Bank Information Center

Bank Information Center The Bank Information Center partners with civil society in developing and transition countries to influence the World Bank and other international financial institutions to promote social and economic justice and ecological sustainability.

BIC is a resource for government employees, IFI staff, the media, students, and the general public.

BIC is a resource for government employees, IFI staff, the media, students, and the general public.

Mission: The Bank Information Center (BIC) partners with civil society in developing and transition countries to influence the World Bank and other international financial institutions (IFIs) to promote social and economic justice and ecological sustainability. BIC is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization that advocates for the protection of rights, participation, transparency, and public accountability in the governance and operations of the World Bank Group and regional development banks.

Last week, BIC’s Executive Director joined the World Bank's Inspection Panel for a virtual discussion about monitoring g...
12/18/2020
How has the World Bank strengthened its response to gender-based violence? | Bank Information Center

Last week, BIC’s Executive Director joined the World Bank's Inspection Panel for a virtual discussion about monitoring gender-based violence and the essential role of civil society in promoting gender equality in development projects. Read our latest update for highlights from the discussion and the valuable insights shared by Michelle Bachelet, JOY FOR CHILDREN -UGANDA, UN Women, and others:

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-has-the-world-bank-strengthened-its-response-to/

As part of the international community’s 16 days of activism against gender-based violence, the World Bank Inspection Panel hosted a virtual discussion about lessons learned for GBV prevention in development projects. BIC’s Executive Director shared insight from BIC’s experience monitoring GBV...

Last week, BIC's Executive Director, Elana Berger, participated in the Inspection Panel's virtual discussion on respondi...
12/16/2020
Inspection Panel Releases New Advisory Report, Hosts Virtual Discussion on Responding to GBV Complaints Through an Independent Accountability Mechanism | Inspection Panel

Last week, BIC's Executive Director, Elana Berger, participated in the Inspection Panel's virtual discussion on responding to gender-based violence in development projects. Check out the link below to read more about the findings and watch the recording of the session.

The Inspection Panel on December 9, 2020, hosted a virtual discussion on responding to gender-based violence (GBV) complaints through an independent accountability mechanism.

As IDB Invest's new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy goes into effect this week, civil society expresses c...
12/15/2020
What are the main weaknesses of the IDB Invest’s new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy? | Bank Information Center

As IDB Invest's new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy goes into effect this week, civil society expresses concerns about the limitations and shortcomings of the policy. An effective ESSP proves particularly relevant in the push for a sustainable and transformative post-COVID-19 economic recovery, especially as IDB Invest seeks to increase its role and presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Read the full analysis:
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/what-are-the-main-weaknesses-of-the-idb-invests-new/

This update was co-written with Maia Seeger, Executive Director of Sustentarse. IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), will begin implementing its new Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy (ESSP) on December 15, 2020. Approved by the board in April...

The African Development Bank Group’s recent Civil Society Forum underscored the importance of greater engagement between...
12/11/2020
What were the key takeaways from the AfDB’s Civil Society Forum? | Bank Information Center

The African Development Bank Group’s recent Civil Society Forum underscored the importance of greater engagement between the institution and civil society organizations. We discuss the principal recommendations for the AfDB to collaborate with CSOs in pursuing more inclusive, sustainable development.
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/what-were-the-key-takeaways-from-the-afdbs-civil-society

The African Development Bank’s recent Civil Society Forum underscored the importance of greater engagement between the institution and civil society organizations. Below, we discuss the principal recommendations for the AfDB to collaborate with CSOs in pursuing more inclusive, sustainable developm...

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we urge the World Bank to specifically mention persons with disabilit...
12/03/2020
Why is it important to explicitly reference persons with disabilities in World Bank project documents? | Bank Information Center

On International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we urge the World Bank to specifically mention persons with disabilities in project documents. This explicit reference enables inclusion and essential access to project benefits. #IDPWD2020

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/why-is-it-important-to-explicitly-reference-persons/

Inclusive project documents that highlight issues of accessibility and inclusion and specifically reference persons with disabilities lay the foundation for projects that can benefit all. We discuss how the World Bank can incorporate persons with disabilities in project design to improve project imp...

Concerned about how the multilateral development banks are responding to COVID-19, climate change, and protecting margin...
12/01/2020

Concerned about how the multilateral development banks are responding to COVID-19, climate change, and protecting marginalized groups? BIC is monitoring their projects, but we need your support to continue amplifying the voices of communities into 2021 and beyond #GivingTuesday
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/support

Last week the World Bank released a new procurement policy to enforce gender-based violence rules. BIC's Executive Direc...
12/01/2020
World Bank updates procurement policy to enforce gender-based violence rules

Last week the World Bank released a new procurement policy to enforce gender-based violence rules. BIC's Executive Director spoke to Devex about what the changes mean for communities and the future of GBV in Bank projects.

https://www.devex.com/news/world-bank-updates-procurement-policy-to-enforce-gender-based-violence-rules-98672

Starting in the new year contractors who fail to adhere to World Bank gender-based violence obligations will face a two-year ban from new jobs with the institution. Here's how the first of its kind mechanism will work.

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the risk of child exploitation and abuse (SEA) around the world. We provide recommen...
11/30/2020
How can the World Bank mitigate the risk of child SEA during COVID-19? | Bank Information Center

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the risk of child exploitation and abuse (SEA) around the world. We provide recommendations for how the World Bank should work to mitigate this risk in project implementation during this crisis.

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-can-the-world-bank-mitigate-the-risk-of-child-sea

The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated the risk of child exploitation and abuse (SEA) around the world. We provide recommendations for how the World Bank should work to mitigate this risk in project implementation during this crisis.

On Friday, BIC's Policy Director testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and urged the U.S. government t...
11/24/2020
BIC’s Policy Director testifies on the role of IFIs in Indigenous rights | Bank Information Center

On Friday, BIC's Policy Director testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and urged the U.S. government to use its leadership role in the IFIs to support reform that protects the rights of Indigenous Peoples. BIC appreciates the committee's engagement, especially from Congresswoman Deb Haaland, Congressman Jim McGovern, and Congressman Chris Smith, to seek policy solutions that preserve the land and culture of Indigenous Peoples.
https://bic-field.netlify.app/en-us/update/testimony-on-ifis-and-indigenous-rights/

In testimony before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, BIC’s Policy Director urged the U.S. government to demand the IFIs protect the rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Friday was #WorldChildrensDay, and BIC used the opportunity to shine a light on the status of child protection around th...
11/23/2020
How can the World Bank play an active role in addressing the child protection gap? | Bank Information Center

Friday was #WorldChildrensDay, and BIC used the opportunity to shine a light on the status of child protection around the world. We urged the World Bank to protect the world’s most marginalized children through a concerted and coordinated response to COVID-19 that prioritizes child protection.

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-can-the-world-bank-play-an-active-role-in-addressing/

The global child rights community has spoken out about the need to fill the financing gap to enhance child protection in the wake of COVID-19. We shine a light on the issue and offer rationale for and a few practical ways the World Bank can incorporate some of the latest recommendations through its....

The indirect effects of COVID-19 threaten to reverse recent global health achievements. We suggest how the Global Financ...
11/18/2020
How can the GFF Multi-Stakeholder Country Platforms contribute to robust maternal, child and adolescent health programming amid the COVID-19 pandemic? | Bank Information Center

The indirect effects of COVID-19 threaten to reverse recent global health achievements. We suggest how the Global Financing Facility Multi-Stakeholder Country Platforms can play a key role in alleviating disruptions in essential maternal, child, and adolescent health services.

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-can-the-global-financing-facility-multi-stakeholder/

The indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic threaten to reverse maternal and child health achievements made in recent  years. We provide several recommendations for how the Global Financing Facility Multi-Stakeholder Country Platforms can play a key role in helping to alleviate disruptions in ess...

