IFI governance


Investment lending reform

Briefing by World Bank staff

12 October 2010 | Minutes

9 October 2010

Speakers from the World Bank: Paul Bermingham, Stephan Lintner, Fadia Saadah, Geetanjali Chopra


The World Bank team gave a presentation about the investment lending reform, the powerpoint presentation should be online soon, along with other information on the World Bank’s page for the investment lending reform: http://go.worldbank.org/QE64AT0D50.


Korinna Horta – the description makes it sound like you will do less supervision of projects; but this will be very problematic
WB – Supervision is something we want to do more of

Questioner: Risks in infrastructure lending too – can you implement these new systems on infrastructure lending in the future?

WB – depends on the risks; on large infrastructure – risk is on the input side, not after the fact; this new framework is more on social sectors where results are more important than inputs; this is not right instrument for large infrastructure.

  • Yes we can use this on road maintenance, or water connections or something like this
  • We are not going to weaken our standards, this is raising the bar – we won’t disburse until there are results – these results can be safeguard related
  • This is about increasing our impact, getting better safeguard practices

Anne Perault – risk based approach is largely internal process, how will this relate to external environmental and social impact processes?

  • If you go through first screening does it influence later assessments

WB – environment and social screening is done first, it will feed into more comprehensive risk framework assessment

  • Now we can consistently look across the board (financial risks, corruption risks), we are catching up other sectors to social and environmental which were far ahead

Questioner – ideas are sophisticated, but they are not related to on the ground and implementation in developing countries; this is not a practical approach

WB – yes this is conceptual, not yet at the design stage for this

  • Access to info policy has made a lot of progress for making information available; negative list will be reassessed later; we are making progress on translation

Katie (Oxfam) – is this being looked at from an aid effectiveness perspective? Range of options or flexibility for sector or budget support? National pooled funding?

WB – results should be the driver, not instruments; but still we are working on more instruments and flexibility

  • On pooled funding – this should be a menu that we can choose from
  • Huge demand for IL instruments from donors in Europe and partners elsewhere
  • This is informed by Paris Declaration and Accra – aid effectiveness informs how we will put this into practice

Questioner – what kind of benchmarking will be used to measure progress?

WB – benchmarks will be in some programmes, it depends on the type of programme; might be harder in infrastructure projects; and some kinds of reform programmes

  • This system allows better qualitative assessment

Questioner: sub-national access to loans?

WB – this is a legal issue; but General Counsel is looking at issue of “sovereignty” in very early stages to look at whether we can do subnational

Anne Perault – on procedural policies review, it seems like this will not provide clarity

  • Supervision issues are key reason for inspection panel cases

WB – we sit together in a team to consider these issues – financial, corruption, safeguard teams all work together; will put our ideas out for consultation

  • Things have changed since safeguard policies were drafted, we really need to update the framework
  • We will get caught up in a rules-based approach versus a principles based approach debate
  • No dilution in standards will take place! We can have specifics in the principles; we want to avoid rigidity, appropriate flexibility is not dilution
  • We will try to minimise overlap on consultation on policy and instrument to avoid confusion
  • On RBL instrument  – we want to go further on results, raising the bar not lowering the bar; we want to embed programme in wider development to raise the standard of broader efforts – this is not a cost reduction effort, it is to add value