Thursday, May 17, 2007

The World Bank as a Knowledge Bank

James Wolfensohn, in 1996, created a process to improve knowledge sharing within the World Bank and between the Bank and its clients. He suggested that increasingly in a knowledge economy, the Bank should function as a "knowledge bank" (and not just as a financial institution). Of course, others in the Bank already had similar ideas, but Wolfensohn used his authority as President of the World Bank more forcefully than his subordinates could have done alone. I think that effort has made a difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of the Bank, and has made the knowledge accumulated by Bank staff more accessible to developing nations (and to the industry of development experts and consultants that has grown to serve the donor community).

Here are a couple of related sources:
* Knowledge Bank (a 2004 streaming video and text from the Bank)

* "The evolution of the knowledge bank" InsideKnowledge, 29 Feb 2004 in Volume 7 Issue 6

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