In FY21, IEG will build on its internal reviews to increase its value to the Bank Group, its shareholding countries, and the evaluation community at large. We will continue to be highly selective in what evaluations we choose, and evaluations for FY21–22 are aligned with the institution’s strategic priorities, particularly with an increased focus on country-level outcomes.
IEG’s FY21 work program follows six streams: (i) gender, (ii) fragility, conflict, and violence, (iii) climate change and environmental sustainability, (iv) Mobilizing Finance for Development, (v) human capital, and (vi) jobs, growth, and shared prosperity. These streams are bridged by two cross-cutting themes: (i) governance and institutions and (ii) the Bank Group’s corporate effectiveness. Generating evaluative evidence over time within these streams will provide IEG with an organizing principle that allows for greater synthesis of lessons and solutions relevant to key development challenges.
The Bank Group is focused on addressing the COVID-19 crisis, and IEG will remain focused on providing evidence to inform decisions. Along with adapting the work program to synthesize and produce evaluative evidence and lessons relevant to the pandemic, IEG will continue to create just-in-time notes, provide on-demand monitoring and evaluation support, and share knowledge.
The Bank Group is focused on addressing the COVID-19 crisis, and IEG will remain focused on providing evidence to inform decisions.
IEG established strong systems for knowledge management and engagement in FY20, and FY21 will see a continued refinement of these systems, increased collaboration with operations throughout the evaluation cycle, and improved, targeted outreach. Evaluations are becoming more technically concise and accessible, the range of bite-size products is expanding, and events are tailored to small, specific audiences at times that coincide with corporate or global events.
A fresh data strategy involving innovations to maximize data capture and organization will drive technological advancement in the coming year. In FY20, IEG began using machine learning and other techniques to gain insights across products, sectors, and themes. In FY21, we will increase our capacity for data mining, implement a new Management Action Record system, and standardize data analysis.
A fresh data strategy involving innovations to maximize data capture and organization will drive technological advancement in the coming year.
A key priority this year will be to start planning our evaluation work early and in a way that takes into account the constraints of the new COVID-19 reality. IEG will need to adjust the assumptions and expectations of what it takes to organize and deliver evaluations. Field missions, previously the backbone of evaluation, are unlikely to return in FY21. This constraint provides IEG with an exciting opportunity to reconsider whether traditional methods are the best way to tackle an evaluation problem and how best to work in situations where conventional techniques for data collection are more costly, difficult, or simply unavailable. As the pandemic and the associated crises evolve, we also need to reflect on whether we are asking the right evaluation questions to ensure ongoing relevance to the Bank Group and its client countries. Doing what we’ve always done, only virtually, may not be the response we need in these unconventional times. It’s time for us to get even more creative.