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Response of the World Bank's Development Research Group to the Research Evaluation

The World Bank's Development Research Group (DECRG) believes that independent evaluation of research is important, and strongly supported the Chief Economist, Francois Bourguignon, in his initiation of such an evaluation, which was conducted by an external panel in 2006. Background and full evaluation report.

The evaluation is generally very favorable, confirming that much of the Bank's research is of leading quality, that a strong in-house research capacity is necessary for the Bank, and that "Bank researchers have delivered value to the institution that is much larger than could be reasonably expected from the very small share of the budget they command." The report also makes a number of detailed criticisms and draws attention to aspects of research management that the panel believes can be improved, even given the complex set of objectives and constraints facing Bank researchers.

DECRG has responded to a few issues of direct concern to it in the documents listed below:

DECRG's response to the Research Evaluation
This document sets out briefly the areas in which DECRG will take action as a result of the Group's reflection on the Evaluation, given the tight budgetary situation. Management response.

DECRG's staff recommendations to management
A staff working group considered the evaluation, weighed staff reactions to it, and made recommendations to managers on how best to maintain and improve the quality of DECRG's research. Staff recommendations.

DECRG's responses to a few technical issues
In general, management and staff have not entered into public debate on the evaluation, even though they believe that many detailed statements that it contains would benefit from clarification or additional context. However, in two cases, we have made individual responses on technical issues where we believe the report is seriously unbalanced:

(i) Response to the Evaluation Report on Poverty Mapping

(ii) Response to the Evaluation on Disciplinary Monopolies in Development Research

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