IFI governance


World Bank self-image revealed

15 September 1998

This summer the World Bank’s external affairs team commissioned a detailed survey of views about what the Bank does and should do. 700 “opinion-leaders” in 9 key donor countries were asked detailed questions which shed interesting light on how the Bank sees its activities and future options.

Respondents were asked to rank eleven priorities in terms of whether the Bank a) is currently active, b) is currently effective and c) should expand its activities. The areas were:

  1. poverty alleviation;
  2. creating trade and investment opportunities for developed country companies;
  3. strengthening the private sector in developing countries;
  4. maintaining international stability;
  5. encouraging open law-based government systems;
  6. post-conflict reconstruction;
  7. environmental sustainability;
  8. financial crisis management;
  9. helping countries control corruption;
  10. forging partnerships with other organisations to increase the Bank’s aid effectiveness;
  11. promoting global values on issues such as womens’ health, basic education and child labour.

Other questions included whether the world would be better or worse off if the World Bank ceased to exist, how it should divide responsibilities with the IMF and the UN, and on trade-offs between private capital flows, debt relief and aid.

A summary of the findings should soon be released by the Bank’s external relations team.