27 March 2012

Africa: Governance and Anti-Corruption Remain Integral to World Bank's Work

press release

Washington — The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors today endorsed the institution's updated governance and anti-corruption strategy and implementation plan as an integral part of the work to improve development effectiveness, reduce poverty and promote economic growth.

Strengthening Governance, Tackling Corruption: the World Bank Group's Updated Strategy and Implementation Plan will focus on increasing and systematizing governance and anti-corruption work in country and sector programs; strengthening country institutions; better measuring results from programs and policies; managing risks; supporting governance in global initiatives; and improving the organization of the Bank's internal resources for governance work.

"Accountable institutions are needed to improve development effectiveness, reduce poverty and promote inclusive economic growth," said Linda Van Gelder, World Bank Director for Public Sector and Governance. "Our updated strategy will help build those institutions for better governance around the world. The Bank's country-driven approach will be supported by global initiatives against anti-corruption and malfeasance."

The update builds on the successes and lessons learned from the 2007 strategy, Strengthening World Bank Group Engagement on Governance and Anticorruption (GAC), in order to meet the challenges presented by fundamental changes that have happened around the world since then. In particular these changes include the financial crisis; greater citizen demands for transparency, accountability and participation --as evidenced by the Arab Spring-- and a more open and transparent World Bank (see factsheet).

In addition to strengthen governance and anti-corruption work in client countries, the updated strategy focuses on better measuring results and the development impact of Bank-funded programs and projects. Further, the Bank is strengthening its management of risk while at the same time applying a zero tolerance policy for fraud and corruption.

The Bank has now debarred 485 firms, individuals, and non-governmental organizations, preventing them from participating in future Bank-financed projects, through its Integrity Vice Presidency (INT), which has ramped up its work in the last few years to reduce the risk of fraud and corruption in projects.

In addition, the Bank has become more open and transparent. It has been actively working on a number of Open Development initiatives like the 'Mapping for Results and Aidflows' website to promote better monitoring of project results, enhance transparency, and strengthen country dialogue and civic engagement. Up to the end of 2011, the Bank had made available to the public 42,000 new documents since the Access to Information Policy became effective in July, 2010.

Strengthening Governance: Tackling Corruption: the World Bank Group's Updated Strategy and Implementation Plan was informed by the feedback received as part of the World Bank country dialogue and online consultations from January 17 to February 19.

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