What is the World Bank: "The World Bank is not a 'bank' in the common
sense. It is one of the United Nations’ specialized agencies, and is made up of
184 member countries. These countries are jointly responsible for how the
institution is financed and how its money is spent. Along with the rest of the
development community, the World Bank centers its efforts on the reaching
the Millennium Development Goals, agreed to by UN
members in 2000 and aimed at sustainable poverty reduction."
The world Bank & United Nations:
"Cooperation between the Bank and the UN has been in place since the founding of the two organizations (1944 and 1945) and focuses on
economic and social areas of mutual concern such as reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and investing in people. In addition to a shared agenda, the Bank and the UN have almost the same membership. Only a handful of UN member countries, including Cuba and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, are not Bank members.
"At the operational level, the Bank, a specialized UN agency, works with the United Nations Development Programme and other UN Funds and Programs in its project work through policy coordination, project implementation, cofinancing and aid coordination. For example, the Bank is one of six co-sponsors of the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS) and one of the world's biggest contributors to the fight against HIV/AIDS."
The World Bank Group
(Howard University, Washington, D.C., 10-31-01):
"...the World Bank has worked with the United Nations and others in places like Bosnia, East Timor and Sierra Leone to help post-conflict societies repair the fabric of trust, mutual respect and
social capital necessary for lives of peace.
Far too many times in the past, nations have tried reconstruction while ignoring reconciliation. Far too many times, nations have tried to rebuild cities while ignoring civil society. We now recognize that we can and should do better.
"That is why we are investing in hearing the voices of poor and powerless people, alleviating the grief, and empowering the communities that feel defeated, dispossessed and victimized. True tolerance and peace... should be given every chance to thrive.
World Bank has worked to enlarge the group of stakeholders who participate in
our plans and projects. ...Whether that means working with governments on
health, education and HIV/AIDS; or working with the private sector on
manufacturing, infrastructure and information technology; or
working with civil society on tolerance, participation and social capital; we recognize that the way in which we pursue our mission is as important as our results. We cannot hope to be moral, tolerant and humane in performance, if we do not uphold these values in policy and practice.
This is the "challenge of inclusion." And it requires a personal commitment
on the part of each and every one of us. It is very easy to draw lines that exclude and divide people. It is very hard to draw lines that embrace and encompass people. That is our challenge - to keep our hearts open, to keep our minds open, and to offer our hand in a meaningful way."
Launching the Reconstruction of Afghanistan:
"If ever a country deserved sustained large-scale support from the international community, it is Afghanistan. Two decades of conflict, aggravated by the recent three-year drought, have brought famine, destruction and despair upon a country which was already one of the poorest in the world. ...decades of conflict have eroded Afghanistan's governance structures - the state, economic management institutions, public service delivery - and
eroded social capital - the glue that holds society together - above the extended family and village level."
Trip to Pakistan:
"The Northern Areas and Chitral, with
high level of social capital, absence of feudalism and relatively better
human development indicators are areas where the local government could fare much better as a large number of elected councilors come from community organizations."
Towards a New Paradigm for Development: Strategies, Policies, and Processes
(by Joseph Stiglitz,
Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, The World Bank Group,
Geneva, Switzerland, 10-19-1998):
"Development represents a transformation of society, a movement
from traditional relations, traditional ways of thinking, traditional
ways of dealing with health and education, traditional methods of
production, to more "modern" ways.... Key to these changes is the movement
to "scientific" ways of thinking, identifying critical variables that affect outcomes, attempting to
make inferences based
on available data, recognizing what we know and what we do not know....
"Given this definition of development, it is clear that
a development strategy must be aimed at facilitating the transformation
of society, in identifying the barriers as well as potential
catalysts for change. [force field]
These notes outline some of the ingredients of such a New Development
Strategy. It is organized around three themes.....
"Transforming whole societies. To be effective, this attempt to
serve as catalyst will need to embrace the ambitious goal of encouraging
society-wide transformation. Earlier, we noted that all too often,
development efforts succeeded in transferring technology without
"...key ingredients in a successful development strategy are
participation. We have seen again and again that ownership is
essential for successful transformation: policies that are imposed from
outside may be grudgingly accepted on a superficial basis, but will
rarely be implemented as intended. But to achieve the desired ownership
and transformation, the process that leads to that strategy must be
participatory. Development... must involve and support groups
in civil society; these groups are part of the social capital that
needs to be strengthened....
for participation does not resolve the issue of incentives:
individuals (and groups of individuals or
organizations) need to be motivated to be involved. In particular, it will be difficult to sustain
participation if participants sense that they are not being listened to,
that their views are not taken into account in decision-making. What
is required, then, is participation in a process that constructs
institutional arrangements, including incentives. Institutions,
incentives, participation, and ownership can be viewed as complementary;
none on its own is sufficient. ...
'...communities are often the most
effective vehicle for bringing about the transformation of society.
National governments are simply too remote, and the opportunities for
meaningful participation are too limited. ... Participation at the
community level allows the project choice to reflect the needs and
preferences within the community, and the project design to reflect the
local information, ensuring that local conditions and circumstances
are taken into account. Equally important, local participation engenders
commitment, which is necessary for project sustainability over the long
run. And participation in the project itself becomes part of the
transformation process. There is growing evidence concerning the relationship
between participation and development effectiveness....
knowledge into the development strategy requires creating capacities to
absorb and adapt knowledge... investing in technologies to facilitate the
dissemination of knowledge, and creating knowledge locally, and
absorbing and adopting global knowledge. Thus, a development strategy
needs to outline a strategy of knowledge management. The World
Bank increasingly thinks along these lines, conceiving of itself as a knowledge bank....
"Traditional societies often have a high level of
organizational and social capital, though this capital may not be of a form
that facilitates change. But in the process of development, this
organizational and social capital is often destroyed. ...The problem is that this process of
destruction may occur before new organizational and social capital is
(relatively) easy part of capacity-building is providing the human
capacity, the education, the skills, the knowledge required for
The hard part of capacity-building is the
development of the organizational/social capital....
successful transformation must come from within the country itself, and
to accomplish this, it must have institutions and leadership to
catalyze, absorb, and manage the
process of change, and the changed society....
"In calling for a transformation of societies, I have elided a central
issue: transformation to what kind of society, and for what ends?
Further, some have worried that development will destroy traditional values.
In some cases, there will be a
clash between science and traditional beliefs.... Maintaining social
organization and enhancing social capital are part of the key to successful