This is E3G’s response to the World Bank Group’s consultation on its Evolution Roadmap. The roadmap outlines how the Bank will review its vision and mission, operating model, and financial capacity and model.
Our response welcomes the World Bank’s proposed updated mission statement. Its explicit acknowledgement that global challenges must be addressed to achieve the Bank’s twin goals of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity is important. However, the proposal does not give a quantifiable end goal or timeline for what it hopes to achieve on the challenges of climate change, pandemic preparedness and fragility / conflict. The Bank must demonstrate its ambition; we anticipate that it would have to deliver finance in the range of $100bn per year to have a meaningful impact on climate change.
The proposed changes to the Bank’s operating model are a good starting point to expand on. We identify several areas that should be prioritised or developed further. Among these is increased concessional lending to incentivise borrowing countries to pursue finance for global public goods.
Any new climate lending must be additional to the Bank’s current commitments. Shareholders need to find a way forward that ensures the development goals of low- and middle-income countries are not traded off against each other. First and foremost, they must explicitly protect baseline IDA lending so low-income countries’ development needs are not superseded by global challenges.
The Word Bank’s reforms are desperately needed to reverse the development backsliding trend of the last several years. The Bank should therefore expect shareholders to formally agree the roadmap by the 2023 Annual Meetings and be prepared for full implementation by 2025. We broadly support the proposed next steps to advance the Bank’s evolution agenda. However, World Bank Group management must be fully bought into deep reform of the institutions from day one.
Over the course of the past year, E3G has worked on several papers related to the World Bank Evolution Roadmap. These papers reflect E3G’s views on the potential for the World Bank to evolve its mission, strategies and operations to become a driving force among the MDBs on climate action. The papers are the result of an ongoing dialogue with the World Bank and its shareholders, as well as collaborations with other civil society organisations such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).
Explore our work here: