Social Policy of the World Bank

World Bank | Disambiguation of Terms

References to "the World Bank" suggest that a single international financial institution provides loans to developing countries for capital programs. This singularization of "the Bank" commonly signifies the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).PDF The World Bank Group is a greater body consisting of:

  1. the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), established in 1945, which provides debt financing on the basis of sovereign guarantees.
  2. the International Finance Corporation (IFC), established in 1956, which provides various forms of financing without sovereign guarantees, primarily to the private sector;
  3. the International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, which provides concessional financing (interest-free loans or grants), usually with sovereign guarantees;
  4. the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), established in 1965, which works with governments to reduce investment risk;
  5. the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), established in 1988, which provides insurance against certain types of risk, including political risk, primarily to the private sector.

Each World Bank Group institution operates according to procedures established by its Articles of Agreement, or an equivalent governing document. These documents outline the conditions of membership and the general principles of organization, management, and operations. Each institution is run by a Board of Governors meeting once a year. Each member country appoints a governor, generally its Minister of Finance. On a daily basis the World Bank Group is run by a Board of 25 Executive Directors to whom the governors have delegated certain powers. Each Director represents either one country (for the largest countries), or a group of countries. Executive Directors are appointed by their respective governments or the constituencies.ref.

The World Bank Institute is the capacity-development branch of the World Bank, providing learning and other capacity-building programs to member countries.

The World Bank understands policy as a statement of broad substantive principles that require, permit or constrain Bank activities to achieve institutional goals.

The World Bank Operational Manual (OpManual)

The World Bank Operational Manual contains the operational policies (OPs), Policies, bank procedures (BPs), Directives, and interim instructions to staff (OpMemos) on the conduct of Bank operations.

The World Bank Operational Manual (OM)

The World Bank Operational Manual contains the operational policies (OPs), Policies, bank procedures (BPs), Directives, and interim instructions to staff (OpMemos) on the conduct of Bank operations.

The World Bank Operational Manual contains the operational policies (OPs), Policies, bank procedures (BPs), Directives, and interim instructions to staff (OpMemos) on the conduct of Bank operations. Click the tabs above for definitions of each term.
Operational Policies (OPs): are short, focused statements of policy that are based on the Bank's Articles of Agreement, the General Conditions, and policies approved by the Bank’s Executive Directors. OPs set out the mandatory policy requirements for the conduct of Bank operations.

Bank Procedures (BPs): are statements setting out the general mandatory procedural requirements necessary for Bank staff to carry out the policies set out in the OPs. They are designed to ensure Bankwide consistency and quality in Bank operations.

Directive: a statement of substantive directions, within Management’s authority, that require, permit or constrain activities. If accompanied by a Policy, the statement provides substantive details (methods, criteria and technical information) on how to implement the Policy. The statement may also address matters not covered by a Policy.

Operational Memoranda (OpMemos): are interim mandatory requirements designed to elaborate on requirements in OPs/BPs or to reflect changes to the OPs/BPs which have not yet been incorporated in the OPs/BPs concerned. Once the requirements in OpMemos are incorporated into revisions of the pertinent OPs/BPs, the Op Memos are retired.


Operational Manual (OM)

Operational Policy Waivers
World Bank Group Directive - Country Engagement
OP 1.00Poverty Reduction
OP 2.30Development Cooperation and Conflict
OP 3.10Financial Terms and Conditions of IBRD Loans, IBRD Hedging Products, and IDA Credits
Annex A - Past Loans of IBRD
Annex B - Prepayment of IBRD Loans
Annex C - Countries Ranked by Per Capita Income
Annex D - IBRD/IDA and Blend Countries: Per Capita Incomes, Lending Eligibility, and Repayment Terms OP 4.00 - Piloting the Use of Borrower Systems to Address Environmental and Social Safeguard Issues in Bank-Supported Projects
Table A1 - Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies—Policy Objectives and Operational Principles
OP 4.01Environmental Assessment
Annex A - Definitions
Annex B - Content of an Environmental Assessment Report for a Category A Project
Annex C - Environmental Management Plan
BP 4.01Environmental Assessment
Annex A - Application of EA to Dam and Reservoir Projects, 1999
Annex B - Application of EA to Projects Involving Pest Management: Environmental Assessment
OP 4.02Environmental Action Plans
OP 4.03Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities
BP 4.03Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities
OP 4.04Natural Habitats
Annex A - Definitions
BP 4.04Natural Habitats
OP 4.07Water Resources Management
OP 4.09Pest Management
OP 4.10Indigenous Peoples
Annex A - Social Assessment
Annex B - Indigenous Peoples Plan
Annex C - Indigenous Peoples Planning Framework
OP 4.11Physical Cultural Resources
OP 4.12Involuntary Resettlement
Annex A - Involuntary Resettlement Instruments</em>
OP 4.20Gender and Development
OP 4.36Forests
Annex A - Definitions
OP 4.37Safety of Dams
OP 4.76Tobacco
OP 7.00Lending Operations: Choice of Borrower and Contractual Agreements
OP 7.20Security Arrangements
OP 7.30Dealings with De Facto Governments
OP 7.40Disputes over Defaults on External Debt, Expropriation, and Breach of Contract
OP 7.50Projects on International Waterways
OP 7.60Projects in Disputed Areas
OP 8.00Rapid Response to Crises and Emergencies
OP 8.40Technical Assistance
OP 8.45Grants
Annex A - DGF Eligibility Criteria
OP 8.60Development Policy Lending
OP 9.00Program-for-Results Financing
OP 10.00Investment Project Financing
OP 10.20Global Environment Facility Operations
OP 10.21Investment Operations Financed by the Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol
Annex A - The Montreal Protocol
Annex B - Eligible Activities
OP 11.00Procurement
OP 13.60Monitoring and Evaluation
OP 14.10External Debt Reporting and Financial Statements
OP 14.20Cofinancing
Annex A - Sources and Types of Cofinancing
OP 14.40Trust Funds

Social Policy

The corpus of social and environmental ‘policy’ at the World Bank is comprised of ‘stand-alone’ operational policy instruments. [c.f. IFC, EBRD and ADB] ‘Social development policies’ at the World Bank aim to minimize the negative impact of Bank-funded operations. Policy is thematically distinguished, i.e. ‘Indigenous Peoples’, [‘Involuntary Resettlement’])(“Involuntary Resettlement - OP 4.12.”), ‘Conflict and Development’, and ‘Gender and Development’.1

Toward Defining a ‘Safeguard Policy Framework’ at the World Bank

The World Bank does not explicitly distinguish stand-alone safeguard policies. Rather, the concept of safeguard is manifest in policy statements that that certain issues require special attention during project design and implementation and therefore requires certain types of interventions as part of loan processing.That is to say, safeguards are considered to be written into each of several thematically-defined policies—principally within the Operational Manual.2