Across the globe citizens are demanding accountability and transparency from their governments. And access to information and technology through mobile phones and social media are multiplying opportunities for citizens to provide feedback—transforming the way we do development. This fast changing global environment is forcing the development community to adapt—to do development differently. It’s no longer only about finance. It’s about transparency in government, access to the latest global knowledge, and using innovative ways to solve development challenges.
The World Bank Institute (WBI) supports the World Bank’s operational work and its country clients in this rapidly changing landscape by forging new dynamic approaches to capacity development. WBI offers three areas of support to its developing-country clients:
- Open Knowledge: connecting them to global knowledge and learning on the “how” of reform,
- Collaborative Governance: helping them to mobilize for collective action, and
- Innovative Solutions: scanning and incubating innovations to tackle key development challenges.
WBI connects stakeholders and development practitioners to global knowledge and learning—knowledge that is a source of inspiration and practical know-how, and that fosters ownership and galvanizes action. Our approach to Open Knowledge takes two forms, Structured Learning and Knowledge Exchange:
- Structured Learning: In fields where content is mature, WBI codifies global knowledge into training programs to help its clients master tested development know-how. In July 2011, WBI launched the Bank’s new virtual e-learning platform, the e-Institute.
- Knowledge Exchange (KE): WBI supports peer-to-peer learning and helps broker knowledge exchanges among developing countries. WBI also encourages World Bank country teams to incorporate knowledge exchanges in country programs, and is promoting the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) as a worldwide KE implementation platform.
Today, the World Bank can no longer work primarily with government officials alone. Successful development requires building multi-stakeholder coalitions. Collective solutions require effective and inclusive leadership as well as new forms of collaboration: for example, public-private partnerships for the provision of infrastructure, health, or education; citizen report cards to improve public service delivery; or mayors and civil society working together for climate change mitigation in urban centers.
WBI offers four Collaborative Governance business lines:
- Open Government and Open Aid.
- Capacity Building for Nongovernmental Actors.
- Citizen Engagement through ICT.
- Multistakeholder Collaborative Action.
Leveraging innovative technologies, WBI is developing tools, methods, and online platforms to facilitate an open and collaborative development process among governments, citizens, and other stakeholders. It does this in these key areas:
Focusing on Results
In recent years, WBI has invested heavily in assessing results. WBI developed the Capacity Development Results Framework (CDRF) to shape and monitor its approach to capacity development. The CDRF articulates a clear change strategy and a results chain that links strategic development objectives, capacity results, and intermediate results. In Liberia, the Government has used this framework to better articulate the results of its medium-term development strategy and achieve a stronger focus on capacity-building.
WBI applies its new approach in seven thematic areas: Climate Change, Fragile and Conflict-Affected States, Governance, Growth and Competitiveness, Health Systems, Public-Private Partnerships and Urban.
Sanjay Pradhan is the Vice President of the World Bank Institute.