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World Bank
The World Bank (French: Banque mondiale) is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries of the world for capital projects.

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Not to be confused with World Bank Group.

World BankWorld Bank logoMottoWorking for a World Free of PovertyFormationJuly 1945; 73 years ago (1945-07)TypeMonetary International Financial OrganizationLegal statusTreatyHeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.Membership 190 countries (IBRD)[1]
173 countries (IDA)[1]Key people
  • Jim Yong Kim (President)
  • Kristalina Georgieva (CEO)
  • Shanta Devarajan (Chief Economist) (Acting)[2]
Parent organizationWorld Bank

The World Bank (French: Banque mondiale)[3] is an international financial institution that provides loans[4] to countries of the world for capital projects. It comprises two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and the International Development Association (IDA). The World Bank is a component of the World Bank Group.

The World Bank's most recent stated goal is the reduction of poverty.[5] As of November 2018, the largest recipients of world bank loans were India ($859 million in 2018) and China ($370 million in 2018), through loans from IBRD.[6][7]

  • 1 World Bank Group
  • 2 History
    • 2.1 1944–1974
    • 2.2 1974–1980
    • 2.3 1980–1989
    • 2.4 1989–present
      • 2.4.1 Criteria
  • 3 Leadership
    • 3.1 Presidents
    • 3.2 Chief Economists
  • 4 Members
    • 4.1 Voting power
  • 5 List of 20 largest countries by voting power in each World Bank institution
  • 6 Poverty reduction strategies
  • 7 Global partnerships and initiatives
    • 7.1 Climate change
    • 7.2 Food security
  • 8 Training wings
    • 8.1 World Bank Institute
    • 8.2 Global Development Learning Network
      • 8.2.1 GDLN Asia Pacific
    • 8.3 The JUSTPAL Network
  • 9 Country assistance strategies
  • 10 Clean Air Initiative
  • 11 United Nations Development Business
  • 12 Open data initiative
  • 13 Grants table
  • 14 Open Knowledge Repository
  • 15 Criticisms & Controversy
    • 15.1 Structural adjustment
    • 15.2 Fairness of assistance conditions
    • 15.3 Sovereign immunity
    • 15.4 PricewaterhouseCoopers (1998)
  • 16 See also
  • 17 References
  • 18 Further reading
  • 19 External links
World Bank Group

The World Bank is different from the World Bank Group, an extended family of five international organizations:

  • International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
  • International Development Association (IDA)
  • International Finance Corporation (IFC)
  • Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
History John Maynard Keynes (right) and Harry Dexter White, the "founding fathers" of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[8]

The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference along with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The president of the World Bank is, traditionally, an American.[9] The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington, D.C., and work closely with each other.

The Gold Room at the Mount Washington Hotel where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank were established

Although many countries were represented at the Bretton Woods Conference, the United States and United Kingdom were the most powerful in attendance and dominated the negotiations.[10]:52–54 The intention behind the founding of the World Bank was to provide temporary loans to low-income countries which were unable to obtain loans commercially.[5] The Bank may also make loans and demand policy reforms from recipients.[5]


Before 1974, the reconstruction and development loans provided by the World Bank were relatively small. The Bank's staff were aware of the need to instill confidence in the bank. Fiscal conservatism ruled, and loan applications had to meet strict criteria.[10]:56–60

The first country to receive a World Bank loan was France. The Bank's president at the time, John McCloy, chose France over two other applicants, Poland and Chile. The loan was for US$250 million, half the amount requested, and it came with strict conditions. France had to agree to produce a balanced budget and give priority of debt repayment to the World Bank over other governments. World Bank staff closely monitored the use of the funds to ensure that the French government met the conditions. In addition, before the loan was approved, the United States State Department told the French government that its members associated with the Communist Party would first have to be removed. The French government complied and removed the Communist coalition government - the so-called tripartite. Within hours, the loan to France was approved.[11]:288, 290–291

When the Marshall Plan went into effect in 1947, many European countries began receiving aid from other sources. Faced with this competition, the World Bank shifted its focus to non-European countries. Until 1968, its loans were earmarked for the construction of infrastructure works, such as seaports, highway systems, and power plants, that would generate enough income to enable a borrower country to repay the loan. In 1960, the International Development Association was formed (as opposed to a UN fund named SUNFED), providing soft loans to developing countries.


From 1974 to 1980 the bank concentrated on meeting the basic needs of people in the developing world. The size and number of loans to borrowers was greatly increased as loan targets expanded from infrastructure into social services and other sectors.[12]

These changes can be attributed to Robert McNamara, who was appointed to the presidency in 1968 by Lyndon B. Johnson.[10]:60–63 McNamara implored bank treasurer Eugene Rotberg to seek out new sources of capital outside of the northern banks that had been the primary sources of funding. Rotberg used the global bond market to increase the capital available to the bank.[13] One consequence of the period of poverty alleviation lending was the rapid rise of third world debt. From 1976 to 1980 developing world debt rose at an average annual rate of 20%.[14][15]

In 1980 the World Bank Administrative Tribunal was established to decide on disputes between the World Bank Group and its staff where allegation of non-observance of contracts of employment or terms of appointment had not been honored.[16]


In 1980 McNamara was succeeded by US President Jimmy Carter's nominee, Alden W. Clausen.[17][18] Clausen replaced many members of McNamara's staff and crafted a different mission emphasis. His 1982 decision to replace the bank's Chief Economist, Hollis B. Chenery, with Anne Krueger was an example of this new focus. Krueger was known for her criticism of development funding and for describing Third World governments as "rent-seeking states."