BIC's November Newsletter features our latest updates on the impacts of the U.S. election on the IFIs, analyses of the W...
11/13/2020
BIC November 2020 Newsletter

BIC's November Newsletter features our latest updates on the impacts of the U.S. election on the IFIs, analyses of the World Bank's policies on reprisals and access to information, and how the Bank can address the intersection of poverty and climate change. We also provide news on our project monitoring and more. Check it all out and subscribe:
https://bit.ly/3nelojW

The Bank Information Center welcomes the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. We look forward to working with the new administration to improve the governance and operation of the international financial institutions (IFIs) in which t...

BIC welcomes the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. ...
11/12/2020
How can a Biden administration strengthen the United States’ role at the International Financial Institutions? | Bank Information Center

BIC welcomes the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next President and Vice President of the United States. We reflect on how the new administration can champion reforms that enhance accountability, inclusion, and sustainability at the IFIs:

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-can-a-biden-administration-strengthen-the-united/

The recent U.S. presidential election presents an opportunity for the U.S. to enhance accountability, inclusion, and sustainability at the International Financial Institutions. We provide several recommended steps the Biden administration can take to prioritize engagement with the IFIs.

In its rapid response to COVID-19, the World Bank has shown that it recognizes how this health crisis impacts its goals ...
11/04/2020
Why is climate change central to the World Bank's mission and how should it respond? | Bank Information Center

In its rapid response to COVID-19, the World Bank has shown that it recognizes how this health crisis impacts its goals of reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We look at how the climate crisis intersects with these goals and how it can use its climate response to achieve them.

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/in-its-rapid-response-to-covid-19-the-world-bank-has

In its rapid response to COVID-19, the World Bank has shown that it recognizes how this health crisis impacts its goals of reducing poverty and boosting prosperity. We look at how the climate crisis intersects with these goals and how it can use its climate response to achieve them.

At the 2020 Civil Society Policy Forum, BIC joined partners in urging the World Bank to pursue a just recovery. Our sess...
10/27/2020
What are some key takeaways from the World Bank’s Civil Society Policy Forum? | Bank Information Center

At the 2020 Civil Society Policy Forum, BIC joined partners in urging the World Bank to pursue a just recovery. Our sessions focused on centering the needs of communities in development, especially as the Bank looks to build back better in its COVID-19 recovery.

Check out our takeaways and watch the recorded sessions:
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/cspf-key-takeaways

At the 2020 Civil Society Policy Forum, BIC joined partners in urging the Bank to pursue a just recovery. Our sessions focused on centering the needs of communities in development, especially as the Bank looks to build back better in its COVID-19 recovery.

U.S. Senators urge President Malpass of the World Bank to select a candidate for Vice President of the CAO that embodies...
10/21/2020
U.S. Senators push for independence and diversity in selecting the next CAO Vice President | Bank Information Center

U.S. Senators urge President Malpass of the World Bank to select a candidate for Vice President of the CAO that embodies independence and diversity. An experienced leader is essential to effectively serve communities and shape accountability at the IFC - International Finance Corporation.
Support from Congress for robust accountability reforms reinforces CSOs advocacy for project-affected communities. This letter enhances CSOs push for a CAO leader that demonstrates the necessary independence, experience, and diversity.
Accountability Counsel Inclusive Development International Center for International Environmental Law

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/u.s.-senators-push-for-independence-and-diversity-in/

As President Malpass of the World Bank prepares to select the next CAO Vice President, U.S. Senators weigh in on the importance of a strong candidate that represents independence and diversity.

