The knowledge bank that listens to the people

The Jakarta Post interviewed World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati on the challenges she deals with in the regions she oversees:  East Asia Pacific, Middle East and North Africa.  According to the Jakarta Post, Ms Indrawati

"believes that the global financial institution must practice what it preaches to its member countries on governance, including the principles of openness, transparency and accountability."

She sees the World Bank as a knowledge bank which offers "vast experience and knowledge across the board to countries in critical transition".  Part of that knowledge is the importance of

"understand(ing) the actual voice of the people. We learned that they need to restore the economy in order to create jobs, create a more inclusive growth and the voice of the youth says it wants social accountability and transparency."

Referencing the Indonesian experience she states that

"The country (Indonesia) had to have ownership of wanting to change, that this was something that the people strongly demanded. Then you must have good sequencing and a clear idea of how you are going to navigate through the complex transition. Managing the process, designing the sequencing, always listening to the people and ensuring that the decision will not defeat the goal of development itself, all these resonate very strongly with the situation in the Middle East today."

On the subject of governance, she talked about the importance of building stable governance institutions to promote economic growth and development.

"The bank’s core duty remains in development, in job creation, social safety nets and macroeconomic growth supporting programs. But the latest World Development Report looked at fragile states or states in conflict, and found that institutions, citizen participation and social accountability are all important. They fall into what you call governance.

In the past, this was seen as political, but now we see this as an element of development. We stand ready in supporting programs related to institutional and capacity building for our members. In the Middle East, we are now introducing four high priority areas: creating jobs, providing targeted social safety nets, promoting inclusive growth, and building transparency governance and social accountability"