The World Bank is making a shift from a lending function to a knowledge function. This will amplify the role of researchers in its work.
Penny Goldberg is the World Bank’s Chief Economist. This means she manages the research department and is in charge of the research agenda. The World Bank has to continuously evolve to meet its ambitious agenda of eliminating extreme poverty and achieving shared prosperity. Its strength lies in its capacity to produce knowledge and convene policy makers and practitioners. Today, its greatest challenge is transitioning from an organisation that has been traditionally focused on lending to serving as an intermediary between the private sector and governments, conveying policy advice. More systematic collaboration with academia would be useful in making this transition.