World Bank Unveils New Scorecard To Measure Accountability

The World Bank Group unveiled a framework on Tuesday for measuring the results of its development work with 22 indicators in what a top official called an important advance in the bank’s push to increase transparency and accountability.

Anna Bjerde, the World Bank’s managing director of operations, said the scorecard would allow its shareholders and the people it serves to better see, measure and track the impact of the bank’s lending and grants.

“A vision and mission are really great, but unless you can translate it into actions and measure it, then it’s quite aspirational, and we also want it to be operational,” Bjerde told Reuters.

The U.S. and other major shareholders have pushed the World Bank to improve how it helps countries address issues such as climate change and pandemic preparedness.

It has already added the phrase “livable planet” to its mission statement and reduced the number of its projects to focus on more programmatic and transformational projects.

The scorecard includes 22 global indicators – down from 150 on a previous instrument – for poverty, prosperity and a livable planet, as well as themes such as gender equality, inclusion of youth, and how people live in fragile, conflict-affected areas.

It will enable a closer look at development outcomes by adopting a more “people-centric” approach, Bjerde said.

For the first time, the work of all World Bank institutions – including the International Finance Corp and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development – will be tracked through the same set of indicators.

“It’s a real game changer, providing a new guidepost that our teams can rally around, and provides full visibility on how well we are tackling the most difficult challenges like poverty, climate change, fragility and food insecurity,” Bjerde said.

The bank sees the scorecard as part of its push to focus on outcomes, not inputs, for instance by measuring the number of people that actually use financial services, not just how many have access.

The bank is still working out the detailed methodologies to calculate the scores in each of the 22 indicators, she said, with half to be released in June and the rest in October.

The first batch will include data on how many people have access to electricity worldwide, and social safety net programs.

The data will include transparent data broken down by gender, regions, age and whether people are in fragile and conflicted-affected countries.

Drilling in like that will allow the bank, its shareholders and clients to “see how we’re doing but also where we need to double down,” she said. – Reuters

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