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OP 1.00 - Poverty Reduction

These policies were prepared for use by World Bank staff and are not necessarily a complete treatment of the subject.
OP 1.00
August, 2004

This Operational Policy statement was revised in March 2012 to take into account the provisions of OP/BP 9.00, issued in February 2012.

Note: This OP 1.00 replaces OD 4.15, Poverty Reduction, dated December, 1991. Questions on this OP should be referred to the Sector Director, PRMPR.


Revised March 2012

1. The Bank's mission is sustainable poverty reduction. Poverty encompasses lack of opportunities (including capabilities), lack of voice and representation, and vulnerability to shocks.   The Bank's support for poverty reduction is focused on actions, consistent with its mandate, to increase opportunity, enhance empowerment, and strengthen security.1Within this broad framework, a critical priority is promoting broad based growth, given its proven importance in reducing poverty.

2. The Bank supports borrowing countries in articulating their vision and strategy for reducing poverty and attaining development results.2 This vision normally forms the foundation for the Bank's assistance to countries, which the Bank lays out in the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS) and supports through economic and sector work and lending operations.3

3. As part of economic and sector work, the Bank periodically prepares poverty assessments for member countries in which it has an active program, in close collaboration with national institutions, partners and civil society groups.4 A poverty assessment includes the following:

  • an analytical synthesis of the existing body of knowledge5 on three topics: (a) assessment of the poverty situation; (b) analysis of the impact of growth and public actions on poverty; and (c) appraisal of poverty monitoring and evaluation systems;
  • an identification of key knowledge gaps with respect to these three topics;6 and
  • new analysis that addresses selected identified gaps or complements existing work.

The Bank reflects in the CAS the findings of the poverty assessment and the work program to fill knowledge gaps.


4. The country director oversees the preparation of the poverty assessment for the country. The Poverty Reduction Board (PRB) reviews poverty assessments to ensure that they satisfy the requirements of paragraph 3. In consultation with the Poverty Reduction Group (PRMPR) in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network, the PRB provides guidance on poverty-focused CASs, poverty assessments, and poverty analysis. The PRB also carries out occasional reviews to assess the quality of these products.

5. Drawing on input from the Networks and the Regions, the PRB periodically assists management in reporting to the Executive Directors of the World Bank on key aspects of the Bank's work in addressing poverty reduction.


  1. This approach is consistent with the World Development Report 2000/2001 on Attacking Poverty, and with the multidimensional vision of poverty reduction contained in the Millennium Development Goals and the Bank's commitment to accelerating progress towards these goals.
  2. Bank member countries that are eligible for IDA financing set out their vision for reducing poverty and their strategy for achieving their goals in results oriented Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). The Bank, together with the IMF, reviews the government's poverty strategy in the Joint Staff Advisory Note (JSAN) of the PRSP (for more information on PRSPs and JSANs see the PovertyNet website). For more information on results oriented strategies in low- and middle-income countries, staff should refer to the Managing for Development Results website.
  3. Some other Operational Manual Statements that are closely related to the Bank's poverty reduction mission are: BP 2.11, Country Assistance Strategies, OP 2.30, Development Cooperation and ConflictOP/BP 8.60 Development Policy LendingOP/BP 9.00, Program-for Results Financing and OP/BP 10.00 Investment Lending.
  4. The frequency of poverty assessments is determined as part of the CAS process.
  5. This body of knowledge may be based on poverty analysis conducted by the government of the country, the Bank, other donors, research organizations, civil society groups, or other partners.
  6. For a discussion of how these topics are covered in a good practice poverty assessment, see the "Guidance Note on Poverty Assessments".


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