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Enhancing the Effectiveness of the World Bank’s Global Footprint

Key Terms Explained

Accountability and decision-making role. These roles are defined in the World Bank’s accountability and decision-making framework to clarify staff roles for key decisions in the World Bank for different processes, to establish a more disciplined decision process.

Country Management Unit (CMU). The World Bank’s presence in client countries is structured through Country Management Units under seven Regional vice presidencies within the World Bank. Each CMU is headed by a country director, who is the World Bank’s highest-level decision maker in the field. All World Bank country offices that are led by country managers are grouped in multicountry CMUs under each Region. In 12 large countries, the World Bank has single-country CMUs.

Decentralization. Organizational changes that can entail a physical relocation (deconcentration) of the personnel, transfer of decision-making authority (devolution) from an organization’s center to its peripheral units, or both.

Deconcentration. The physical relocation of personnel from an organization’s center to its peripheral units, with no connotation of power transfer among organization members or units.

Devolution. The transfer of decision-making power from an organization’s center to its periphery, usually from higher-level authorities to lower-level authorities, between an organization’s headquarters and its field units, or both. Devolution can and often does happen without any physical movement of personnel.

Global footprint. Refers to the World Bank’s staffing and decision-making in the field.

Matrix system. The World Bank’s operating model before 2013, in which the organization had client-focused Regional vice presidencies and technical sector departments grouped into networks (anchors).

Proactivity Index. The ratio of projects in “actual” problem status 12 months earlier that have had a proactivity action in the previous 12 months divided by the total number of problem projects from 12 months earlier.

Problem or problematic project or project in actual problem status. Ongoing projects rated as moderately unsatisfactory or below for development objective, implementation progress, or both.

Work Program Agreement. A Work Program Agreement is a contract between a country director, who provides funding, and a Regional director to deliver outputs during a fiscal year. A CMU can contract with a global director and nonoperational units based on demand.