During the at Annual Meetings Plenary of the World Bank yesterday, its President Jim Yong Kim gave a speech announcing several changes “to align the staff, finances, and priorities of the global institution to meet the twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the bottom 40 percent of the population in developing countries.”
Kim pointed to the need to become a more open and agile institution focused on sharing data and knowledge, preventing stovepipes: “A development institution can’t operate effectively when its clients are confused, and when its most prized possession – knowledge – is walled off into disjointed, non-communicating silos. A development institution, like a business, needs to find innovative solutions, capture best practices, and share lessons of success and failure widely and as quickly as possible. This is my promise: The World Bank Group will openly share our knowledge and experience with all 188 member countries, the private sector, and civil society.”
He also embraced more evidence based delivery and policy making using data collection, visualization and sharing: “We will also measure more effectively whether our programs are successful. This means getting delivery right – what we’ve been calling the science of delivery, which is fundamentally a much more rigorous and systematic focus on outcomes. To help us get these results, I am creating a Presidential Delivery Unit, which, as far as I know, is the first of its kind in a multi-lateral organization. Initially, we’ll be looking at several aspects of our work that are good indicators of how we’re performing in the field and inside our organization. I’ll be personally following all of them. Here are three examples:
….we must become a better listener. Last year, we had beneficiary feedback on 34 percent of our projects. We promise that for our projects with clear beneficiaries, we will get feedback – from every single one of them, 100 percent.
Third, we know that our partners and clients need to know where we work in order to better coordinate all of our collective resources. We promise to add rich detail to our maps so that anyone will be able to go online, click on the maps, and immediately learn where we are working and what we are doing.”