporate guidance on learning and career development
Action 6 Plan:

New corporate guidance for staff and managers about learning and career development

Action 7
Action 8
2019
IEG Update:
No Updates
Management Update:
No Updates
2018
IEG Update:
No Updates
Management Update:
No Updates
2017
IEG Update:

The Bank has taken some actions to encourage learning and knowledge sharing, e.g., (i) instituting the "Mentor of the Year" Award for Bank staff (ii) issuing staff learning Guidance, Procedures, and minimum budget and time provisions and (iii) issuing communication from the HR and OPCS VP Offices to staff about the importance of staff learning (albeit the last two focused on 'staff learning,' which overlaps, but may not be synonymous, with 'operational learning' - please see definitions below). While it is not clear if staff were referring to training time and training resources or more broadly to operational learning, the 2017 Employee Engagement Survey (EES) showed a 6-percentage point improvement relative to 2016 on "I have sufficient time built into my work program for learning" and "Learning resources available to me are aligned with business needs at WBG." IEG points out that, as recognized in the evaluation itself, learning and knowledge sharing are supposed to be reflected in the OPE, but what is needed is to make such behavior actually count in the overall assessment - the Bank is yet to provide evidence of this. It is also not clear how many of the actions listed by the Bank, e.g., establishment of a Center of Expertise for Career Management (HRDCM) New Career Framework with talent pools, councils, and brokers OLC or the mapping of staff to professional families create incentives specifically for learning and development outcomes. Furthermore, not much progress has been made in ensuring that suitably qualified staff in the technical stream have opportunities for promotion, and it is not yet clear how much weight promotions give to learning and knowledge sharing behavior. Some other recommendations of the Bank's Incentives Task Force with which the evaluation agreed are also yet to be implemented. The Knowledge Management Action Plan is still to be launched (FY18) and its actions on institutional incentives have not yet been sufficiently spelled out. Ensuring psychological safety for staff to take risks, fail, and learn signaling by senior management through high-level statements on the importance specifically of learning/not repeating past mistakes and demonstrating development outcomes and consistently hard-wiring questions in review meetings about how lessons of experience have been incorporated are all ways to incentivize learning and development outcomes, but remain a work in progress.

Definitions:

Bank's definition of staff learning: "internal and external learning activities taken by Staff to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to meet job expectations and/or to attend to professional development needs" (Bank Procedure, Staff Learning, Issued July 27, 2017).

IEG's definition of operational learning in the evaluation: "operational learning refers to (a) bringing knowledge into the design of operations ("learning-into-lending") (b) gaining and using knowledge in the modification and implementation of on-going projects ("learning-while-lending)" and (c) transmitting/feeding-back lessons from projects to other projects or follow-on projects ("learning-from-lending")."

Management Update:

As noted in the original management response, core competencies for grades GG-GI have a significant K&L requirement, so create, apply and share knowledge are well-reflected in the OPE and salary ratings and count for promotions (at least competitive ones for the core grades). Management highlighted the priority given to staff learning by establishing and publishing minimum allocations for staff time and variable spending on learning for each VPU in FY18. A new Procedure and new Guidance for staff learning have been issued in FY18, and Individual Staff Learning Plans have been introduced as an integral part of the performance cycle. A simplified Implementation Completion and Results Report (ICR) is now available in the Operations Portal. The template has been simplified and there is a stronger focus on lessons learned so that Bank can improve the quality and effectiveness of future projects. The new ICR benefitted from consultations with task teams and was piloted with the Agile Bank program. OPCS worked closely with IEG to simplify the ICR, while satisfying accountability requirements and ensuring that lessons are captured from completed operations. OPCS is also working with IEG to improve the clarity of ICR guidelines and the quality of evidence used in ICRs. Another area of ongoing collaboration involves joint work between OPCS, IEG, and the Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice to determine evaluation criteria for Advisory Services and Analytics (ASA). One of the pillars of the forthcoming Knowledge Management Action Plan (KMAP) is to improve the incentives for knowledge sharing. The KMAP envisages initiatives that affect incentives that resonate with knowledge workers, including time, autonomy, getting credit, peer recognition, the opportunity to work on challenging and interesting assignments, and the satisfaction that the work that is being done is having a positive impact. These incentives are to be tailored for different units and staff at different levels across the Bank. The OLC is rolling out a new staff learning menu to (a) help staff find relevant learning opportunities to improve current job performance or sharpen their skills to enhance career opportunities and (b) equip managers with the necessary information so they can conduct meaningful conversations with staff about their learning options over the course of the performance cycle. A number of initiatives have been taken to strengthen career and talent governance and planning. In FY16, HRD established a dedicated Center of Expertise for Career Management (HRDCM) to provide advice, thought leadership facilitation and implementation support for career management across WBG. HRDCM facilitated the establishment of a Career Advisory Panel (CAP) sponsored by the MDO, SVPOP, and HRDVP. A new Career Framework for WB Operations was launched in April 2016 and implemented in FY17. The Career Framework recognizes depth and breadth of experience and encourages lateral opportunities that enrich and broaden job skills for future roles. It advocates more managed careers in which staff and managers get the training and guidance they need to support more meaningful career planning. The Framework provides career guides, career paths, and readiness criteria for the following roles: CM, PL, PM, CD & PD initially and expanding to a few more mission-critical roles. Readiness criteria were used during talent reviews in setting up talent pools which will be the primary source of selection for these roles. The WB Ops Career Framework also addresses Country Office Staff Careers, and Career & Talent Governance. The governance mechanisms to ensure that management teams are equipped and focused on the careers of their staff include the Talent Boards, Talent Councils, Talent Brokers and Professional Family mapping. These elements were implemented in FY17 and will continue to be refined in FY18. They have allowed the business to considerably speed up recruitment into mission critical positions and ensure that staff coming to the end of an assignment know where they are going next well in advance. An additional element of the Career Framework was professional family mapping for staff across WB Operations to enable staff to remain anchored in their area of technical expertise no matter where their career takes them across the WBG. The responsibility for the professional family mapping lies with the Talent Boards, who are responsible for developing and leveraging the technical skills of their staff no matter where they are working across the WBG. To date about 90% of the operational staff working in the regions, GPs, CCSAs and OPCS have been mapped to their professional families. A monthly series of seminars is offered by HRDCM on an open enrollment basis on OLC to all staff on career- related topics with the monthly schedule posted on the http://careerdev site. Many of these seminars are also provided in webinar and e-learning formats to better serve a geographically-dispersed workforce. In FY17, Career Services in HRDCM offered seminars and webinars on 21 topics spread across over 120 sessions in HQ and Country Offices including face to face sessions in ECA, MNA and SAR. The GE Readiness program launched in FY16, and already almost 50 percent of its first GE ready-now cohort have taken GE roles. The next cohort of the GE Development Program is expected to be launched in December 2017. In March 2016, the Career Advisory Panel for A2D staff was launched. The Career Framework and Guide for A2D Staff was delivered in FY17 and is now moving to implementation in FY18. The guide provides staff in grades GA-GD with career paths and career bridges to roles across the World Bank. In addition to career paths along the Operations Analyst and Administrative streams, the A2D Career Guide provides insight into how to build one's career across different types of Country Offices, and provides practical career advice for staff moving across A2D career streams. In FY17, design and implementation of the Management Development Center (MDC) pilot program to support the identification and development of future managers across WBG was kicked-off. The MDC initiative builds on business-led talent reviews across the WBG to support the development of diverse staff with managerial potential. It is aimed at providing participants with purposeful insights into their management style through self-awareness and feedback for development. To simplify and harmonize the compensation and benefits programs that support globally mobile staff, the Board approved a new Global Mobility Support Framework (GMSF) that became effective January 1, 2016. The new GMSF will ensure that globally mobile staff are treated equitably, based on the purpose and duration of their assignment, rather than their origin of hire. Under the current approach, there are seven types of assignments, based on multiple criteria. The new Framework reduces this to three, which will be used for all staff on assignment. In addition, IFC will continue to use the Localization Plus package to support its decentralized business model. The Career Framework for WB Operations emphasizes Country Office Staff Career Development (recommendations endorsed and implementation underway) Career Tools (career tools were validated for the following roles: CM, PL, PM, CD & PD and readiness criteria for these roles piloted in the FY16 Talent Review to develop talent pools as source of selection for these roles) and Career & Talent Governance (Career & Talent Boards and Councils set up by professional families, and under implementation in FY17 guided by freshly developed with starter kits). The Career Framework recognizes depth and breadth of experience and encourages lateral opportunities that enrich and broaden job skills for future roles. It advocates more managed careers in which staff and managers get the training and guidance they need to support more meaningful career planning. The core operational learning program currently offers M&E clinics (webinars and face-to-face) and Results/M&E workshops at HQ and in the field. In FY16, a total of 261 staff participated in the various M&E clinics (webinars and face-to-face) and Results/M&E workshops at HQ and in the field. In FY17, a total of 321 staff participated, making for a total of 582 staff in FY16-17. The 2017 Employee Engagement Survey (EES) shows evidence of the effects of management's improved efforts in this area. Positive responses to the prompt "I have sufficient time built into my work program for learning" increased by 6 percentage points relative to 2016. Positive responses to the prompt "Learning resources available to me are aligned with business needs at WBG" increased by 6 percentage points, and by 7 percentage points for the statement "Learning resources available to me are aligned with business needs at WBG". Positive responses in the 2017 EES to the prompt "I understand what I need to do to develop my career at the World Bank Group" also increased by seven percentage points compared to 2016.