BIC joined 61 civil society organizations in sending a letter to the President of the World Bank Group regarding the sel...
10/19/2020
What should the World Bank president prioritize in the selection of the next CAO Vice President? | Bank Information Center

BIC joined 61 civil society organizations in sending a letter to the President of the World Bank Group regarding the selection of the next Vice President of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). The CAO is crucially important to the communities that we work with that rely on its independence and technical expertise. This appointment comes at a critical time for the CAO, and the larger accountability framework for the IFC, and we are urging President Malpass to select a candidate that demonstrates the independence, experience, and diversity that we believe are necessary for this position.
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/what-should-the-world-bank-president-prioritize-in

BIC joined 61 civil society organizations in sending a letter to the President of the World Bank Group regarding the selection of the next Vice President of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO). We appreciate President Malpass’s commitment to an independent and robust CAO, as we emphasize the vi...

On #WBActionDay, BIC joins CSOs across the world in urging the World Bank to take bold decisions during #WBGMeetings to ...
10/16/2020

On #WBActionDay, BIC joins CSOs across the world in urging the World Bank to take bold decisions during #WBGMeetings to ensure public money spent as part of COVID recovery is not making the climate crisis worse but ensuring a green, sustainable, just recovery for all. We echo The Big Shift Global's 3 key asks:
1. End financing of all fossil fuels
2. Rapidly scale up investment in energy access & a just transition
3. Work with its peers to release a joint MDB framework on alignment with 1.5°C by the end of 2020
#WBOutofFossils

Ten years into implementation, the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy offers a key entry point for civil society,...
10/14/2020
What is the future of access to information at the World Bank? | Bank Information Center

Ten years into implementation, the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy offers a key entry point for civil society, communities, and the public to learn about the Bank’s projects, operations, and policies. Moving forward, the Bank should rethink how its information can be more community-oriented and how it can continue to broaden access to information.

https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/what-is-the-future-of-access-to-information-at-the/

Ten years into implementation, the World Bank’s Access to Information Policy offers a key entry point for civil society, communities, and the public to learn about the Bank’s projects, operations, and policies. Moving forward, the Bank should rethink how its information can be more community-ori...

On this International Day of the Girl Child, we share our recommendations for how the World Bank can prevent GBV and chi...
10/12/2020
How can the World Bank prevent GBV and child SEA in Uganda’s COVID-19 response? | Bank Information Center

On this International Day of the Girl Child, we share our recommendations for how the World Bank can prevent GBV and child SEA in Uganda's #COVID19 response. The Bank and government must prioritize protecting the rights of women and children.
https://bankinformationcenter.org/en-us/update/how-can-the-world-bank-prevent-gbv-and-child-sea-in/

While the World Bank tackles the health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 crisis, it should consider how its projects can protect against, and avoid contributing to, gender based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse of women and children. We examine lessons learned in Uganda to understan...

10/09/2020
Servindi

Join live now our webinar with partners about the rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Emissions Reduction Program in Peru

Compartimos la transmisión en vivo del evento virtual que examinará el Programa de Reducción de Emisiones (PRE) del Perú y el pago por resultados del Banco Mundial.

El panel promovido por organizaciones indígenas de Perú denunciará cómo el proyecto mantiene actividades y enfoques que podrían desencadenar una colonización descontrolada en la Amazonía.

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General information

The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) include the World Bank, the regional development banks, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). They are the largest source of development finance in the world, typically lending between US$30-$40 billion to low and middle-income countries each year. The IFIs, and in particular the World Bank, are a primary source of development knowledge, publishing research that frames the debate on development issues. Other donor institutions often take their lead from the World Bank and the IMF, thus amplifying the impact of those institutions’ lending approaches and decisions. IFI loans to finance investment projects and policy reforms in developing countries are intended to reduce poverty and encourage economic development. However, ill-conceived IFI loans have often caused widespread environmental and social damage including irreversible impacts on natural habitats, displaced communities, and indigenous peoples. IFI activities are often carried out without the informed participation of affected people, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and-in many cases-even the legislatures of the Banks’ borrowing countries. Moreover, despite some progress the IFIs still do not release comprehensive information in a timely manner during project design and implementation. Finally, as publicly financed institutions, the IFIs should be held accountable for the consequences of the funds they loan to developing countries.

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