Chernick, Sidney E.

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Chernick, Sidney E.

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Sidney E. Chernick, a Canadian national, was employed by the World Bank from 1969 to 1990. Chernick graduated from the University of Manitoba and gained a Master's Degree from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Prior to joining the Bank, Chernick was employed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLA) in Santiago, and, for five years, by the United Nations in New York. He also taught Economics at the University of Melbourne.

Chernick began his employment at the World Bank as an economist in the Central America and Caribbean Department (CAC) in 1969. He was promoted to Senior Economist in 1970.

In 1972 he joined the newly created Policy, Planning and Program Review Department; he would remain in the Department until its termination in 1982. (The Department had different acronyms over the years: EPR from 1972 to 1977 and PPR from 1977 to 1982. It was also referred to as PPPRD and PP&PR.) The basic functions of the PPPRD were to identify development policy issues, to prepare or coordinate analysis of alternative program and policies, and to supervise the presentation of policy papers at the appropriate level of management. It provided guidelines for analysis in economic reports and country programs and reviewed country programs before their submission to the President to ensure the quality of economic analysis, consistency with Bank development objectives, and consideration of alternative strategies.

The PPPRD consisted of only two divisions during its existence: the Policy Planning Division (PPRPP) and the Program Review Division (PPRPR). Chernick was named Division Chief of the Program Review Division in or around September of 1973 and reported directly to PPPRD Director, Hahbub ul Haz. (Ul Haz and the PPPRD, in turn, reported to Hollis B. Chenery, Vice President of the Office of the Vice President Development Policy [DPS].) Chernick's division was responsible for:


  • Establishing guidelines for the content of Economic Reports and, in cooperation with the Programming and Budgeting Department, of Country Program Papers;


  • Managing the review of Economic Reports and Country Program Papers in close collaboration with the Regional Offices and the Programming and Budgeting Department with a view to evaluating alternative policy options for management;


  • Evaluating the annual and 5-year country economic work program of the Regional Offices;


  • Maintaining communication links between the DPS and the Regional Offices on issues of development strategy and Bank policy at the country or regional levels;


  • Analyzing selected economic development issues of Bank-wide relevance and ad hoc questions raised by management; and


  • Providing support for selected economic missions.

In the spring of 1976, Chernick was named Senior Advisor in PPPRD and would serve in this capacity until the Bank's and PPPRD's reorganization in 1982. He would also serve as Acting Director at various times during the decade in which he was a PPPRD staff member.

In February of 1982, Chernick was named Assistant Director of the newly-established Country Policy Department (CPD). The CPD replaced the PPPRD and assumed its functions and much of its staff (as well as staff from the former Development Economics Department [DED]). Chernick's main responsibilities in the CPD included:


  • Providing advice and support to the regions on designing assistance strategies and preparing CPPs, structural adjustment and other program lending, and carrying out policy dialogue with member countries;


  • Serving management through reviews of CPPs and country economic and sector work plans, through advice on lending allocation, and through work on operational policy issues;


  • Conducting applied research and preparing papers on such issues as trade strategies, resource mobilization, economic management, employment productivity and welfare;


  • Acting as a secretariat for the Operations Policy Sub-Committee of the Managing Committee.

In June 1983, Chernick was named a Senior Advisor of CPD.

In January of 1984, Chernick moved to the South Asia Country Programs Department (ASADR) under the title of Senior Economist. Chernick's activities involved: supporting the design and quality of economic and sector work by undertaking regional, country, and project analyses; and raising the capacity of the practitioners by providing guidance, organizing training courses and regional seminars, and participating actively in recruitment.

On November 1, 1986, Chernick joined the Economic Development Institute (EDI, later the World Bank Institute [WBI]), the Bank's capacity development branch. Chernick was named the Advisor on Senior Policy Seminars in the Institute's Front Office. These seminars, beginning in the mid-1980s, offered short policy-related seminars to high-level government officials that would explore issues, alternatives, and likely implementation problems in bringing about policy improvements. Chernick remained in this position until he retired from the World Bank in 1990.

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