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International Economic Organizations: World Bank

This a guide to the work and information of International Economic and Financial Organizations, including the World Bank, IMF, OECD, WTO and others.

About the World Bank

The mission of the World Bank is to help developing countries alleviate poverty and improve living standards.  Although it is often thought of as a single entity the World Bank group is an association of five organizations.  This page has sections for World Bank Projects and Documents, Statistics and Data, Working Papers and Surveys, Business and Privatization, Raw Data and Analytical Tools, and more.

The World Bank Group

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). Largest branch of the world bank group. Provides loans and advisory assistance to middle income and selected poorer countries.

International Development Association (IDA). Branch of the World Bank that helps the poorest countries by providing loans aimed at boosting economic growth and improving living conditions.

International Finance Corporation. Private sector arm of the World Bank Group, dedicated to promoting private sector investment.

Multiltateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA. Branch of the World Bank charged with providing political risk insurance and dispute mediation for foreign investors.

International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. Provides for the conciliation and arbitration of disputes between member countries and investors. Site includes a list of cases.

World Bank Projects and Documents

World Bank Project Documents. Main information source for World Bank projects.  Full-text of World Bank project reports. 

World Bank Project Cycle Explained. From the Bretton Woods Project, an NGO that scrutinizes the work of the World Bank and other international financial organizations.   

Key documents tied to stafes in the project cycle include the following.  Other key documents include Poverty Reduction Strategy PapersResettlement Plans, and Environmental Assessments

  • Development Phase - Country Assistance Strategies
  • Project Identification - Project Information Document
  • Preparation and Appraisal - Project Appraisal Documents and Program Documents. 
  • Implementation and Completion - Implementation Completion Report
  • Evaluation - Project Performance Assement Reports and Impact Evaluation Reports

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. PRSPs are key planning doucments used in the world bank's project cycle.  This link also includes other key planning documents such as Joint Staff Assessments.

IEG Evaluations.  Project evaluations the "Independent Evalation Group," which oversees the results for all World Bank Group projects.

World Bank & Poverty Reduction. Gateway to World Bank Poverty measurement, analysis and reduction strategies.

World Bank Country Papers.  Web portal of World Bank publications by country.

IFC Projects DatabaseProjects sponsored by the International Finance Corporation, the branch of thew World Bank that funds private sector development in developing countries.

MIGA Projects DatabaseDatabase of investment guarantees from the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Assocication.  

Working Papers and Surveys

Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys (BEEPS).  Firm-level data on issues about the business environment and performance of firms. See this page for data downloads 

Enterprise SurveysFirm-level surveys of representative samples of an economy’s private sector covering a range of business climate and political risk topics. Firm level data is available (restricted to qualified users).

Living Standards Measurement Studies (LSMS). Household data surveys and working papers collected by country governments and financed by the World Bank on poverty and development.

International Household Survey Network. Catalog of online household survey data. Joint effort of several international government organizations (including the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and others).

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers. Also includes Joint Staff advisory Notes and Joint Staff Assessments. See also the PRSP Sourcebook.

Policy Research Reports. World Bank reports on development policy, designed to contribute to the debate on appropriate public policies for developing economies

Policy Research Working Papers. Most important working papers series by the World Bank: thousands of reports on development issues worldwide.

Raw Data & Analytical Tools

Research Data Sets and Analytical Tools.  Raw data and computational software for poverty analysis, private sector development, living standards, trade and regulation, and more.  

Some categories include:

See also their development research microdata catalog which has detaileddescriptions of over 65 studies.  The International Household Survey Network  also has access to many studies (access is on a case by case basis). A joint effort of several international government organizations (including the United Nations, the International Labour Organization and others).

Computational tools include:

World Bank E-libraries and Databases

World Bank e-Library.   Publications from the World Bank back to the 1990's . Topics covered include: economics and finance, public policy, education, international development, technology, poverty, gender, the environment, and more.

World Bank Open Knowledge Repository.  World Bank’s open access repository for research. Includes annual reports, books, flagship publications, and articles published in the World Bank Economic Review and World Bank Research Observer.

IFC Publications.  Portal for publications from the International Finance Corporation.  

Doing Business Database.  Provides  measures of business regulations and their enforcement, aimed at quantifying the regulatory costs of businesses in countries worldwide. 

IEG Evaluations.  Project evaluations the "Independent Evalation Group," which oversees the results for all World Bank Group projects.

Investment Dispute Cases.  From the International Center for Investment Disputes. List and database of all cases between   member countries and investors. 

World Bank Reports and Journals

Annual Review of Development Effectiveness. Evaluation of the Bank´s development effectiveness, drawing on project evaluations and thematic and country reviews. Each year has a distinct focus.

Global Economic Prospects. Include forecasts for the global economy and long-term global scenarios. Chapters vary from year on topics on development and poverty reduction.

Global Financial Development Report.  Analysis of recent trends and prospects for capital flows to developing countries with a commentary on policy issues.  Preceded by Global Development Finance. 

World Bank Annual Report. See also the reports of the International Finance CorporationMultilateral Investment Guarantee Agency and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes.

World Bank Economic Review. Widely read scholarly economic journal specializing in quantitative development policy analysis and economic development.

World Bank Research Observer. Nonspecialist publication on research within and outside the Bank, in areas of economics relevant for development policy.

World Development Report. World Bank flagship publication, hailed by the bank as "an invaluable guide to the economic, social and environmental life of the world today."

World Investment and Political Risk.  From the Multilateral Investment Guarantees Association, the World Bank section that deals with Foreign Direct Investment.

The World Bank, Business and Privatization

World Bank Library and Archives

World Bank/IMF Library Network. Joint library of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. 

World Bank Archives.  In April 2015, as part of its commitment to transparency and openness, the World Bank Group launched its Archives Holdings website, a platform which facilitates online access to original primary source material. The website facilitates a personalized online delivery model with a catalog that provides basic information about the Archives, as well as finding aids .

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