World Bank Internal Evaluation Group Posts Disclosure Policy

19 June 2009

On June 18, the World Bank’s Internal Evaluation Group (IEG) posted its 2004 disclosure policy on its home page for the first time.

The absence of the policy came to light because of indications that IEG plans to rewrite its policy after the Bank completes a rewrite of its disclosure policy, an effort now under way. Freedominfo.org recently reported on IEG’s plans and the nondisclosure of the five-year-old policy, a gap IEG officials said they would remedy.

The IEG policy now posted runs four pages. Early on it commits the office, formerly called the Operations Evaluation Department (OED), to disclose its reports, with some caveats. “Disclosure is intended to promote the broad dissemination of findings and lessons from evaluations of Bank work, and to ensure the independence of OED in reporting on the results of its evaluations,” according to the policy.

The IEG’s disclosure policy specifically references an “Annual Review of Development Effectiveness (ARDE)” and the “Annual Report on Operations Evaluation (AROE),” indicating they will be disclosed “unless the Board decides not to disclose.” Management’s responses are to be disclosed if the underlying report is disclosed.

Regarding other OED evaluations, disclosure is also prescribed, along with management responses, again subject to a Board decision not to disclose. “If the country concerned objects to the disclosure of a CAE [Country Assistance Evaluation], the Board may decide not to disclose.” Several other clauses provide for disclosure if the Board or Board committees do not discuss the reports within designated time periods.

Various other reports that do not go to the Board are to be released, according to the policy.

The IEG policy states that “all information derived from internal Bank sources shall be subject to the Bank’s Policy on Disclosure of Information.” Provision is made to delete “any information taken from Bank documents which have not been disclosed, in accordance with the Bank’s disclosure policy.”

“The constraints in the Bank’s disclosure policy would also apply to OED documents and would be integrated into the OED disclosure policy statement,” the posted policy states.

 

 

By Toby McIntosh

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In this column, Washington, D.C.-based journalist Toby J. McIntosh reports on the latest developments in information disclosure in International Financial and Trade Institutions (IFTI).
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