During the 1980s the bank emphasized lending to service Third-World debt, and structural adjustment policies designed to streamline the economies of developing nations. UNICEF reported in the late 1980s that the structural adjustment programs of the World Bank had been responsible for "reduced health, nutritional and educational levels for tens of millions of children in Asia, Latin America, and Africa".[19]


Beginning in 1989, in response to harsh criticism from many groups, the bank began including environmental groups and NGOs in its loans to mitigate the past effects of its development policies that had prompted the criticism.[10]:93–97 It also formed an implementing agency, in accordance with the Montreal Protocols, to stop ozone-depletion damage to the Earth's atmosphere by phasing out the use of 95% of ozone-depleting chemicals, with a target date of 2015. Since then, in accordance with its so-called "Six Strategic Themes", the bank has put various additional policies into effect to preserve the environment while promoting development. For example, in 1991 the bank announced that to protect against deforestation, especially in the Amazon, it would not finance any commercial logging or infrastructure projects that harm the environment.

In order to promote global public goods, the World Bank tries to control communicable disease such as malaria, delivering vaccines to several parts of the world and joining combat forces. In 2000 the bank announced a "war on AIDS" and in 2011 the Bank joined the Stop Tuberculosis Partnership.[20]

Traditionally, based on a tacit understanding between the United States and Europe, the president of the World Bank has always been selected from candidates nominated by the United States. In 2012, for the first time, two non-US citizens were nominated.

On 23 March 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama announced that the United States would nominate Jim Yong Kim as the next president of the Bank.[21] Jim Yong Kim was elected on 27 April 2012.

The World Bank Group headquarters building in Washington, D.C. Criteria

Various developments had brought the Millennium Development Goals targets for 2015 within reach in some cases. For the goals to be realized, six criteria must be met: stronger and more inclusive growth in Africa and fragile states, more effort in health and education, integration of the development and environment agendas, more as well as better aid, movement on trade negotiations, and stronger and more focused support from multilateral institutions like the World Bank.[22]

  1. Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger: From 1990 through 2004 the proportion of people living in extreme poverty fell from almost a third to less than a fifth. Although results vary widely within regions and countries, the trend indicates that the world as a whole can meet the goal of halving the percentage of people living in poverty. Africa's poverty, however, is expected to rise, and most of the 36 countries where 90% of the world's undernourished children live are in Africa. Less than a quarter of countries are on track for achieving the goal of halving under-nutrition.
  2. Achieve Universal Primary Education: The percentage of children in school in developing countries increased from 80% in 1991 to 88% in 2005. Still, about 72 million children of primary school age, 57% of them girls, were not being educated as of 2005[update].
  3. Promote Gender Equality: The tide is turning slowly for women in the labor market, yet far more women than men- worldwide more than 60% – are contributing but unpaid family workers. The World Bank Group Gender Action Plan was created to advance women's economic empowerment and promote shared growth.
  4. Reduce Child Mortality: There is some improvement in survival rates globally; accelerated improvements are needed most urgently in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 10 million-plus children under five died in 2005; most of their deaths were from preventable causes.
  5. Improve Maternal Health: Almost all of the half million women who die during pregnancy or childbirth every year live in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. There are numerous causes of maternal death that require a variety of health care interventions to be made widely accessible.
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases: Annual numbers of new HIV infections and AIDS deaths have fallen, but the number of people living with HIV continues to grow. In the eight worst-hit southern African countries, prevalence is above 15 percent. Treatment has increased globally, but still meets only 30 percent of needs (with wide variations across countries). AIDS remains the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa (1.6 million deaths in 2007). There are 300 to 500 million cases of malaria each year, leading to more than 1 million deaths. Nearly all the cases and more than 95 percent of the deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  7. Ensure Environmental Sustainability: Deforestation remains a critical problem, particularly in regions of biological diversity, which continues to decline. Greenhouse gas emissions are increasing faster than energy technology advancement.
  8. Develop a Global Partnership for Development: Donor countries have renewed their commitment. Donors have to fulfill their pledges to match the current rate of core program development. Emphasis is being placed on the Bank Group's collaboration with multilateral and local partners to quicken progress toward the MDGs' realization.

To make sure that World Bank-financed operations do not compromise these goals but instead add to their realisation, environmental, social and legal safeguards were defined. However, these safeguards have not been implemented entirely yet. At the World Bank's annual meeting in Tokyo 2012 a review of these safeguards has been initiated, which was welcomed by several civil society organisations.[23]

Leadership Jim Yong Kim, the current President of the World Bank Group

The President of the Bank is the president of the entire World Bank Group. The president, currently Jim Yong Kim, is responsible for chairing the meetings of the Boards of Directors and for overall management of the Bank. Traditionally, the President of the Bank has always been a US citizen nominated by the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank (the managing director of the International Monetary Fund having always been a European). The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Executive Directors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term. While most World Bank presidents have had banking experience, some have not.[24][25]

The vice presidents of the Bank are its principal managers, in charge of regions, sectors, networks and functions. There are two Executive Vice presidents, three Senior Vice presidents, and 24 Vice presidents.[26]

The Boards of Directors consist of the World Bank Group President and 25 Executive Directors. The President is the presiding officer, and ordinarily has no vote except a deciding vote in case of an equal division. The Executive Directors as individuals cannot exercise any power nor commit or represent the Bank unless specifically authorized by the Boards to do so. With the term beginning 1 November 2010, the number of Executive Directors increased by one, to 25.[27]

Presidents Name Dates Nationality Previous work Eugene Meyer 1946–1946 United States Newspaper publisher and Chairman of the Federal Reserve John J. McCloy 1947–1949 United States Lawyer and US Assistant Secretary of War Eugene R. Black, Sr. 1949–1963 United States Bank executive with Chase and executive director with the World Bank George Woods 1963–1968 United States Bank executive with First Boston Corporation Robert McNamara 1968–1981 United States President of the Ford Motor Company, US Defense Secretary under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson who escalated the Vietnam War[28] Alden W. Clausen 1981–1986 United States Lawyer, bank executive with Bank of America Barber Conable 1986–1991 United States New York State Senator and US Congressman Lewis T. Preston 1991–1995 United States Bank executive with J.P. Morgan James Wolfensohn 1995–2005 United States
Australia (prev.) Wolfensohn was a naturalised American citizen before taking office. Corporate lawyer and banker Paul Wolfowitz 2005–2007 United States US Ambassador to Indonesia, US Deputy Secretary of Defense, Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, prominent architect of 2003 invasion of Iraq, resigned World Bank post due to ethics scandal[29] Robert Zoellick 2007–2012 United States Deputy Secretary of State and US Trade Representative Jim Yong Kim 2012–present United States
South Korea (prev.) Former Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard, president of Dartmouth College, naturalized American citizen[30] Chief Economists Main article: World Bank Chief Economist Name Dates Nationality Hollis B. Chenery 1972–1982 United States Anne Osborn Krueger 1982–1986 United States Stanley Fischer 1988–1990 United States Lawrence Summers 1991–1993 United States Michael Bruno 1993–1996 Israel Joseph E. Stiglitz 1997–2000 United States Nicholas Stern 2000–2003 United Kingdom François Bourguignon 2003–2007 France Justin Yifu Lin 2008–2012 China Kaushik Basu 2012–2016 India Shanta Sharanja 2016–2018 United States


Members Main article: List of World Bank members

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has 189 member countries, while the International Development Association (IDA) has 173 members. Each member state of IBRD should be also a member of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and only members of IBRD are allowed to join other institutions within the Bank (such as IDA).[1]

Voting power

In 2010 voting powers at the World Bank were revised to increase the voice of developing countries, notably China. The countries with most voting power are now the United States (15.85%), Japan (6.84%), China (4.42%), Germany (4.00%), the United Kingdom (3.75%), France (3.75%), India (2.91%),[32] Russia (2.77%), Saudi Arabia (2.77%) and Italy (2.64%). Under the changes, known as 'Voice Reform – Phase 2', countries other than China that saw significant gains included South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Greece, Brazil, India, and Spain. Most developed countries' voting power was reduced, along with a few developing countries such as Nigeria. The voting powers of the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia were unchanged.[33][34]

The changes were brought about with the goal of making voting more universal in regards to standards, rule-based with objective indicators, and transparent among other things. Now, developing countries have an increased voice in the "Pool Model", backed especially by Europe. Additionally, voting power is based on economic size in addition to International Development Association contributions.[35]

List of 20 largest countries by voting power in each World Bank institution

The following table shows the subscriptions of the top 20 member countries of the World Bank by voting power in the following World Bank institutions as of December 2014 or March 2015: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association (IDA), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). Member countries are allocated votes at the time of membership and subsequently for additional subscriptions to capital (one vote for each share of capital stock held by the member).[36][37][38][39]

The 20 Largest Countries by voting power (Number of Votes) Rank Country IBRD Country IFC Country IDA Country MIGA World 2,201,754 World 2,653,476 World 24,682,951 World 218,237 1 United States 358,498 United States 570,179 United States 2,546,503 United States 32,790 2 Japan 166,094 Japan 163,334 Japan 2,112,243 Japan 9,205 3 China 107,244 Germany 129,708 United Kingdom 1,510,934 Germany 9,162 4 Germany 97,224 France 121,815 Germany 1,368,001 France 8,791 5 France 87,241 United Kingdom 121,815 France 908,843 United Kingdom 8,791 6 United Kingdom 87,241 India 103,747 Saudi Arabia 810,293 China 5,756 7 India 67,690 Russia 103,653 India 661,909 Russia 5,754 8 Saudi Arabia 67,155 Canada 82,142 Canada 629,658 Saudi Arabia 5,754 9 Canada 59,004 Italy 82,142 Italy 573,858 India 5,597 10 Italy 54,877 China 62,392 China 521,830 Canada 5,451 11 Russia 54,651 Netherlands 56,931 Poland 498,102 Italy 5,196 12 Spain 42,948 Belgium 51,410 Sweden 494,360 Netherlands 4,048 13 Brazil 42,613 Australia 48,129 Netherlands 488,209 Belgium 3,803 14 Netherlands 42,348 Switzerland 44,863 Brazil 412,322 Australia 3,245 15 Korea 36,591 Brazil 40,279 Australia 312,566 Switzerland 2,869 16 Belgium 36,463 Mexico 38,929 Switzerland 275,755 Brazil 2,832 17 Iran 34,718 Spain 37,826 Belgium 275,474 Spain 2,491 18 Switzerland 33,296 Indonesia 32,402 Norway 258,209 Argentina 2,436 19 Australia 30,910 Saudi Arabia 30,862 Denmark 231,685 Indonesia 2,075 20 Turkey 26,293 Korea 28,895 Pakistan 218,506 Sweden 2,075 Poverty reduction strategies

For the poorest developing countries in the world, the bank's assistance plans are based on poverty reduction strategies; by combining a cross-section of local groups with an extensive analysis of the country's financial and economic situation the World Bank develops a strategy pertaining uniquely to the country in question. The government then identifies the country's priorities and targets for the reduction of poverty, and the World Bank aligns its aid efforts correspondingly.

