World Bank leaders are gearing up for a daunting task: cutting the number of staff especially at the multilateral institution’s cushy Washington headquarters without prompting popular dissent.
Rumors have been flying about impending job cuts since last fall, when senior management announced the goal of slashing $400 million from the bank’s operating budget as a part of President Jim Kim’s ambitious reform plans. But until recently, they were just that — rumors.
Since March, all new hires must be approved at vice president level and external candidates require confirmation by the chief financial officer and chief operating officer, two of the most senior posts at the Washington, D.C.-based institution — not just by managers in the different units as was the norm until then — a move meant to rein in hiring, as Devex reported at the time.
Last week, agency leaders informed staff that further savings would result from changes to corporate procurement and the engagement of external consultants as well as a reduction of the bank’s “footprint” in Washington.