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... until's economic performance. For example, in Africa, because of the high poverty, the Bank helped by funding the private sector, to achieve economic growth. It also helped with the AIDS problem, which is one of the most serious problems facing Africa today. Another example is South Asia, where the Bank's help was needed in rural and urban necessities, like Infrastructure, health and education, because of the high percentage of the poor. It also helped in many other regions, like East Asia, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa.
Also in FY 99 the Bank's lending and non lending services were focused mainly on adjustment lending, which was to help the poor in social projects, like education and health and natural disasters like the Hurricane Mitch and the floods in Bangladesh and getting further away from investment lending. There is also a new funding plan IDA- 12, which focuses on financing people-related issues, fighting corruption and having open and exposed government dealings, promoting labor-intensive, dynamic growth of the private sector and protecting the environment. The Bank also laid out several plans to relief poor countries that are heavily indebted to the Bank from their debts, and already several countries were found entitled to such a program and several more were lined up for FY 00. The last step taken by the Bank in FY 99 in terms of poverty reduction, was aid coordination, which takes individual cases and offers assistance through things like seminars and conferences. Secondly, the Bank focused on increasing responsiveness to client needs, through being much more flexible and trying to get closer to the client. This year the Bank had much more representatives around the world in far-away areas, to deal with crises right away, should they arise.
Consultative group meetings and client surveys are also part of the flexibility plan, so that the Bank can act according to the feedback from its clients. Flexibility also shows in the Bank tapping new areas that it hadn't explored before to help its clients, like Vulnerability Assessments, Institutional Reviews, social safeguard policies and also the Post-Conflict Fund. The Bank also showed its flexibility in several individual cases, where it used different lending methods to suit the different cases, for example, the new Partial Credit Guarantee to help clients with strong economic and social programs to improve their access to private foreign financing. The third point in serving the client better, the Bank wanted to improve development effectiveness. In FY 99 the Bank did this by improving the efficiency of its work, so to speak. In latest estimates of the Operations Evaluations Department, 77 % of Bank projects had satisfactory outcomes, as well as, an improvements in anticipating problems in existing projects, thus avoiding taking many risks.
Moreover, 'projects in FY 99 were prepared in half the time and at two thirds the cost of five years ago', which is a remarkable improvement. In addition to this, the Bank improved development effectiveness, by relying more heavily on evaluation of every project by the country involved, and not only that, these reports are analyzed together in order to build patterns for several countries or a theme for a certain project. Also in FY 99 the Bank paid more attention to allocation of funds, and instead of doing it equally, it discovered that giving more to efficiently managed countries, results in an effective decrease in poverty. Finally, the Bank focused on becoming a more open, transparent organization; and that's exactly what it did. It started sharing information about itself and its development plan, CASs, after it being confidential. Its magazine Development News in on-line, and it launched several other publications, to educate people about its many activities.
It also launched and corroborated with several organizations in different parts of the world in order to offer people education about World Bank activities. The World Bank Annual Report 1999 ends on a somewhat optimistic note that all the countries with crises have passed the worst, and that in the new millennium the Bank will do its best to continue in poverty reduction, in improving its performance and in ensuring development. Analysis Both reports focus mainly on the efforts done in the previous period to reduce poverty, and that eliminating poverty is one of the most important and dangerous problems facing the world today, thus, in essence, both reports have the same message. Both recognized the futility of the International Development Goals for 2015, and that it's not working, and a more practical solution needs to be prepared. In the World Development Report (WDR) a strategy is laid out for the countries to go by, and how to implement this strategy is also thoroughly explained.
It is also stressed that each country will implement this strategy according to its own individual conditions. In the World Bank Report (WBR), the same point is raised, when introducing the CDF; it stresses that "it is not a blueprint to be applied to all countries in a uniform manner", which basically makes the same point as the WDR. It also brings up the point that the Bank won't be involved in this scheme, unless problems arise, so the countries have to deal with it on their own. Both reports mentioned specifically a few types of phenomena that occur due to poverty and stresses on the fact that these were really major problems, for example the HIV/AIDS problem in Africa and child mortality. Both have also agreed that if their plans were carried out, poverty will greatly diminish in the not-so-distant future. The major difference between each report comes from the fact that in the WDR it is all theoretical, for example, it says that the governments have to improve their facilities and services, like health, education and infrastructure, so as to give the poor equal opportunities.
In the WBR, on the other hand, it says that in needy countries, the World Bank actually finances and funds their infrastructure and educational programs. In the WBR it mentions many different things of this sort, while in the WDR it only clarifies the plan that should be adopted by the countries. Another difference is that in the WBR it is sort of dealing with clients that it wants to please and to better its performance for, and that its plan for reducing poverty, is only part of what it does, in order to reach this goal. The WDR was dealing with the poverty problem only, so I think it sounded more involved in it and more giving in attention to this problem only, using greater detail. I think that for the general public, the WDR is much easier laid out and written, with sufficient background information, plenty of detail and a more humanitarian side of the issue. The WBR is much more disordered, financially oriented, with much greater monetary detail and not much emphasis on the compassionate side of the problem.
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