As IDA aligns its operations with the Corporate Scorecard, what should shareholders prioritize during the IDA21 replenishment?

For the first time, IDA’s 21st replenishment policy package will align with the Corporate Scorecard. In the midst of these changes, IDA must demonstrate how it will maintain its additive value and show ambition on its environmental, social, and accountability standards.

The International Development Association (IDA), the arm of the World Bank that provides grants and concessional loans to the world’s poorest countries, is currently undergoing its 21st replenishment (IDA21). At the same time, in April 2024, the World Bank released its new Corporate Scorecard, which tracks all World Bank financing institutions against 22 performance indicators. IDA has shared that, for the first time, IDA21 policy commitments will align with the Corporate Scorecard as the Bank seeks harmonization across its portfolio. While we support the Bank’s initiative to increase consistency across its policies and operations, we are concerned that this change will diminish IDA’s additive value, and many priorities, including those from IDA’s 20th replenishment, will be left behind. 

IDA is essential to addressing our most critical development challenges and setting high standards across the field. During replenishments, donors negotiate these standards, advocate for policy reforms, and seek greater ambition from IDA. As IDA undertakes this significant reform to reduce the number of policy commitments in IDA21, the United States and other major shareholders must push the Bank to demonstrate how these changes won’t diminish environmental, social, and accountability standards. Specifically, in our recommendations, we call on IDA to go beyond the Corporate Scorecard and address the following priorities in its IDA21 policy package: 

  1. Prioritize accountability, transparency, inclusivity, and ambition in climate commitments
  2. Enhance natural capital in land use   
  3. Seek stronger commitments on disability during IDA21
  4. Preventing Sexual Exploitation, Abuse, and Harassment (SEA/H), especially of children, should be prioritized
  5. Go beyond the gender binary and address SO/GI/SC (sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics)

We appreciate the World Bank’s renewed focus on impact and initiative to seek consistency in its projects and policies, but these efforts should not overshadow the role of IDA. It is not enough for the IDA21 policy package to match the Corporate Scorecard; it must also provide additive value that addresses the specific needs of the world’s poorest countries and the most marginalized groups within those countries. Finally, due to the shift in structure, we call on IDA to improve its transparency around the process and release its draft policy package well before the June 18-21, 2024 IDA Deputies Meeting.

Read our full, detailed recommendations.