World Bank Looks to Leverage Partnerships With Foundations

Hoping to capitalize on its long history of working with foundations on global issues, the World Bank is looking to increase the number of such partnerships to help reduce global poverty and boost incomes for the bottom 40 percent in developing countries.

Between 2008 and 2013, private foundations contributed $1 billion to trust funds managed by the World Bank Group, or about 2 percent of the group's total budget. According to bank officials, WBG is looking to expand its partnerships with foundations by making it easier for them to work with the bank.

The bank's current partners include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is supporting a program to provide care to millions of tuberculosis patients; the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, which is collaborating on an effort to measure the quality of health and education services around the globe; and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, which is supporting a bank-led effort to preserve the Amazon rainforest. The bank also worked with several partners in 2012 — including the Aga Khan, Ford, Gates, Hewlett, Charles Stewart Mott, and Open Society foundations, as well as the German Marshall Fund and TrustAfrica — to launch the Global Partnership for Social Accountability, which aims to amplify citizen engagement around the international development process.

The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank, also partners with foundations to leverage its initiatives, which include efforts focused on filling critical gaps in access to finance for job-creating small and medium-sized enterprises, health care, environmental and social sustainability, and investment in and training for smallholder farmers.

"We are ready to be innovative, to use our capital and work together," IFC executive vice president and CEO Jin-Yong Cai said in an address to foundations at a recent World Bank meeting. "IFC's involvement gives validation for others to invest."

"Foundations Bring Philanthropy, Know-How, Vision." World Bank Group News Release 05/28/2013.