Through consultations, the World Bank Group is able to tap into a broad range of perspectives. It strives to integrate comments and new ideas into its operations, policies and final documents.
Consultations in client countries offer an opportunity for dialogue and discussion with borrowers and stakeholders.. The objectives are to capture the experience and knowledge of multiple audiences―government, civil society, academia, and the private sector― to enable greater participation of partners and stakeholders in operations supported by the Bank; to increase the transparency of Bank processes; and to increase citizen involvement in development decision making.
In addition to face-to-face consultations and in order to increase participation and broaden feedback, increasingly, consultations are held online. Below is a selection of recent consultation topics.
The Bank consults with CSOs on strategies, policies, and projects to get their views and suggestions on global policy issues such as governance and climate change, and on country assistance strategies at the country level. The most recent global consultation process occurred in 2010 on the first phase of the Bank’s energy policy, which involved Internet-based consultations and meetings with some 2100 persons in 31 countries. Bank President Robert Zoellick has also hosted six CSO Food Roundtables since 2008 on the global food and financial crisis with a broad range of CSOs. At present the Bank is consulting CSOs on the review of its environment, education, safeguards, and investment lending strategies.
Country ownership of and commitment to a development strategy is a necessary condition for aid effectiveness. Therefore, the CAS must be based on a country-owned vision, developed by the government with stakeholder participation and consultation, so that the Bank program can be aligned with the country’s own priorities. Broad participation by stakeholders and consultations with civil society, supported by disclosure of CAS documents, can help identify the internal and external challenges countries face, delineate the most effective interventions for the Bank, and build support for the Bank program. Today most CASs—and, to a lesser extent, Interim Strategy Notes and CAS PRs—are prepared in close consultation with government, usually with numerous ministries and agencies and at various levels, from national to local; often, parliaments are also consulted. The Bank also often undertakes consultations with a broad array of stakeholders—civil society and the private sector (NGOs, labor unions, universities, and business associations), as well as other development partners.
Learn more: Country Assistance Strategies
The Bank advises borrowing countries to consult with key stakeholders and engage their participation in the process of formulating the country’s development strategies. For a Development Policy Operation (DPO), the country draws on this process of strategy formulation to determine the form and extent of consultations and participation in preparing, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating the operation. As part of the consultation process, the Bank makes available to the public relevant analytic work, particularly on poverty and social impacts and on environmental impacts, in line with the Bank’s disclosure policy.
Learn more: Development Policy Operations