World Bank Group

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The World Bank Group is one of the United Nations' Specialised Agencies. It is comprised of 5 organisations. The first two, IBRD and IDA, together comprise the World Bank.

  1. IBRD: § International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  2. IDA: § International Development Association
  3. IFC: § International Finance Corporation
  4. MIGA: § Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
  5. ICSID: § International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes

Note: MIGA and ICSID are not specialised agencies in accordance with Articles 57 and 63 of the Charter, but are part of the World Bank Group.ref

World Bank

The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to countries around the world for capital projects,ref and is a component of the World Bank Group. It comprises 2 institutions:

  1. IBRD: § International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  2. IDA: § International Development Association

IBRD and IDA together form the World Bank, which provides financing, policy advice, and technical assistance to govts of developing countries. IDA focuses on the world’s poorest countries, while IBRD assists middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries. World BankWikipedia-W.svg

Organisational Structure

The World Bank is like a cooperative, made up of 189 member countries. These member countries, or shareholders, are represented by a Board of Governors, who are the World Bank's ultimate policymakers.ref The governors are usually member countries' Ministers of Finance or Ministers of Development. They meet once a year at the Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund.

Development Research Group

The Development Research Group is the World Bank's principal research department. With its cross-cutting expertise on a broad range of topics and countries, the department is one of the most influential centers of development research in the world. link
Development Impact Evaluation
DIME, within the Development Research Group, evaluates the impact of select World Bank projects and those of other MDBs to help transform development policy, reduce extreme poverty and secure shared prosperity. ref
  • Jan.24.2018: World Bank chief economist stepping down. Outspoken chief economist Paul RomerWikipedia-W.svg is leaving the World Bank after just 15 months. Mr Romer had been engaged in a running battle almost since his arrival in Oct.2016. Those battles have included everything from the way the bank’s reports are written and Mr Romer’s rigid approach to grammar, to serious questions about methodology. He also angered many staff with what some inside the bank saw as his abrasive nature and within a year had been stripped of his managerial responsibilities. Shawn Donnan, Financial Times.

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development


Trustee for CGIAR ref

International Development Association


    2018: Very Good 86%   2016: Very Good   2014: Very Good   2013: Good 

International Finance Corporation

ToDo: IFC, About

The IFC is the private equity and venture capital arm of the World Bank Group. The IFC provides loans to private sector companies from its own resources, thus becoming a shareholder in the ventures.     2018: Fair 52%   2016: Poor   2014: Poor   2013: Poor 

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

ToDo: MIGA, Who, History, AQ

MIGA's mission is to promote Foreign Direct Investment into developing countries to help support economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve people's lives.

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes

ICSID is devoted to international investment dispute settlement. It has administered the majority of all international investment cases. States have agreed on ICSID as a forum for Investor-State dispute settlement in most international investment treaties and in numerous investment laws and contracts.

ICSID was established in 1966 by the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of other states under the ICSID Convention. The ICSID Convention is a multilateral treaty formulated by the Executive Directors of the World Bank to further the Bank’s objective of promoting international investment. Its availability to investors and States helps to promote international investment by providing confidence in the dispute resolution process. It is also available for state-state disputes under investment treaties and free trade agreements, and as an administrative registry.


Independent Evaluation Group

ToDo: About, Org.chart

IEG evaluates the development effectiveness of the World Bank Group. Its work provides evaluative evidence to help the World Bank Group deliver better services and results to its clients. IEG is independent of the Management of the World Bank Group and reports directly to the Executive Board.

Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative

The Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) is a partnership between the World Bank Group and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that supports international efforts to end safe havens for corrupt funds. StAR works with developing countries and financial centers to prevent the laundering of the proceeds of corruption and to facilitate more systematic and timely return of stolen assets.ref


