World Bank
Report Year
1st MAR Year

Strengthen partnerships. Recognizing the value of partnerships as a central instrument of its financial inclusion work, the Bank Group should strengthen its partnerships by advocating clear strategies, results frameworks, and M&E arrangements for partnership arrangements it has joined or will decide to join.

Recommendation Adoption
IEG Rating by Year: mar-rating-popup NT NT NT NT Management Rating by Year: mar-rating-mng-popup H NT NT NT
NANot Accepted
NRNot Rated
Findings Conclusions

The World Bank Group supports policy reform and leverages its country-level impact through a wide range of influential international partnerships, as well as through its policy work, dialogue, and technical assistance. Partnerships clearly extend reach, resources, and influence to promote access to financial services by the poor and microenterprises (and other excluded groups). Organizations like the Consultative Group to Assist the Poorest, the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the Center for Financial Inclusion, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion have a strong standing with relevant stakeholders and can provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, policy influence, global standard setting, and piloting and disseminating innovative approaches. Partnerships also play a large role in the Bank Group's goal of universal financial access and longer-term inclusion goals, and can amplify the Bank Group's leadership on key issues ranging from bank supervision to remittances to digital payments.
At the same time, these partnerships bear costs and risks in terms of resources and senior staff time and potentially diluting the Bank Group's "branding" and strategic focus. They involve costs, compromise, and coordination that would be ameliorated by clear strategies, accountability, and learning systems of the partner organizations. The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor has only quite recently developed a clear results framework, and IEG did not come across results frameworks or independent reviews or evaluations of other partnership bodies, beyond a progress report. In this context World Bank staff reported that advocating for such systems is likely to gain more traction in partnerships where the Bank Group is a major stakeholder, hosts the secretariat, or contributes resources.

Original Management Response

Management continues to work with development partners, bilaterally and through an active Financial Inclusion coordination group, to strengthen and structure joint approaches, including through country coordination mechanisms, and potentially through Memoranda of Understanding where appropriate.

There is a long-standing collaboration in place with international standard setters on several aspects related to financial inclusion, which led to issuing key standards / guidance.

Action Plans
Action 1
Action 1 Number:
Action 1 Title:
Action 3A: Continue to leverage WBG’s engagement in the G20 financial inclusion agenda through the Global Partnership for Finan
Action 1 Plan:

Action 3A: Continue to leverage WBG’s engagement in the G20 financial inclusion agenda through the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI)
Indicator: Annual reporting on the deliverables of the GPFI Sub-Groups.
Baseline: WBG is an Implementing Partner of the GPFI since the establishment (2010). Workplans prepared on an annual basis with WBG input, consistent with the multi-year GPFI Action Plan. GPFI provides platform to engage with partners.
Target: WBG activities under this partnership reflected in annual and multi-year GPFI workplans.
Timeline: FY19

Action 2
Action 2 Number:
Action 2 Title:
Action 3B: Develop and formalize (as appropriate) strategic alliances with UNSGSA, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, World Econo
Action 2 Plan:

Action 3B: Develop and formalize (as appropriate) strategic alliances with UNSGSA, Alliance for Financial Inclusion, World Economic Forum, and other strategic partners, in line with WBG UFA and financial inclusion priorities.
Indicator: Number of new partnerships established, or existing partnerships formalized
Baseline: Many partnerships have evolved over the past 3+ years.
Target: at least 4 partnerships formalized.
Timeline: FY20

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Action 3A Response:
The F&M GP and IFC FIG continued to be leading implementing partners for the GPFI, with strong participation in the 4 GPFI sub groups/themes which cover standard setting-bodies/regulation and supervision, markets and payments, SME finance, and financial consumer protection/financial literacy. Through our sub-group participation, and also through our direct support and joint working with the G20 presidencies, we significantly contributed to and shaped the multi-year GPFI Financial Inclusion Action Plan, and also the G20 GPFI yearly activity plans.
During the China G20 presidency F&M GP worked closely with the Chinese central bank (PBOC) to shape the GPFI workplan and priorities, as set out in the 2016 GPFI Progress report (available at, including:
- G20 High Level Principles for Digital Financial Inclusion. [F&M GP led the G20 technical team which drafted these new principles, which were endorsed by the G20 Finance Ministers]
- Update of G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators [DEC and F&M GP led the development of these updated indicators]
- G20 Action Plan on SME Financing Implementation Framework [F&M GP/IFC SME Finance Forum lead]…
Working jointly with the 2017 German G20 presidency, F&M GP led the drafting of the following G20 GPFI deliverables which were referred to in the GPFI Action Plan and Annual Progress Report:
- Digital Financial Inclusion: Emerging Policy Approaches. [Drafted by the F&M GP with input from the GPFI implementing partners, and endorsed by the G20.]
- Action Plan on SME Financing: Credit Infrastructure Country Self Assessment Consolidated Report. [Drafted by the F&M GP with input from the GPFI implementing partners.]
- 2017 Update to Leaders on Progress Towards the G20 Remittance Target. [Drafted by the F&M GP with input from the GPFI implementing partners.]
- In addition, in April 2017, IFC organized the 8th annual Responsible Finance Forum in Berlin, Germany, ahead of the GPFI Plenary. This forum built on the work of previous forums in Xi'an, China and Antalya, Turkey by focusing on issues related to customer data protection and privacy amid rapid digitization of the financial sector.
Rating of Implementation Progress for Action 3A: High
Action 3B Response:
The following partnerships were formalized.
Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI): The WBG has been an active supporter of AFI since its inception and has attended many of AFI's knowledge events including their annual Global Policy Forums where WBG speakers are often featured. A framework for closer and more strategic cooperation was formalized with AFI at the senior director and technical level. The following strategic areas and topics are covered in this cooperation:
- Coordination in francophone Africa
- Coordination in Arab region
- Cooperation on the data and measurement toolkits developed by the F&M GP at the country level
- Collaboration within Gender and Financial Inclusion for Women
- Collaboration within cybersecurity, FinTech and blockchain
- Improved sharing and exchange of information on publications and knowledge products developed by both AFI and WB
- Speaking roles for the F&M GP Senior Director in AFI Global Policy Forum
UNSGSA: F&M GP Senior Director met with Queen Maxima (UNSGSA) to formalize and agree the scope and procedures for the WBG-UNSGSA partnership, including: