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World Bank Research Opportunities for Civil Society

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The World Bank carries out a variety of statistical and applied research as part of its development work. This research provides the economic data, background information, and country context analysis which allows the Bank to formulate strategy,  fund projects, and assess the impact of its development efforts. The research undertaken includes economic forecasting, country strategies, sector work, poverty assessments, environmental impact studies, social assessments, and project evaluations. 

While research is carried out in units throughout the Bank and within country offices, there are two main units which carry out research – the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) which carries out global economic analysis,  and the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) [formery Operations Evaluation Department OED] which carries out evaluations of every completed Bank-funded project as well of many existing policies and programs.  The Bank also produces each year a World Development Report (WDR) on timely issues such as sustainable development, poverty, and economic growth.   For more information on the Bank’s research agenda click on the units and programs below.

CSOs are increasingly participating in various types of development research undertaken by the World Bank and client governments, such as Economic and Sector Work (ESW), poverty and social impact assessments (PSIAs), and national environmental action plans. Universities, research centers, and CSOs often bring the academic rigor, local knowledge, participatory methodology skills, and independence needed to complement the research capability provided by the Bank and governments.

It is common for civil society researchers to be hired as consultants to carry out social analysis, environmental impact analysis, stakeholder analysis, and project evaluations. During the Voices of the Poor study in 1999, for instance, much of the field research undertaken in the 60 participating countries was carried out by local civil society researchers. World Learning was contracted by the Civil Society Team in 2008 to carry out a needs assessment study on civil society interest in Bank training opportunities.

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