  • Feb.27.2020: Anger over World Bank's $55m pledge to Guyana's fossil fuel industry. Campaigners say move is ‘blatant contradiction’ of lender’s climate commitments. It will also provide $35m to revamp the banking and insurance sectors in the country, in anticipation of the influx of billions of dollars of oil money from new oilfields. Jasper Jolly, The Guardian.
  • Apr.16.2019: World Bank dispossessing rural poor. The World Bank’s "Enabling the Business of Agriculture" project, launched in 2013, has sought agricultural reforms favouring the corporate sector. The effort is strongly supported by the US and UK govts as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, all strong proponents of corporate agriculture. The EBA advocates reforms in favour of Agribusiness. Eg: govts should weaken regulations over seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and strengthen foreign agribusiness power and influence. Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Anis Chowdhury,
  • Feb.14.2019: Trump's unseemly haste shows World Bank must no longer be in thrall to USA. The race to head the World Bank opened with the US candidate already known. The formal nomination process, which did not begin until the following day, is based on selection principles agreed in 2011 that put the emphasis on an “open, merit-based and transparent” appointment. It is high time those principles were put in practice. Since the World Bank’s creation in 1944, the presidency has always gone to an American man. Yet the bank is one the largest lender-donors to developing countries, doling out $4.6bn in 2017-18 alone. There is a clear need for reform. Lucy Lamble, The Guardian.
  • Jul.26.2018: US Supreme Court to hear case challenging IFC’s claim to absolute immunity. The US Supreme Court agreed in May to hear the Jam versus IFC case and to decide on whether the #International Finance Corporation should enjoy immunity in cases in which its actions resulted in harm. US NGO EarthRights International noted that the lawsuit filed by a group of Indian fishermen harmed by the IFC-funded Tata Mundra coal-fired power plant, is a landmark case, since the Supreme Court has never before addressed the question of “whether international organisations [like the IFC] can be sued – or whether, as the IFC claims, they are entitled to special immunity from suit in US courts”. The IFC claims it has ‘absolute immunity’ under the International Organizations Immunities ActWikipedia-W.svg (1945), which grants international organisations "the same immunity from suit and every form of judicial process as is enjoyed by foreign governments". (see Observer Spring 2018). Bretton Woods Project.
  • Apr.13.2018: Immunity and Accountability: What You Won’t Hear About at the Bank’s Spring Meetings Next Week. ... the accountability gap is more relevant than ever: in May, the US Supreme Court will consider a petition from communities suing the #International Finance Corporation, the Bank’s private lending arm, and challenging the IFC’s claim that it is entitled to "absolute" immunity from legal liability and cannot be sued. Since we’re guessing the Bank and the IFC aren’t going to want to talk about its accountability problem next week or the lawsuit trying to fix it, here’s a quick overview of the case, some of the arguments the IFC has made, and a look at what’s at stake and why allowing suits like this one is ultimately in the IFC’s institutional interest. The IFC has not denied any of the harms alleged by the Plaintiffs. Instead, the IFC has argued it simply cannot be sued in US courts, no matter how much harm it causes or how illegal its conduct, because it is entitled to “absolute immunity” from suit. In June, although recognizing the “dismal” conditions, a 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that previous decisions of the court required it to find the IFC was entitled to complete immunity from suit. But one of the judges separately criticized immunity, saying those prior decisions were “wrongly decided.” Other courts have similarly disagreed with the DC Circuit, finding international organisations like the IFC are not entitled to such sweeping immunity. The IFC’s stated “mission is to fight poverty,” while doing “no harm” to people or the environment. IFC’s claimed immunity is fundamentally at odds with its anti-poverty mission. Michelle Harrison, EarthRights International.
  • Jan.30.2017: World Bank accused of financing fossil fuel development. A new report says the World Bank's Development Policy Financing programs continue to subsidize builders of coal, oil and gas projects - going directly against its own proclaimed low-carbon and pro-climate policies. "The World Bank has pledged to help countries adopt a low-carbon development path, specifically by phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and promoting a carbon tax. However, the bank's lending policy does the opposite, by introducing tax breaks for coal power plants and coal export infrastructure,” said Nezir Sinani, Europe and Central Asia Manager at the Bank Information Center, a Washington-based watchdog. The World Bank has disputed the report's findings. Nils Zimmermann, Deutsche Welle.
  • Sept.2006: Globeleq: The Alternative Report (just for understanding): In this respect the UK govt's CDC is the UK equivalent of the World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, which has been widely criticised for extending the reach of the private sector into public services in developing countries. War on Want.
  • Spring 2001: What role for the World Bank in Africa’s rainforests? The Bank has acknowledged that its record on development in rainforest regions has not been good. During the 1980s and 90s, millions of acres of forest in Brazil and Indonesia were destroyed through Bankfunded settlement and infrastructure schemes. With its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank has promoted the expansion of logging industries and timber exports worldwide. Rainforest Foundation. Original archived

ToDo: What, About, Org. chart, IBRD Leadership, Projects, Bretton Woods Project, Counter Balance, Global Agriculture and Food Security Program. DDG, World Bank § World Bank GroupWikipedia-W.svg. Check out the juicy stuff the Bank Information Center has on the World Bank and its arms.