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World Bank introduces new outcomes-focused impact measurement framework

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Published: 15 April 2024

The new indicators are designed to sharpen the focus of the multilateral development bank group on accountability and impact, as well as standardising measurement of progress across its institutions.

The World Bank Group is harmonising impact measurement across its constituent organisations and plans to make the results and methodology available to other development banks | World Bank campus in Washington DC | World Bank / Franz Mahr

The World Bank Group is changing the way it measures the impact of the projects it supports, introducing a slimmed down series of indicators to be applied across the group’s activities, that will be focused on outcomes rather than inputs. 

A new corporate scorecard will track results across 22 indicators with the objective of providing a clearer picture of progress towards actual improvement in lives. These indicators were decided after a consultation with the Bank’s shareholders and partners over recent months. A provisional version of the scorecard was made available in September 2023.

The scorecard will replace more than 150 indicators previously used to assess World Bank Group projects, which varied across the group’s institutions, had uneven data quality and were not easily comparable. 

In doing so, the World Bank said it is replacing a reporting tool with a results-oriented management tool across all aspects of its mission from improving access to healthcare to making food systems sustainable and boosting private investment. The World Bank said the change was “putting the focus squarely on lives improved rather than money out the door” and would intensify its focus on accountability and impact.

Anna Bjerde, World Bank managing director of operations, described the change as a significant step forward for the group.

“It’s a real game changer, providing a new guidepost that our teams can rally around, and provides full visibility on how well we are tackling the most difficult challenges like poverty, climate change, fragility, and food insecurity,” she said.

As an example of how the focus will switch from inputs to outputs, the World Bank said that instead of showing how many people had access to financial services, it would now focus on the number of people that used them. This would drive action towards results and allow the Bank to correct course throughout the process, it said. 

Data gathered using the new scorecard and the methodologies used are to be made available via an online platform, with the aim of helping to harmonise results measurement with other development banks. The Bank said the new system would also allow for a more detailed breakdown of data that would help it disaggregate results by, for example, gender, youth, region, and country groups.

The first results using the scorecard will be published in the next few months with all data expected to be ready to share at the 2024 IMF-World Bank Group Annual Meetings. Annual updates will then be released until 2030.

Outcomes-based indicators

1.     Millions of beneficiaries of social safety net programs

2.     Millions of students supported with better education

3.     Millions of people receiving quality health, nutrition, and population services

4.     Millions of people benefitting from strengthened capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to health emergencies

5.     Countries at high risk or in debt distress that implemented reforms toward debt sustainability

6.     Countries with tax revenues to GDP ratio at or below 15% (including social security contributions) that have increased collections, considering equity

7.     Net greenhouse gas emissions per year

8.     Millions of people with enhanced resilience to climate risks

9.     Millions of hectares of terrestrial and aquatic areas under enhanced conservation and management

10.  Millions of people provided with water, sanitation, and hygiene, of which (%) is safely managed

11.  Millions of people with strengthened food and nutrition security

12.  Millions of people that benefit from improved access to sustainable transport infrastructure and services

13.  Millions of people provided with access to electricity

14.  Gigawatts of renewable energy capacity enabled

15.  Millions of people using broadband internet

16.  Millions of people using digitally enabled services

17.  Millions of people benefitting from greater gender equality, of which (%) from actions that expand and enable economic opportunities

18.  Millions of people and businesses using financial services, of which (%) are women

19.  Millions of new or better jobs

– of which (%) for women

– of which (%) for youth

20.  Millions of displaced people and people in host communities provided with services and livelihoods

21.  Billions of dollars of total private capital enabled

22. Billions of dollars of total private capital mobilised

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