The World Bank has appointed two top officials to lead the creation of its “global practices,” the areas of technical expertise that are a pillar of the bank’s new strategy and organizational reforms.
The vice presidents for global practices are Keith Hansen and Nena Stoiljkovic, and both assumed their new positions last week, according to an announcement to staff by President Jim Kim.
Hansen was previously acting vice president for the human development network at the bank, while Soiljkovic has served as vice president of business advisory services at the International Finance Corp., the institution’s private sector lending arm, of which she will continue to be part of the senior management team.
The new vice presidents will oversee all global practices and cross-cutting areas except global warming, which will be managed by Rachel Kyte, current vice president for sustainable development. Kyte was appointed by Kim as new group vice president and special envoy for climate change effective Jan. 1.
In a jointly authored e-mail sent to bank staff on Monday obtained by Devex, Hansen and Soiljkovic said their joint appointment would bolster the bank’s aim of more closely aligning the interrelated organizations that make up the World Bank Group, especially the relationship between the World Bank and the IFC.
“To that end, for this first year the two of us will share all leadership responsibilities, rather than dividing them by practice, region, or function,” they wrote.
The IFC and World Bank have overlapping areas of technical expertise and staffs that will need to be integrated into the new global practices. The design and staffing of the global practices has been the subject of much speculation, as the re-organization is taking place in the context of a proposed $400 million budget cut announced during the annual meetings in October.
The actual structure of the global practices, which are meant to foster knowledge sharing between countries, regions and institutions,model is still unclear, but the vice presidents said in their message that “most staff will continue working primarily on specific countries.”
“But we will enable task teams to draw from the entire practice for the skills they need to meet client demands by making time available from nearly everyone, and large amounts of time from staff with unique expertise,” they wrote. “This will also help us unlock the vast expertise of our country office staff, whose knowledge rarely crosses borders.”
The global practices will be “open for business” by July, the email said, and the next step would be an announcement for the recruitment of global practices senior directors.
Those senior-level positions will likely be filled by February or March, Sanjay Pradhan, vice president in charge of internal reform, noted in a recent speech to former bank employees.
Pradhan also alluded to other staffing changes at the bank related to the global practices, notably that each of the missions around the world would be staffed with a program leader, a new position at the institution. This post would be “like a mini-country director,” tasked with sourcing solutions from the global practices, a “subtle but important switch” that would create a “purchaser-provider split” at the missions.
How those positions will align with the current sector leaders at the bank remains to be seen.
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