The World Bank Poverty Global Practice’s first event was held on 21-22 October in Washington DC. It aimed to inspire collaboration and innovation, build a strong and interconnected global team working on poverty related issues, and create a space where staff can learn from one another and from key external experts, like the Director of the World Centre for Sustainable Development (RIO+ Centre), Rômulo Paes Sousa.
Paes took part in two panel debates. The objective of the first one was to fuel the debate on what is needed to accelerate progress towards achieving the Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity. The topics Paes addressed during this panel were: analytical and empirical tools for incorporating sustainability into poverty analytics; key differences between middle-income and low-income countries (MICs and LICs, respectively) in terms of poverty reduction priorities and approaches; and impact assessments used by the Brazilian government in the Brazil without Extreme Poverty Programme.
The panel was chaired by Chico Ferreira, the World Bank’s Chief Economist for the Africa Region. The other panellists were James Robinson, Professor of Government at Harvard University; Santiago Levy, Inter-American Development Bank Vice-President for Sectors and Knowledge, and Marcelo Giugale, Senior Director of the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Global Practice at the World Bank.
The second panel debate, held on 21 October, addressed the issue, “What do our clients want from us?” The session was chaired by Ana Revenga, the Senior Director of the World Bank’s Poverty Global Practice. In addition to the RIO+ Centre’s Director, the panel was composed of World Bank Chief of Staff, Yvonne Tsikata, and Manuela Ferro, Director of Strategy and Operations for the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Paes represented the Bank’s client countries on this panel. The session’s objective was to launch a debate on how the Poverty Global Practice can help the Bank’s clients deliver on its twin goals more effectively and what success would look like for them.
With the recent reorganization of the World Bank, all of its operational staff working directly on poverty issues have been concentrated into one of the 14 new Global Practices. The Poverty Global Practice’s team consists of a group of approximately 200 micro-economists and development practitioners. This team is at the centre of the World Bank’s mission to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and promote shared prosperity (i.e. foster income growth among the bottom 40 percent of the population).