2016
IEG Update:

Efforts by the Bank such as the Career Advisory Panel (CAP), or the new Global Mobility support Framework (GMSF), or the FY16 Talent Review, or the ICR reform, while important, will not bring about the recommended culture shift and transformation of institutional incentives such that learning becomes an integral part of Bank operations. Missing are actions to: (i) make the "Create, Apply and Share Knowledge" core competency count in the OPE and salary ratings (ii) make promotions contingent upon demonstrated learning and knowledge sharing behavior (including for senior Bank management) (iii) ensure that suitably qualified staff in the technical stream have opportunities for promotion and (iv) ensure sufficient budgets and time for learning and knowledge sharing in the WPAs. Also helpful would be actions that ensure that senior management statements and questions at review meetings emphasize the importance of learning and knowledge sharing, that senior management leads by example and reacts constructively when faced with unfavorable news, and that senior management creates an environment in which Bank staff feel the psychological safety to take risks, recognize mistakes, and learn from them.

Management Update:

On Action 3A, a number of important initiatives have been taken to strengthen career and talent governance and planning since the start of FY16. In July 2015, HR established a dedicated Center of Expertise to be the fulcrum for "all things careers." To get things grounded in operational reality by drawing on real practitioners' experiences, a Career Advisory Panel (CAP) was formed and sponsored by the MDO, SVPOP, and HRSVP. In October, the GE Ready program launched, and already almost 40 percent of its first GE ready-now cohort have taken GE roles. To simplify and harmonize the compensation and benefits programs that support globally mobile staff, the Board recently approved a new Global Mobility Support Framework (GMSF), became effective January 1, 2016. The new GMSF will ensure that globally mobile staff are treated equitably, based on the purpose and duration of their assignment, rather than their origin of hire. Under the current approach, there are seven types of assignments, based on multiple criteria. The new Framework reduces this to three, which will be used for all staff on assignment. In addition, IFC will continue to use the Localization Plus package to support its decentralized business model. In March 2016, the CAP for career management for A-D staff was launched.
A new Career Framework, the umbrella for all these initiatives, was piloted in WB Operations and is being rolled out in FY17. The Career Framework for WB Operations emphasizes Country Office Staff Career Development (recommendations endorsed and implementation underway) Career Tools (career tools were validated for the following roles: CM, PL, PM, CD & PD and readiness criteria for these roles piloted in the FY16 Talent Review to develop talent pools as source of selection for these roles) and Career & Talent Governance (Career & Talent Boards and Councils set up by professional families, and under implementation in FY17).

The Career Framework for WB Operations emphasizes Country Office Staff Career Development (recommendations endorsed and implementation underway) Career Tools (career tools were validated for the following roles: CM, PL, PM, CD & PD and readiness criteria for these roles piloted in the FY16 Talent Review to develop talent pools as source of selection for these roles) and Career & Talent Governance (Career & Talent Boards and Councils set up by professional families, and under implementation in FY17 guided by freshly developed with starter kits). The Career Framework recognizes depth and breadth of experience and encourages lateral opportunities that enrich and broaden job skills for future roles. It advocates more managed careers in which staff and managers get the training and guidance they need to support more meaningful career planning. On Action 3b, Management is advancing a broad reform of the World Bank's self-evaluation approach, including the ICR process, with a view to enhancing strategic as well as task-level learning and adaptive management. An approach paper is under preparation in close collaboration with IEG. New ICR guidance and training will be developed once the reform options are agreed. On Action 3c, the core operational learning program currently offers M&E clinics (webinars and face-to-face) and Results/M&E workshops at HQ and in the field. In FY16, a total of 261 staff participated in the various learning sessions.