The Bank’s shareholders are also its clients. They consist of a very diverse group of member countries, including low-income countries, middle-income countries, and small and fragile states.
Originally established in 1947 to help with reconstruction after World War II, the Bank’s first client was France, which borrowed $250 million. Today, the Bank’s clients remain country governments, but the focus now is on reducing poverty.
Since the Bank’s clients are its member countries, this section also addresses Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) public agency indicator 1, which inquires about the Bank’s relationship to governments or other public authorities.
For member countries, working with the World Bank is a cost-effective (interest-free if they are IDA members) alternative for raising funds needed to back reforms and public services. Unlike other financial institutions, the Bank does not operate for profit. The IBRD is market based and uses its high credit rating to secure low-interest financing, passing on the benefits of low interest to our borrowers—developing countries. Middle-income and fragile and conflict-affected countries that borrow from the Bank pay a lower interest rate and have more time to repay than if they borrowed from a commercial bank.
The World Bank works with member countries and other stakeholders to determine how loans, guarantees, risk management products, and analytic and technical advisory services can be designed to have the largest impact. Development projects are implemented by borrowing countries, which follow certain rules and procedures to guarantee that the money reaches its intended target. The Bank understands that when a government takes the lead in preparing and implementing its own strategy, development efforts are more likely to succeed. Tailoring aid to particular country circumstances and coordinating aid with other donors for maximum impact are other key factors of success. The role of member countries at each phase of the project cycle as well as the accompanying project and policy documents are described in detail on the Project Cycle website.
|FY 2011, IBRD Top 10 Borrowers||FY 2011, IDA Top 10 Borrowers|
The Bank is currently involved in more than 1,800 projects in virtually every sector and developing country. The projects include education, health, infrastructure, communications, government reforms, and many other areas of interest. The Bank’s work with clients around the world is reviewed in chapter two of the Annual Report.
A key document that forms the basis of any project on a country level is the Bank’s country assistance strategy.
The country assistance strategy (CAS) is a central tool of Bank management and the Board of Executive Directors for reviewing and guiding the country programs and, ultimately, judging the impact of its work. Starting from the country’s vision of its development goals, which may be set out in a poverty reduction strategy (PRS) for IDA-eligible countries or another country-owned and country-led strategy process, the CAS is prepared in collaboration with the government and in consultation with civil society, development partners, and other stakeholders. The objective of the CAS is to identify the key areas in which Bank Group support can best assist the country to achieve its sustainable development and poverty reduction goals.
There are several CAS products: a country assistance strategy, sometimes called country partnership strategy, prepared about every four years for each country in which the Bank has a planned or ongoing assistance program; a CAS progress report, a midterm stocktaking required for each ongoing CAS; and an interim strategy note for countries where circumstances preclude preparation of a full CAS. A CAS completion report is not a separate product but rather a part of the CAS.
|Published as part of the Bank’s Annual Report, the Corporate Scorecard provides information on the Bank’s overall performance and results achieved by its clients. In addition, the Bank operates a comprehensive web-based results reporting system.|