Forty-five countries pledged US$25.1 billion in "aid for the world's poorest countries", aid that goes to the World Bank International Development Association (IDA), which distributes the loans to eighty poorer countries. While wealthier nations sometimes fund their own aid projects, including those for diseases, and although IDA is the recipient of criticism, Robert B. Zoellick, the former president of the World Bank, said when the loans were announced on 15 December 2007, that IDA money "is the core funding that the poorest developing countries rely on".[40]

World Bank organizes Development Marketplace Awards, a competitive grant program that surfaces and funds innovative, development projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. The grant beneficiaries are social enterprises with projects that aim to deliver a range of social and public services to the most underserved low-income groups.

Global partnerships and initiatives

The World Bank has been assigned temporary management responsibility of the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), focused on making renewable energy cost-competitive with coal-fired power as quickly as possible, but this may not continue after UN's Copenhagen climate change conference in December 2009, because of the Bank's continued investment in coal-fired power plants.[41]

Together with the World Health Organization, the World Bank administers the International Health Partnership (IHP+). IHP+ is a group of partners committed to improving the health of citizens in developing countries. Partners work together to put international principles for aid effectiveness and development cooperation into practice in the health sector. IHP+ mobilizes national governments, development agencies, civil society and others to support a single, country-led national health strategy in a well-coordinated way.

Climate change

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in 2012 that:

"A 4 degree warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2 degrees ... Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest."[42] A World Bank report into Climate change in 2012 noted that (p. xiii): "Even with the current mitigation commitments and pledges fully implemented, there is roughly a 20 percent likelihood of exceeding 4 °C by 2100." This is despite the fact that the "global community has committed itself to holding warming below 2 °C to prevent 'dangerous' climate change". Furthermore: "A series of recent extreme events worldwide highlight the vulnerability of all countries ... No nation will be immune to the impacts of climate change."[43]

The World Bank doubled its aid for climate change adaptation from $2.3bn (£1.47bn) in 2011 to $4.6bn in 2012. The planet is now 0.8 °C warmer than in pre-industrial times. It says that 2 °C warming will be reached in 20 to 30 years.[44][45]

Food security Main article: Food security
  1. Global Food Security Program: Launched in April 2010, six countries alongside the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pledged $925 million for food security. To date, the program has helped 8 countries, promoting agriculture, research, trade in agriculture, etc.
  2. Launched Global Food Crisis Response Program: Given grants to approximately 40 nations for seeds, etc. for improving productivity.
  3. In process of increasing its yearly spending for agriculture to $6 billion–$8 billion from earlier $4 billion.
  4. Runs several nutrition program across the world, e.g., vitamin A doses for children, school meals, etc.[citation needed]
Training wings World Bank Institute

The World Bank Institute (WBI) creates learning opportunities for countries, World Bank staff and clients, and people committed to poverty reduction and sustainable development. WBI's work program includes training, policy consultations, and the creation and support of knowledge networks related to international economic and social development.

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a "global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction". It aims to inspire change agents and prepare them with essential tools that can help achieve development results. WBI has four major strategies to approach development problems: innovation for development, knowledge exchange, leadership and coalition building, and structured learning. World Bank Institute (WBI) was formerly known as Economic Development Institute (EDI), established on 11 March 1955 with the support of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The purpose of the institute was to serve as provide an open place where senior officials from developing countries could discuss development policies and programs. Over the years, EDI grew significantly and in 2000, the Institute was renamed as the World Bank Institute. Currently Sanjay Pradhan is the Vice President of the World Bank Institute.[46]

Global Development Learning Network

The Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) is a partnership of over 120 learning centers (GDLN Affiliates) in nearly 80 countries around the world. GDLN Affiliates collaborate in holding events that connect people across countries and regions for learning and dialogue on development issues.

GDLN clients are typically NGOs, government, private sector and development agencies who find that they work better together on subregional, regional or global development issues using the facilities and tools offered by GDLN Affiliates. Clients also benefit from the ability of Affiliates to help them choose and apply these tools effectively, and to tap development practitioners and experts worldwide. GDLN Affiliates facilitate around 1000 videoconference-based activities a year on behalf of their clients, reaching some 90,000 people worldwide. Most of these activities bring together participants in two or more countries over a series of sessions. A majority of GDLN activities are organized by small government agencies and NGOs.

GDLN Asia Pacific

The GDLN in the East Asia and Pacific region has experienced rapid growth and Distance Learning Centers now operate, or are planned in 20 countries: Australia, Mongolia, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Japan, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Timor Leste, Fiji, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and New Zealand. With over 180 Distance Learning Centers, it is the largest development learning network in the Asia and Pacific region. The Secretariat Office of GDLN Asia Pacific is located in the Center of Academic Resources of Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.

GDLN Asia Pacific was launched at the GDLN's East Asia and Pacific regional meeting held in Bangkok from 22 to 24 May 2006. Its vision is to become "the premier network exchanging ideas, experience and know-how across the Asia Pacific Region". GDLN Asia Pacific is a separate entity to The World Bank. It has endorsed its own Charter and Business Plan and, in accordance with the Charter, a GDLN Asia Pacific Governing Committee has been appointed.

