As a knowledge institution, the World Bank has three distinct functions—producing and disseminating high-quality global and country knowledge; working with clients to customize policies and programs to meet specific challenges; and connecting governments, civil society, and private actors with others that have faced similar challenges. Today, we are investing heavily in the “connector” role.
Sharing knowledge and experiences among peers and partners in the global South is a key priority for many developing countries. As developing countries have increasingly become new poles of growth and innovation, they look to and rely more on experiences and tested implementation of peers facing similar challenges.Seeing what works and what doesn’t, can help policy makers and development practitioners quickly understand what is possible and how to make it happen. As such, knowledge sharing leads to more informed decisions, helps build consensus, catalyzes action, and leads to better results.
We have always helped developing countries exchange experiences in an ad-hoc, point-to-point manner by organizing stand-alone South-South Knowledge Exchange activities or by embedding them in lending/non-lending operations. In some cases, country teams have even started to position knowledge exchange as a distinct convening service for clients next to our lending and knowledge services. As the connector role gains importance, the World Bank is scaling up a more systematic approach to facilitating knowledge exchange among client countries.
The World Bank is making good progress in helping developing countries carry out knowledge exchange in a systematic manner by:
- Providing technical assistance to countries on how to design and implement knowledge exchange, as well as on how to become “Knowledge Hubs” by building institutional capacity for knowledge exchange.
- Managing a demand-driven, multi-donor trust fund dedicated to financing just-in-time knowledge exchanges; and
Thus, we are scaling up our comprehensive support services to increase the organization’s quantity and quality of South-South Knowledge Exchange practices globally.