BIC''s strategic plan
Over its 20-year history, the Bank Information Center (BIC) has partnered with civil society in developing and transition countries – as well as the Global North – to influence the World Bank and other international financial institutions (IFIs) to promote social and economic justice and ecological sustainability. For the 2009-2012 period, BIC will pursue this mission with a primary institutional focus on the World Bank Group.
The strategic plan will guide BIC’s work for the next four years, assuming a $2.2 million annual budget and adding two staffers to the current count of 19 full-time staff.
With the emergence in recent years of various international financial regulatory bodies as well as alternative sources of finance, the power and influence of the World Bank has been called into question. In the face of the global economic crisis sparked in 2008, the World Bank Group is likely to increase its power and finance for at least the next few years, particularly for aid-dependent countries and middle-income countries with high levels of debt. At the same time, the markets will shun goals, such as economic justice and ecological sustainability, if they are perceived as short-term costs rather than long-term benefits. Hence, the need for BIC’s mission and role as the premier go-to organization on the World Bank Group (WBG) is greater than ever.
The community BIC serves
BIC is a principal source of information for affected communities, non-governmental organizations and grassroots groups working to address the negative impacts of economic globalization. BIC is also a resource for government employees, IFI staff, the media, students, and the general public.
Working to democratize development
BIC’s work focuses on four essential elements to democratizing decision making within powerful public institutions:
- Protecting economic, social, cultural, and environmental rights, in part by promoting greater consistency between IFI safeguards and international law, standards, and norms.
- Promoting enhanced access to information by building civil society networks interested in access to information at the IFIs, promoting transparency at the regional development banks and strengthening recourse mechanisms available to the public when information is denied.
- Holding IFIs accountable by strengthening and extending the mandates of the World Bank Inspection Panel and internal accountability mechanisms at other IFIs, while at the same time promoting alternative channels of accountability.
- Demanding greater opportunities for civic engagement by evolving a set of lessons learned, principles, and guidelines that can help civil society set the terms of engagement in future IFI project and policy processes.