The committee comprises China (2), Australia (1), Thailand (1), The World Bank (1) and finally, a nominee of the Government of Japan (1). The organization is currently hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, founding member of the GDLN Asia Pacific.

The Governing Committee has determined that the most appropriate legal status for the GDLN AP in Thailand is a "Foundation". The World Bank is currently engaging a solicitor in Thailand to process all documentation in order to obtain this legal status.

GDLN Asia Pacific is built on the principle of shared resources among partners engaged in a common task, and this is visible in the organizational structures that exist, as the network evolves. Physical space for its headquarters is provided by the host of the GDLN Centre in Thailand – Chulalongkorn University; Technical expertise and some infrastructure is provided by the Tokyo Development Learning Centre (TDLC); Fiduciary services are provided by Australian National University (ANU) Until the GDLN Asia Pacific is established as a legal entity tin Thailand, ANU, has offered to assist the governing committee, by providing a means of managing the inflow and outflow of funds and of reporting on them. This admittedly results in some complexity in contracting arrangements, which need to be worked out on a case by case basis and depends to some extent on the legal requirements of the countries involved.

The JUSTPAL Network

A Justice Sector Peer-Assisted Learning (JUSTPAL) Network was launched in April 2011 by the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (PREM) Department of the World Bank's Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Region. The JUSTPAL objective is to provide an online and offline platform for justice professionals to exchange knowledge, good practices and peer-driven improvements to justice systems and thereby support countries to improve their justice sector performance, quality of justice and service delivery to citizens and businesses.

The JUSTPAL Network includes representatives of judiciaries, ministries of justice, prosecutors, anti-corruption agencies and other justice-related entities from across the globe. The Network currently has active members from more than 50 countries.

To facilitate fruitful exchange of reform experiences and sharing of applicable good practices, the JUSTPAL Network has organized its activities under (currently) five Communities of Practice (COPs): (i) Budgeting for the Justice Sector; (ii) Information Systems for Justice Services; (iii) Justice Sector Physical Infrastructure; (iv) Court Management and Administration; and (v) Prosecution and Anti-Corruption Agencies.

Country assistance strategies

As a guideline to the World Bank's operations in any particular country, a Country Assistance Strategy is produced, in cooperation with the local government and any interested stakeholders and may rely on analytical work performed by the Bank or other parties.

Clean Air Initiative

Clean Air Initiative (CAI) is a World Bank initiative to advance innovative ways to improve air quality in cities through partnerships in selected regions of the world by sharing knowledge and experiences. It includes electric vehicles.[47] Initiatives like this help address and tackle pollution-related diseases.

United Nations Development Business

Based on an agreement between the United Nations and the World Bank in 1981, Development Business became the official source for World Bank Procurement Notices, Contract Awards, and Project Approvals.[48]

In 1998, the agreement was re-negotiated, and included in this agreement was a joint venture to create an electronic version of the publication via the World Wide Web. Today, Development Business is the primary publication for all major multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies, and several national governments, many of whom have made the publication of their tenders and contracts in Development Business a mandatory requirement.[48]

The World Bank or the World Bank Group is also a sitting observer in the United Nations Development Group.[49]

Open data initiative

The World Bank collects and processes large amounts of data and generates them on the basis of economic models. These data and models have gradually been made available to the public in a way that encourages reuse,[50] whereas the recent publications describing them are available as open access under a Creative Commons Attribution License, for which the bank received the SPARC Innovator 2012 award.[51]

The World Bank also endorses the Principles for Digital Development.[52]

Grants table

The following table lists the top 15 DAC 5 Digit Sectors[53] to which the World Bank has committed funding, as recorded by it in its International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) publications. The World Bank states on the IATI Registry website that the amounts "will cover 100% of IBRD and IDA development flows" but will not cover other development flows.[54]

Committed funding (US$ millions) Sector Before 2007 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Sum Road transport 4,654.2 1,993.5 1,501.8 5,550.3 4,032.3 2,603.7 3,852.5 2,883.6 3,081.7 3,922.6 723.7 34,799.8 Social/ welfare services 613.1 208.1 185.5 2,878.4 1,477.4 1,493.2 1,498.5 2,592.6 2,745.4 1,537.7 73.6 15,303.5 Electrical transmission/ distribution 1,292.5 862.1 1,740.2 2,435.4 1,465.1 907.7 1,614.9 395.7 2,457.1 1,632.2 374.8 15,177.8 Public finance management 334.2 223.1 499.7 129.0 455.3 346.6 3,156.8 2,724.0 3,160.5 2,438.9 690.5 14,158.6 Rail transport 279.3 284.4 1,289.0 912.2 892.5 1,487.4 841.8 740.6 1,964.9 1,172.2 −1.6 9,862.5 Rural development 335.4 237.5 382.8 616.7 2,317.4 972.0 944.0 177.8 380.9 1,090.3 −2.5 7,452.4 Urban development and management 261.2 375.9 733.3 739.6 542.1 1,308.1 914.3 258.9 747.3 1,122.1 212.2 7,214.9 Business support services and institutions 113.3 20.8 721.7 181.4 363.3 514.0 310.0 760.1 1,281.9 1,996.0 491.3 6,753.7 Energy policy and administrative management 102.5 243.0 324.9 234.2 762.0 654.9 902.1 480.5 1,594.2 1,001.8 347.9 6,648.0 Agricultural water resources 733.2 749.5 84.6 251.8 780.6 819.5 618.3 1,040.3 1,214.8 824.0 −105.8 7,011.0 Decentralisation and support to subnational government 904.5 107.9 176.1 206.7 331.2 852.8 880.6 466.8 1,417.0 432.5 821.3 6,597.3 Disaster prevention and preparedness 66.9 2.7 260.0 9.0 417.2 609.5 852.9 373.5 1,267.8 1,759.7 114.2 5,733.5 Sanitation - large systems 441.9 679.7 521.6 422.0 613.1 1,209.4 268.0 55.4 890.6 900.8 93.9 6,096.3 Water supply - large systems 646.5 438.1 298.3 486.5 845.1 640.2 469.0 250.5 1,332.4 609.9 224.7 6,241.3 Health policy and administrative management 661.3 54.8 285.8 673.8 1,581.4 799.3 251.5 426.3 154.8 368.1 496.0 5,753.1 Other 13,162.7 6,588.3 8,707.1 11,425.7 17,099.5 11,096.6 16,873.4 13,967.1 20,057.6 21,096.5 3,070.3 140,074.5 Total 24,602.6 13,069.4 17,712.6 27,152.6 33,975.6 26,314.8 34,248.6 27,593.9 43,748.8 41,905.2 7,624.5 297,948.5 Open Knowledge Repository

