IFI governance


The Role of the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG)

11 October 2012 | Minutes

Sponsor:  Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) / World Bank Group

This session provided CSOs with the opportunity to have an exchange with IEG’s Director-General and Senior Vice President on the role of the IEG.

Panelists: Caroline Heider(Director-General and Senior Vice President IEG), Chad Dobson (Executive Director Bank Information Center), John Garrison (Senior Civil Society Specialist, WB).

Facilitator: Vivian Jackson (Communications Officer, IEG)


Caroline Heider, head of the IEG

  • We guard our independence and impartiality very carefully
  • We try to hold the Bank accountable to its goals, make sure it hits its targets
  • We are not an advocacy group – need to stay objective and impartial
  • We try to collect info from CSOs/community groups during our evaluations
  • We are also trying to help national/regional evaluation bodies

Chad Dobson, BIC

  • We are an NGO set up to get out information about the Bank out to the public since 1989
  • 5is part of the Bank – different accountability mechansims (at IDA, IEG, CAO, IP, INT) – very important part of the WB, and sign of WB maturity as an organisation
  • IEG is the pre-eminent evaluation institution in the world; but people don’t know about it enough and its outputs are not used enough; especially communities don’t get into back from the IEG
  • Bank has an Open Data initiative which is great; so lets get IEG work more public as well
  • Concerns on the 5is: independence of the IEG in the system is key but must maintain their access to Bank internal information; appointment process of new DG of IEG was problematic; ownership of IEG recommendations needs to be strengthened – especially action plan follow-up; need to keep IEG budget up; need more IEG-CSO engagement in Washington (maybe it needs an advisory or consultative group)

John Garrison, World Bank

  • Division between IEG and staff is important, but staff do admire the IEG
  • Maybe IEG should do research into CSO involvement
  • IEG gets rated well by NGOs and shows best practice
  • IEG reports should be better used


Peter Chowla – can the IEG disclose project level data? Can you do more higher-level reviews that look at the policies?

Sas Thalankia – there is a time lag in IEG review which makes it hard to use the information and recommendation

Robert Namosey – committed staff can leak information, hints to follow – this is helpful; holding WB accountable for policy commitments is a key thing – Voices of the Poor for example – can you do more of this to make sure WB follows through on commitments?

Carline Heider

  • We have on our agenda the poverty reduction results – but haven’t looked at Voices of the Poor initiatives as such; we will think about that.
  • Thematic evaluations do raise the bar on the questions we ask to hit policy questions; we have the possibility to look at this; we do have it on our agenda
  • On time lag – we need to engage management on issues of what needs to improve, ease of this it depends on the evaluation
  • We have posted project ratings on the website – completion reports; but we are not yet to get every piece of information on the website – we are moving in this direction
  • Agree independence should not be isolation, and that appointment process needs to improve
  • Action plan – management action record requires them to give plans  to react to recommendations; 4 year long process with a once a year process to check on implementation
  • We want to do an effectiveness of our evaluations assessment
  • Maybe we need to get more engaged with existing consultative groups at the Bank
  • We are trying to do more synthesis

Vince McElihenny – value of the matrix management evaluation, this has good findings; incentive structure comments are very helpful; it would be better if IEG can expand its remit to do more like this; maybe the WB needs an evaluation policy to clarify its mandate.

Zach Hurwitz – national/regional level MDBs/RDBs/national DBs need things like IEG; how can WB help get this into country system approaches?

Duncan Pruett – who decides evaluation agenda? What happened to the evaluation of land administration programmes?

Caroline Heider

  • Don’t know the reaction when matrix evaluation was getting put on the agenda; we have to be committed to fighting those battles
  • DG evaluation mandate is defined – has strange words, but lets us look at anything that affects the WB development effectiveness; EDs didn’t see an urgent need for a policy
  • PREM/DEC are promoting evaluation capacity nationally; we support them, but need to create a culture of evaluation
  • Work programme has a big process, looking at 2015 so now having poverty reduction on the agenda, we are checking our product mix now as well; land administration is not an active part of our work programme; we are trying to fit things into the work cycle of the Bank.