The World Bank Reorganization 1 – Structure

Earlier this month we published an overview of the new Global Practices (GPs) and Cross-Cutting Solution Areas (CCSAs), along with the Senior Directors in charge of these new divisions. This new set-up is a direct result of the change process at the World Bank. But how are these GPs and CCSAs structured exactly, and what consequences does the change process have for the structure of regional staff?

The reorganization

The idea behind the reorganization is to create a structure which stimulates the sharing of knowledge and best practices amongst the different divisions with the World Bank. 14 Global Practices have been formed, which are envisioned to be vertical pillars of technical expertise on their respective subjects. These are to have the expertise to deliver solutions to clients. Lessons learned from an energy project in Africa can be transferred towards an energy project in Asia, as the experts are no longer assigned to one geographical region, but to the vertical pillar of knowledge, in this case the GP Energy. The 5 Cross-Cutting Solution Areas, on the other hand, are units focusing more on World Bank Group-wide strategic goals and directions. Therefore in the organogram below they are presented as horizontal pillars that provide strategic input through the Bank.

World Bank PiramidGlobal Practices

A GP is headed by a Senior Director, who is supported by 1 or more Practice Directors. One levelGP Structure below the Directors are multiple Practice Managers (PMs) with either a geographical, technical or functional responsibility. Lastly, there are Technical Leads, who drive a knowledge strategy in key thematic areas and play leadership roles.

GP staff members perform advisory services for CCSAs and can be situated both at the World Bank HQ and, regional or country offices. GP staff should therefore be viewed as World Bank wide policy officers in their area of expertise.

Cross-Cutting Solution Areas

The CCSAs consist of a Core Team, led by a Vice President (VP) or Senior Director. The CCSA staff within the Core Team has the technical skills within the area andCCSA Structure implements the strategy and work program. Compared to the GPs the CCSAs are much smaller, and are called in to address the specific topics of a project that fall under that CCSA – for instance a gender perspective, or PPP knowledge.

The CCSAs have advisors (internal and/or external) to provide guidance on areas of strategic priority. The Core Team is supported by ‘Leads’ who are technical staff members from other units across the World Bank Group, including the GPs, IFC, and MIGA. They are responsible for representing the CCSA within their ‘home unit’ and vice versa. The CCSAs are further assisted by ‘Experts’ from GPs and other units, such as the MIGA or the IFC, with deep knowledge and expertise in an area. ‘Affiliates’ are staff members of GPs and other units who are interested in the topic. In summary, the Experts and Affiliates act as a community of practice.

Reporting lines – the jungle of abbreviations

As represented in the upper figure, which represents the operating model of the World Bank, the CCSAs and GPs channel their expertise, knowledge and strategy through the Global Practice Vice Presidency Unit (VPU) to the Regional VPU’s & Country Management Units. The latter are responsible for supporting the clients (borrowing countries) and providing them with the necessary knowledge.

The regional World Bank offices are headed by the Regional Vice President (RVP) who resides at the WB Headquarters in Washington, DC.

The RVP is responsible for the different country offices and their Country Management Units (CMUs). The country offices are most closely tied to the borrowing countries and the country office staff is most directly involved in project management and implementation. A new position introduced under the change process is that of the Program Leader – a GP staff member that is seconded to a CMU. The Program Leader will report directly to the country director, but will retain a technical affiliation with the ‘home’ GP. The program leaders will assist CMUs and RVPUs with its technical expertise and provide technical support on the program.

While this blog entry addressed the new organizational structure of the World Bank, the next entry will discuss the roles of the different units. Hopefully the two blog entries combined will give you a full understanding of who is responsible for what in this new structure.

2 thoughts on “The World Bank Reorganization 1 – Structure

  1. Pingback: The Country Partnership Framework (CPF) | Netherlands for the World Bank

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