In 1993 Gloria Davis became the chief of the World Bank's Social Policy and Resettlement Division and in 1997 she became the director of the Department of Social Policy. In these positions she directed studies, authored papers, and participated in major Bank task forces and initiatives. This series of files is organized by subject, principally around major topics in social policy. Within each subject the files are chronological and often include background materials used for studies and drafts at various stages of the writing process.
These files are a rich resource for the study of the social policy debate within the Bank. Through the drafts and comments on them, the user can see the varied influences on the final version of a study and the role that Davis played in the outcome. Because many of the topics overlapped, a researcher interested in one topic might find very useful information in another subject file on a related topic.
Clusters of files are found around topics that were the focus of a working group or task force in which Davis participated; see, for example, the files on participation in development by local communities, on safeguards, and on the fiftieth anniversary of the World Bank. In early 1996 the Bank formed a Task Group on Social Development, which had ten satellite groups to work on specific areas. Davis was a member of the Task Group and deeply involved in the work of the satellite group on social capital. The main files are Task Group on Social Development, with additional files under Social capital - Correspondence. The files include printed email messages, drafts, and background information shared among the group members.
During 2001 and 2003, Davis was one of the representatives of the Bank on a collaborative effort by the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank to develop a common framework for environmental impact assessment. The group developed a report, A Common Framework: Converging Requirements of Multilateral Financial institutions. The series includes meeting agendas, draft papers, and comments by World Bank staff members on the harmonization effort.
Another set of files are those Davis assembled when writing her major study, History of the Social Development Network in the World Bank, 1973-2002. For this work she pulled together materials from the 1970s to the present,often in copies but sometimes in originals. The files on the history contain correspondence from readers of drafts or persons to whom she directed questions; in addition, many of the items listed in the annex to the History can be found scattered throughout this series.
In addition, Davis retained her lifelong interest in Indonesia, and a small amount of material on Indonesia is also found in the series, both as a separate subject and in areas such as Social capital. Local level institutions study, which looked intensively at institutions in Indonesia.
Any researcher interested in the development of the social policy in the Bank will find these records useful, particularly those on the Task Force and on the history Davis wrote of social development in the Bank.