At A Glance
- World Bank Finances, the open financial data program is available via a website and mobile application. Interested groups can easily access, use, and share information related to the Bank’s finances and funding activities.
- The Bank’s open financial data program helps ensure that development funds are spent efficiently and effectively; increases transparency and accountability in development; prevents corruption/fraud in Bank financed projects; and provides greater opportunities for citizens to participate in development.
- The following broad categories of data are featured in World Bank Finances: accounting and control; budget; financial intermediary funds; trust funds; liquid assets management; loan and credit administration; and shareholder equity.
Open Financial Data Strengthens Accountability
Shareholders, partners, and citizens demand that public and private entities improve in the areas of openness and accountability, particularly in transparency of data and financial operations. World Bank Finances is an integral part of the Bank’s openness agenda and supports the fundamental shift in how the Bank discloses information.
On the website, users can browse and get details on IBRD/IDA financial disbursements by county and region, the Bank’s yearly financial statements, the various funds managed by the Bank, and its administrative budget. The World Bank Finances mobile application gives convenient access to IBRD and IDA financial data that correspond to current projects. It also offers citizens a way of contacting the Bank to report suspected fraud or corruption.
Who Can Use the Open Financial Data
The data will be specifically interesting and beneficial to the following groups.
- Civil society organizations to monitor the Bank's finances and its funding activities.
- Journalists to create or validate their news stories.
- Communities to be more knowledgeable and have greater say on development issues, including reporting suspected fraud/corruption.
- Application developers to innovate and explore new perspectives using the data.
- Researchers / Academics to support their studies.
- People interested in knowing more about the Bank's finances and its funding activities.
Why the Bank Opened its Financial Data
Opening the World Bank’s financial data is in line with the institution’s priority of making its information more accessible and transparent. Moreover, the Bank views open financial data as a way to:
- Ensure that the Bank’s funds are used to support its core mission of promoting development and poverty reduction.
- Increase accountability and helps prevent fraud / corruption in Bank financed development activities.
- Enable communities who live near Bank financed projects to have greater say and be active participants in development.
- Expand citizen engagement to promote dialog on issues related to the Bank’s financing activities.
- Provide an alternative to the Bank’s usual monitoring activities and an opportunity to improve its business process and decisions.
The Bank considers it important to lead by example if it is to encourage client countries to adapt transparent systems of government.
What is Next for Open Financial Data at the World Bank
In the coming months, the World Bank plans to introduce data on location and expenditures, which will allow users to get a more local and complete view of the Bank’s financing activities. Specific updates to the World Bank Finances mobile app will include the inclusion of additional financial data, availability on the Android platform, and multilingual capability in six additional languages. Data access through SMS-based technologies is also being explored
The Open Agenda at the World Bank
Under the leadership of outgoing Bank President Zoellick, the Bank Group underwent a paradigm shift in the way it handles its institutional information. These efforts are exemplified by key achievement like: the recently announced Open Access Policy and Knowledge Repository which freely avails research outputs and knowledge products online; Open Data initiative, a range of reforms enabling free access to data that had previously only been available to paying subscribers; and the Access to Information Policy, a ground-breaking change to how the Bank makes information about its projects, analytical and administrative activities and Board proceedings available to the public. Closely linked to these efforts are the Bank’s ongoing commitments to governance and anti-corruption and efforts to bring greater accountability into our operational work.
For more information: please contact the open financial data team at WBFinances@worldbank.org.
Contact: Susanne Knaus (202) 473-6635, Sknaus@worldbank.org.