The World Bank hosts the Open Knowledge Repository (OKR)[55] as an official open access repository for its research outputs and knowledge products.
The World Bank's repository is listed in the Registry of Research Data Repositories[56]

Criticisms & Controversy

The World Bank has long been criticized by non-governmental organizations, such as the indigenous rights group Survival International, and academics, including its former Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz, Henry Hazlitt and Ludwig Von Mises.[57][58][59] Henry Hazlitt argued that the World Bank along with the monetary system it was designed within would promote world inflation and "a world in which international trade is State-dominated" when they were being advocated.[60] Stiglitz argued that the so-called free market reform policies that the Bank advocates are often harmful to economic development if implemented badly, too quickly ("shock therapy"), in the wrong sequence or in weak, uncompetitive economies.[58][61] Similarly, Carmine Guerriero notices that these reforms have introduced in developing countries regulatory institutions typical of the common law legal tradition because allegedly more efficient according to the legal origins theory. The latter however has been fiercely criticized since it does not take into account that the legal institutions transplanted during the European colonization have been then reformed.[62] This issue makes the legal origins theory's inference unreliable and the World Bank reforms detrimental.[63]

One of the strongest criticisms of the World Bank has been the way in which it is governed. While the World Bank represents 188 countries, it is run by a small number of economically powerful countries. These countries (which also provide most of the institution's funding) choose the leadership and senior management of the World Bank, and their interests dominate the bank.[64]:190 Titus Alexander argues that the unequal voting power of western countries and the World Bank's role in developing countries makes it similar to the South African Development Bank under apartheid, and therefore a pillar of global apartheid.[65]:133–141

In the 1990s, the World Bank and the IMF forged the Washington Consensus, policies that included deregulation and liberalization of markets, privatization and the downscaling of government. Though the Washington Consensus was conceived as a policy that would best promote development, it was criticized for ignoring equity, employment and how reforms like privatization were carried out. Joseph Stiglitz argued that the Washington Consensus placed too much emphasis on the growth of GDP, and not enough on the permanence of growth or on whether growth contributed to better living standards.[59]:17

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations report criticized the World Bank and other international financial institutions for focusing too much "on issuing loans rather than on achieving concrete development results within a finite period of time" and called on the institution to "strengthen anti-corruption efforts".[66]

James Ferguson has argued that the main effect of many development projects carried out by the World Bank and similar organizations is not the alleviation of poverty. Instead the projects often serve to expand the exercise of bureaucratic state power. Through his case-studies of development projects in Thaba-Tseka he shows that the World Bank's characterization of the economic conditions in Lesotho was flawed, and the Bank ignored the political and cultural character of the state in crafting their projects. As a result, the projects failed to help the poor, but succeeded in expanding the government bureaucracy.[67]

Criticism of the World Bank and other organizations often takes the form of protesting as seen in recent events such as the World Bank Oslo 2002 Protests,[68] the October Rebellion,[69] and the Battle of Seattle.[70] Such demonstrations have occurred all over the world, even among the Brazilian Kayapo people.[71]

Another source of criticism has been the tradition of having an American head the bank, implemented because the United States provides the majority of World Bank funding. "When economists from the World Bank visit poor countries to dispense cash and advice", observed The Economist in 2012, "they routinely tell governments to reject cronyism and fill each important job with the best candidate available. It is good advice. The World Bank should take it."[72] Jim Yong Kim, a Korean-American, is the most recently appointed president of the World Bank.[73]

Structural adjustment

The effect of structural adjustment policies on poor countries has been one of the most significant criticisms of the World Bank.[74] The 1979 energy crisis plunged many countries into economic crisis.[75]:68 The World Bank responded with structural adjustment loans, which distributed aid to struggling countries while enforcing policy changes in order to reduce inflation and fiscal imbalance. Some of these policies included encouraging production, investment and labour-intensive manufacturing, changing real exchange rates and altering the distribution of government resources. Structural adjustment policies were most effective in countries with an institutional framework that allowed these policies to be implemented easily. For some countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, economic growth regressed and inflation worsened. The alleviation of poverty was not a goal of structural adjustment loans, and the circumstances of the poor often worsened, due to a reduction in social spending and an increase in the price of food, as subsidies were lifted.[75]:69

