The World Bank is taking action to rebuild the credibility of its research after a data-rigging scandal forced it to cancel its flagship “Doing Business” report on the business climate in countries, the country said on Monday. president of the bank, David Malpass.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the annual World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings this week, Malpass said strong research products remain a high priority for the bank and that she will work on new ways to help countries to improve their business climate.
When asked how the bank was going to rebuild its credibility after the scandal, Malpass had taken “several steps” to improve research integrity, including raising chief economist Carmen Reinhart to a senior position.
Malpass declined to answer questions about the IMF’s board review of an external World Bank investigative report alleging that IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva pressured IMF staff. World Bank to change the data in favor of China in the Doing Business report in 2017, when she was CEO of the bank.
The IMF’s board was due to deliberate again on Monday as to whether she should continue to lead the IMF.
The same investigative report from law firm WilmerHale found that World Bank staff altered the data to improve Saudi Arabia’s “Doing Business” ranking in October 2019 – six months after Malpass took over. highest position in the bank – but he found no evidence of the bank’s involvement. Office of the president or members of the board of directors.
Malpass did not detail what other steps the bank is taking to strengthen its research function, but said Reinhart would be a senior chairman and among the top 10 World Bank Group leaders who guide policy and decision-making. to the multilateral development lender. .
“I really want to reinforce the importance of high quality research and the ability of the bank to produce that research in high volumes,” said Malpass.
“Doing Business,” which ranked countries’ business climates on measures such as ease of navigation through regulations, availability of funding and legal frameworks, was the bank’s most popular publication, according to current officials. and alumni of the bank.
Launched in 2003, “Doing Business” was widely used by private fund managers to assess country risk and guide investment decisions, but countries regularly sought to persuade researchers why they deserved a higher ranking.
Malpass said helping countries improve their business climate is “vital for development” and a priority for the World Bank. However, he didn’t provide any details on what those plans might include.
Source: Canada Express News