Thursday, April 15, 2010

Update on the World Bank’s Move Towards Greater Transparency

Ms. Isabel Guerrero, the Vice President for South Asia at the World Bank, recently gave an interview with Civil Society, which was reposted on the Bank’s website.  Ms. Isabel Guerrero, Vice President for South Asia, discussed the Bank’s upcoming shift towards transparency set to kick off on July 1st of this year.  As I have noted in previous posts, this new policy moves the Bank from a system of limited document disclosure to a more permissive system of limited exceptions to document disclosure. 

The interview gives insight into the origins of the new policy and some of the questions left to be addressed.  The new policy is a progression from original disclosure policy that was created in the 1980’s, which responds to pressure from inside and outside the Bank for greater transparency.  However, Ms. Guerrero stated that the Bank will amid to balance the push for transparency with the need to protect the privacy of Bank employees and the financial privacy of Bank member countries.  Accordingly, there are three categories of exceptions in the new policy: (1) personal staff emails, (2) the Bank’s internal project design debate, and (3) ongoing corruption investigations.


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