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Laying the Ground for a Long-Term Strategy for the World Bank Group

As the global environment evolves, the World Bank Group is considering possible changes to its  long-term strategy to better respond to the needs of the wide range of clients and stakeholders it serves.

As one part of this effort, work began early in 2007 on a Long-Term Strategic Exercise (LTSE). In October 2007, the final
 paper based on this exercise was published.
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NEW! World Bank Group Long Term Strategic Exercise (LTSE) Paper, "Meeting the Challenges of Global Development" published Oct 10, 2007 

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Summary of external feedback on draft LTSE overview 

The LTSE paper, entitled "Meeting the Challenges of Global Development" outlines four critical challenges that would be central to a World Bank Group strategy for global inclusiveness and sustainability: Sub- Saharan Africa, fragile states, inclusiveness among and within middle-income countries, and global public goods. To address these areas, the Group must work in innovative ways and expand its lines of business. In the new and expanded modes of intervention, knowledge services and learning will be overarching, the paper predicts.

In preparing the ground for the strategy, the LTSE sought to identify the dominant trends in the world economy; the risk associated with various shocks and deviations; and emerging economic challenges and appropriate policy responses. It also reflected on the World Bank Group’s work in accelerating poverty reduction, promoting sustainable growth, and managing risks—in terms of engagement, experience, operating environment, and types of action.

The LTSE analyzed the environment in which the Bank operates in terms of three dimensions of change:

  • The likely evolution of the global economy, including potential graduation of several middle-income countries from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and likely movement of some low-income countries from the International Development Association (IDA) to IBRD status;
  • Internal and external changes likely to influence national development priorities;
  • The changing comparative advantage of the World Bank Group.

The exercise was conducted by a team of Bank staff drawn from across the institution, guided by Francois Bourguignon, World Bank Chief Economist and Senior Vice President, Development Economics. This working group engaged in extensive internal dialogue as well as some informal discussions with external stakeholders.

With a view to seeking broader opinion on the scope of future challenges facing the World Bank Group, a program of dialogue led by Francois Bourguignon was undertaken in August and September 2007 with external stakeholders—including the United Nations and international financial institutions, national governments in all regions, civil society groups and other partners.
Summary of external feedback

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