The World Bank has entered 2014 with a long list of to-dos after a year full of headline announcements.
Eighteen months into Jim Kim’s term as president of the Washington, D.C.-based institution, staff, shareholders and outside observers are eagerly anticipating the implementation of his ambitious internal reorganization, with some expressing concern that the internal reforms have put the bank’s real work on standby.
“As long as the bank is not organized in a way that gets work done because it’s busy reorganizing, there’s inevitably going to be concern about the bank’s credibility as a partner and its effectiveness,” Paul Cadario, a former senior manager at the World Bank and now a senior fellow in global innovation at the University of Toronto, told Devex. “So the sooner the bank can get the details out as to how this is going to work, and how things are going to change, the better.”
The institution’s new focus on ending extreme poverty — combined with a strategy to reorganize itself into a “solutions bank” and a pledge to slash $400 million from the operational budget — convinced many observers that the reform was going to be more significant than past efforts to shake up the World Bank.