By the late 1980s, international organizations began to admit that structural adjustment policies were worsening life for the world's poor. The World Bank changed structural adjustment loans, allowing for social spending to be maintained, and encouraging a slower change to policies such as transfer of subsidies and price rises.[75]:70 In 1999, the World Bank and the IMF introduced the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach to replace structural adjustment loans.[76]:147 The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper approach has been interpreted as an extension of structural adjustment policies as it continues to reinforce and legitimize global inequities. Neither approach has addressed the inherent flaws within the global economy that contribute to economic and social inequities within developing countries.[76]:152

Fairness of assistance conditions

Some critics,[77] most prominently the author Naomi Klein, are of the opinion that the World Bank Group's loans and aid have unfair conditions attached to them that reflect the interests, financial power and political doctrines (notably the Washington Consensus) of the Bank and, by extension, the countries that are most influential within it. Among other allegations, Klein says the Group's credibility was damaged "when it forced school fees on students in Ghana in exchange for a loan; when it demanded that Tanzania privatise its water system; when it made telecom privatisation a condition of aid for Hurricane Mitch; when it demanded labour 'flexibility' in Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the Asian tsunami; when it pushed for eliminating food subsidies in post-invasion Iraq".[78]

Sovereign immunity

The World Bank requires sovereign immunity from countries it deals with.[79][80][81] Sovereign immunity waives a holder from all legal liability for their actions. It is proposed that this immunity from responsibility is a "shield which The World Bank wants to resort to, for escaping accountability and security by the people."[79] As the United States has veto power, it can prevent the World Bank from taking action against its interests.[79]

PricewaterhouseCoopers (1998)

World Bank favored PricewaterhouseCoopers as a consultant in a bid for privatizing the water distribution in Delhi, India[82]

See also
  • Banks portal
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  • All pages with a title containing World Bank
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Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers
Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank: Sixty Questions, Sixty Answers
Mainstream economists tell us that developing countries will replicate the economic achievements of the rich countries if they implement the correct “free-market”policies. But scholars and activists Toussaint and Millet demonstrate that this is patently false. Drawing on a wealth of detailed evidence, they explain how developed economies have systematically and deliberately exploited the less-developed economies by forcing them into unequal trade and political relationships. Integral to this arrangement are the international economic institutions ostensibly created to safeguard the stability of the global economy—the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank—and the imposition of massive foreign debt on poor countries. The authors explain in simple language, and ample use of graphics, the multiple contours of this exploitative system, its history, and how it continues to function in the present day.Ultimately, Toussaint and Millet advocate cancellation of all foreign debt for developing countries and provide arguments from a number of perspectives—legal, economic, moral. Presented in an accessible and easily-referenced question and answer format, Debt, the IMF, and the World Bank is an essential tool for the global justice movement.

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Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World
Tower of Basel: The Shadowy History of the Secret Bank that Runs the World
Tower of Basel is the first investigative history of the world's most secretive global financial institution. Based on extensive archival research in Switzerland, Britain, and the United States, and in-depth interviews with key decision-makers—including Paul Volcker, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve; Sir Mervyn King, governor of the Bank of England; and former senior Bank for International Settlements managers and officials—Tower of Basel tells the inside story of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS): the central bankers' own bank.Created by the governors of the Bank of England and the Reichsbank in 1930, and protected by an international treaty, the BIS and its assets are legally beyond the reach of any government or jurisdiction. The bank is untouchable. Swiss authorities have no jurisdiction over the bank or its premises. The BIS has just 140 customers but made tax-free profits of 1.17 billion in 2011–2012.Since its creation, the bank has been at the heart of global events but has often gone unnoticed. Under Thomas McKittrick, the bank's American president from 1940–1946, the BIS was open for business throughout the Second World War. The BIS accepted looted Nazi gold, conducted foreign exchange deals for the Reichsbank, and was used by both the Allies and the Axis powers as a secret contact point to keep the channels of international finance open.After 1945 the BIS—still behind the scenes—for decades provided the necessary technical and administrative support for the trans-European currency project, from the first attempts to harmonize exchange rates in the late 1940s to the launch of the Euro in 2002. It now stands at the center of efforts to build a new global financial and regulatory architecture, once again proving that it has the power to shape the financial rules of our world. Yet despite its pivotal role in the financial and political history of the last century and during the economic current crisis, the BIS has remained largely unknown—until now.

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The World Bank: From Reconstruction to Development to Equity
The World Bank: From Reconstruction to Development to Equity
The World Bank is one of the most important and least understood major international institutions. This book provides a concise, accessible and comprehensive overview of the World Bank's history, development, structure, functionality and activities. These themes are illustrated with a wide variety of case studies drawn from the Bank's international activities. Also discussed are the controversial challenges that the Bank now faces in the light of the criticism from campaigners and NGOs.

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Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World
Collusion: How Central Bankers Rigged the World
In this searing exposé, former Wall Street insider Nomi Prins shows how the 2007-2008 financial crisis turbo-boosted the influence of central bankers and triggered a massive shift in the world order.Central banks and international institutions like the IMF have overstepped their traditional mandates by directing the flow of epic sums of fabricated money without any checks or balances. Meanwhile, the open door between private and central banking has ensured endless opportunities for market manipulation and asset bubbles--with government support.Through on-the-ground reporting, Prins reveals how five regions and their central banks reshaped economics and geopolitics. She discloses how Mexico navigated its relationship with the US while striving for independence and how Brazil led the BRICS countries to challenge the US dollar's hegemony. She explains how China's retaliation against the Fed's supremacy is aiding its ongoing ascent as a global superpower and how Japan is negotiating the power shift from the West to the East. And she illustrates how the European response to the financial crisis fueled instability that manifests itself in everything from rising populism to the shocking Brexit vote.Packed with tantalizing details about the elite players orchestrating the world economy--from Janet Yellen and Mario Draghi to Ben Bernanke and Christine Lagarde--Collusion takes the reader inside the most discreet conversations at exclusive retreats like Jackson Hole and Davos. A work of meticulous reporting and bracing analysis, Collusion will change the way we understand the new world of international finance.

