Why you should care about World Bank reform

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim. Photo by: John Bompengo/MONUSCO / CC BY-SA

It’s been two years since Jim Kim took the helm of the World Bank, pledging to keep the world’s premier development institution “relevant” in the 21st century. Last year, the bank’s board approved twin goals — the eradication of extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity — which will guide the bank’s work in the years to come. And now the bank is implementing a set of ambitious reforms to achieve those goals.

Whether Jim Kim’s reforms will improve the bank’s ability to address client needs has been hotly debated. But it’s clear that ongoing discussions within the World Bank have never been more relevant to the global development community at large.

Where the World Bank goes, other institutions often follow, whether regional development banks, bilateral agencies or their partners. So whether it’s the bank’s new thinking on the use of client-country procurement systems, the creation of global practices to manage knowledge or a revamp of the bank’s lending model, the impact will be felt by corporate executives, NGO leaders and donor officials around the globe.  

Determined to shape the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, the bank is taking a lead on issues like universal health care, climate financing and the global data revolution for development. The bank’s soon-to-be-created global practices are meant to be centers of thought leadership and practice at the forefront of their respective technical areas, be it water, education or jobs.

With exclusive coverage of the appointment of new senior leadership, hiring changes at the bank, internal debates about management, and the overhaul its procurement guidelines, Devex has been at the center of the conversation about what the future holds for the World Bank’s staff, its partners and its clients.

In the coming weeks, we’ll look at the bank’s efforts to incorporate civil society into its governance work and how it is measuring its own success through the development of a new “corporate scorecard.” And we’re talking to World Bank experts like Tim Evans, the newly appointed senior director for the health global practice, and Rachel Kyte, the bank’s climate change envoy, about their work and how it will affect yours.

So whether you currently do business with it or not, the World Bank matters — precisely because its influence has grown so much more pervasive. And Devex will continue to bring you the exclusive news, analysis and advice that’ll position you and your organization for success.

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About the author

  • Paul stephens 400x400

    Paul Stephens

    Paul Stephens is a Devex staff writer based in Washington, D.C. His coverage focuses on Latin America and World Bank affairs, as well as Washington's global development scene. As a multimedia journalist, editor and producer, Paul has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Washington Monthly, CBS Evening News, GlobalPost and the United Nations magazine, among other outlets. He's won a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting for a 5-month, in-depth reporting project in Yemen after two stints in Georgia - one as a Peace Corps volunteer and another as a communications coordinator for the U.S. Agency for International Development.