Balance the Focus on Global and Local Knowledge:
- Localize global knowledge (by, for example, ensuring that program leaders, and the country directors to whom they report, are able to exercise sufficient authority in relation to the Global Practices, which now have overall responsibility for portfolio quality) to enforce a good fit between project designs and country contexts.
- Leverage local knowledge (by, for example, ensuring that local staff conduct a briefing to share their local knowledge with visiting staff from headquarters or other country offices) to integrate relevant local insights into global knowledge.
- Ensure that senior staff in positions created under the new Bank structure (for example, the GP Chief Economist, Global Solutions Leads, and Program Leaders) preserve time for learning and knowledge sharing, which can otherwise be crowded out by their wider responsibilities.
- Monitor the time that staff from the GPs and the Cross-Cutting Solutions Areas devote to working in different Regions and sectors, distinguishing between temporary assignments and movement to new jobs, to ensure that the intention of the Bank's new structure is fulfilled.
The Bank has demonstrated its capacity to serve as a global knowledge broker and it now has an opportunity to build on that success by improving its use of knowledge generated outside the Bank, by nurturing country-specific knowledge (e.g., about political economy), and by combining cross-Region and cross-sector knowledge to meet client needs.
There is a concern that the new structures and roles introduced in FY15 may fail to balance global and local focus. There is also concern that the Region-centered tasks of practice managers and the overstretching of global solutions leads will undercut global technical knowledge.
The Bank has proposed measures to capture knowledge flow based on tracking staff movement between Regions and practices. IEG uses FY00-14 data from the time recording database to show how a mobility baseline might be constructed.
WB: Partially Agree. Management agrees with the importance of finding the right balance between global and local knowledge. Management recently launched internal and external client satisfaction surveys, which are conducted at critical milestones of every lending operation and ASA product, asking specific questions about the appropriate balance of global knowledge and the adaptation of that knowledge to the local context. The data from the client satisfaction surveys will systematically inform management decisions and course corrections.
An indicator to measure knowledge flow is under development under the Corporate Scorecard.
Various mechanisms (e.g., the ADM Framework, allocation of CMU resources to GPs) that provide CMUs with the needed "authority" to ensure the right fit between global knowledge and local context. What is needed are right incentives and management signals to harness collaboration and partnership between GPs and Regions.
The recommendation to monitor where staff record their time is already being implemented.
Finally, Management notes that the suggestion related to "staff in positions created by the new structure" is inaccurate (given the fact that some of those mentioned are "positions," while others are mere "roles") as well as over-prescriptive (given the fact that it singles out an individual such as the GPCE whose entire function is about knowledge and learning).
Action 4a: Strengthen incentives for collaboration across the matrix as well as for optimizing the balance between global and local knowledge.
Indicator: World Bank Clientsï¾ Satisfaction Survey rolled out internally and externally, with specific questions on collaboration, local knowledge and global knowledge.
Baseline: No systematic (internally and externally) measure of the targeted aspects of knowledge and collaboration.
Target: On average, clients rate the Bank 4 out of 5, or higher, on questions related to mobilizing global knowledge and tailoring that knowledge to local circumstances
Timeline: Q4 FY16.
Action 4b: Strengthen authority of Country Directors to ensure a good fit for the country context.
Indicator: Use of ADM rules
Baseline: ADM not hardwired in Operations Portal and not always respected
Target: 100% of single country projects and activities that are processed through the Operations Portal (lending and ASA) correctly follow ADM rules.
Timeline: Q1 FY17
Action 4c: Promote collaboration through monitoring of time charged to operational tasks in regions other than their primary region.
Indicator: Percentage of GH level GP/CCSA staff time charged to operational tasks in regions other than their primary region.
Baseline: 10.7% (FY15)
Target: No explicit target has been established. An increasing trend is expected to be achieved over coming years.
According to the Bank, a client Satisfaction Survey showed good results in FY16 on questions related to mobilizing global knowledge and tailoring that knowledge to local circumstances, the new Portal 3.0 for IPF lending and ASA has hardwired the ADM framework, and the percentage of GH level GP/CCSA staff charging time to operational tasks in regions other than their primary region showed an almost 35 percent increase over the FY15 baseline. These are improvements in the right direction. Continued monitoring would be helpful to demonstrate that the improvements are sustained, that knowledge flows within each GP, within each Region, across GPs, across Regions, and between GPs and Regions are occurring effectively and efficiently, and that the balance between local knowledge and global knowledge is appropriate.
Both of the time-bound actions have been fully completed. On Action 4A, the World Bank Satisfaction Survey contains two questions related to mobilizing global knowledge and tailoring that knowledge to local circumstances: (i) the World Bank brought global expertise to support this activity, with an average client score of 4.34 in FY16; and (ii) the World Bank's expertise was tailored to my country context, with an average client score of 4.07 in FY16.
On Action 4B, the new Portal 3.0 (for IPF lending and ASA) launched in July 2016 hardwires the ADM framework. The actors for each role in the ADM framework are automatically populated by the system so that teams follow the ADM rules. As each actor goes to the portal to take an action, s/he will see the new section that clearly displays the status of prerequisite ADM steps. This display will alert the actor that the prerequisite step has not been completed and not to proceed to the following step, thereby ensuring 100 percent compliance with the ADM rules.
The indication for Action 4C, which is continuous, was met in FY16, with 14.4 percent of GH level GP/CCSA staff (including IFC staff) charging time to operational tasks in regions other than their primary region. This is an almost 35 percent increase over the FY15 baseline.
A new set of reports has recently been established in the Standard Reports that attribute lending projects/commitments and advisory services and analytics to both lead and contributing practices, and report staff time worked across as well as within a global practice. This will greatly facilitate management attention to collaboration, and hence management and staff incentives in this regard.