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A Guide to the World Bank
A Guide to the World Bank
“A wonderful resource …”-- CHOICE MAGAZINE“An exceptional book …”-- GLOBAL BUSINESS AND ECONOMICS REVIEWThe World Bank Group is one of the world’s largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. Its mission is to overcome poverty by supporting an inclusive and sustainable development, enhancing growth with care for the environment, and creating individual opportunity and hope. Through its five institutions and in partnership with more than 100 developing countries, the Bank Group strives to improve health and education, fight corruption, boost agricultural support, build roads and ports, and protect the environment. Other projects are aimed at rebuilding war-torn countries or regions, providing basic services such as access to clean water, and encouraging investments that create jobs. In addition to this critical groundwork around the world, various parts of the World Bank Group are involved in activities ranging from conducting economic research and analysis to providing financial and advisory services to governments and private enterprises. This new, updated third edition of A Guide to the World Bank provides readers with an accessible and comprehensive overview of the Bank Group’s history, organization, mission, and work. It highlights the numerous activities and organizational challenges faced by the institution, and explains how the Bank Group is reforming itself to meet the needs of a multipolar, post financial crisis world. The book then chronicles the Bank Group’s work in such areas as climate change, infrastructure, financial and food crises, rural and urban development, remittances and migration, and debt relief. For those wishing to delve further into areas of particular interest, the book guides readers to sources containing more detailed information, including publications, Web sites, electronic products, and even mobile phone applications. NEW! For the first time, this Guide is published with a companion World Bank at a Glance app, which offers readers a wealth of information about the Bank Group at one’s fingertips while also keeping readers up to date on Bank Group activities.

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World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work
World Development Report 2019: The Changing Nature of Work
The 2019 World Development Report will study how the nature of work is changing as a result of advances in technology today.

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Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO, Second Edition
Unholy Trinity: The IMF, World Bank and WTO, Second Edition
Who really runs the global economy? The triad of "governance institutions"--The IMF, the World Bank and the WTO. Globalization hugely increased these undemocratic institutions’ power, drastically affecting the livelihoods of peoples across the world with their particular kind of neoliberal capitalism. Their 'Washington Consensus' proposed that poverty was to be ended by increasing inequality. This new edition of Unholy Trinity is completely updated and revised. It argues neoliberal global capitalism has produced an unstable global economy, rife with speculation and structurally prone to crises.  Indeed the crisis is now so severe that governance will become impossible. The IMF is in disgrace, the WTO can hardly meet and the World Bank survives as a global philanthropist. Is this the end for the Unholy Trinity?

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Beyond the World Bank Agenda: An Institutional Approach to Development
Beyond the World Bank Agenda: An Institutional Approach to Development
Despite massive investment of money and research aimed at ameliorating third-world poverty, the development strategies of the international financial institutions over the past few decades have been a profound failure. Under the tutelage of the World Bank, developing countries have experienced lower growth and rising inequality compared to previous periods. In Beyond the World Bank Agenda, Howard Stein argues that the controversial institution is plagued by a myopic, neoclassical mindset that wrongly focuses on individual rationality and downplays the social and political contexts that can either facilitate or impede development.            Drawing on the examples of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and transitional European economies, this revolutionary volume proposes an alternative vision of institutional development with chapter-length applications to finance, state formation, and health care to provide a holistic, contextualized solution to the problems of developing nations. Beyond the World Bank Agenda will be essential reading for anyone concerned with forging a new strategy for sustainable development.      

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World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education's Promise
World Development Report 2018: Learning to Realize Education's Promise
Every year, the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) features a topic of central importance to global development. The 2018 WDR―LEARNING to Realize Education’s Promise―is the first ever devoted entirely to education. And the time is right: education has long been critical to human welfare, but it is even more so in a time of rapid economic and social change. The best way to equip children and youth for the future is to make their learning the center of all efforts to promote education.The 2018 WDR explores four main themes:First, education’s promise: education is a powerful instrument for eradicating poverty and promoting shared prosperity, but fulfilling its potential requires better policies―both within and outside the education system.Second, the need to shine a light on learning: despite gains in access to education, recent learning assessments reveal that many young people around the world, especially those who are poor or marginalized, are leaving school unequipped with even the foundational skills they need for life. At the same time, internationally comparable learning assessments show that skills in many middle-income countries lag far behind what those countries aspire to. And too often these shortcomings are hidden―so as a first step to tackling this learning crisis, it is essential to shine a light on it by assessing student learning better.Third, how to make schools work for all learners: research on areas such as brain science, pedagogical innovations, and school management has identified interventions that promote learning by ensuring that learners are prepared, teachers are both skilled and motivated, and other inputs support the teacher-learner relationship.Fourth, how to make systems work for learning: achieving learning throughout an education system requires more than just scaling up effective interventions. Countries must also overcome technical and political barriers by deploying salient metrics for mobilizing actors and tracking progress, building coalitions for learning, and taking an adaptive approach to reform.

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Spinning World Globe Blue Coin Bank
Spinning World Globe Blue Coin Bank
Globe Spin Around Coin Bank

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