World Bank, Rooted in Bureaucracy, Proposes a Sweeping Reorganization –

Can the World Bank heal itself? This initiative is a big deal among the development crowd and there is no shortage of suggestions (and here).

Many development experts have applauded the changes, at least in theory. “The concept is terrific, as is the emphasis on the bank’s comparative advantage as being a knowledge institution,” said Nancy Birdsall, the president of the Center for Global Development, a Washington-based research organization.

But Dr. Kim acknowledged the challenges that might come with reforming the bank’s bureaucracy. He said that the response to his proposal had been “mixed,” with some employees welcoming the plan and others voicing concern that the bank might focus too much during the transition on internal change and not enough on enacting its development programs.

via World Bank, Rooted in Bureaucracy, Proposes a Sweeping Reorganization –


3 thoughts on “World Bank, Rooted in Bureaucracy, Proposes a Sweeping Reorganization –”

  1. Dr. Kim’s goal to reorganize the World Bank is an appropriate change. The amount of time and money that most world organizations waste in their bureaucracy is immense, but I feel that it is paramount for the bank that has the most claim to being the world’s is a simplified and unified institution. Internally restructuring the organization is a brave step forward that I think nearly all UN institutions should consider. As the world changes, its organizations much change as well. Hopefully Dr. Kim will largely succeed as he consolidates the organization, and focuses on key issues facing world economic health.

  2. I think the proposal of reorganization is a bold move by Dr. Kim. Especially when the new outfit would be tolerant of higher-risk, higher-reward and more controversial ventures. “If you have a spectacular failure, the only thing that I would be disappointed about is if we didn’t ensure we learned from that failure,’ ” Kim said. That’s a nice idea, but volatility is not attractive to the majority of investors.
    In Lowrey’s article it mentions that the bank is currently balkanized, which in theory, is a difficult situation to any organization. Therefore, it is proposed in the reorganization to encourage collaboration- a step that could perhaps reestablish the original comparative advantage of the World Bank, which is a “knowledge institution”.

  3. It will be interesting to see how the projects that the bank has will be influenced during the transition period. The world bank supports many initiatives that boost economies around the world, and it is important for many nations for these projects to continue and hopefully not lose traction while these changes are being made in the organization of the bank. I agree that along with many other international organizations the bank is in need of restructuring in order for policies that regulate international banking can be placed. With the recent economic recession there has risen the need for closer regulation of international banking and the world bank has great influence in how investment and commercial banks act in the international atmosphere. Change is good, and this is an important step for international organizations. It is very likely that several other organizations will go through restructuring in the near future.

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