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Records of the (Staff) Economic Committee

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Records of the (Staff) Economic Committee

  • WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_118
  • Fondo
  • 1957 - 1972

Fonds contains records related to the activities of the Staff Economic Committee (SEC) and its successor the Economic Committee (EC). Records consist of communications from the committees' secretariat to committee members and the draft reports that the committee reviewed; other reports or background information that was not reviewed by the committee but used for informational purposes are also included. Records of the subcommittee, created in 1965, are also included, but in small number.

Records related to the first five years of SEC (1952-1957) are not included and are unaccounted for. Records relating to the work of the SEC from 1958 to 1964 are included, although in lesser number than those relating to the EC. Only committee communications for the SEC from 1958 to 1964 are included.

(Staff) Economic Committee

Country files

Series consists of a set of country files which combines communications from the secretariats of the Staff Economic Committee (SEC) and its successor Economic Committee (EC) and reports circulated to committee members for review during a meeting of the committee, for written comment, or for information. Records relate exclusively to the review of country-related reports as opposed to general sector or Bank policy reports.

Records in this series include the full range of correspondence, memoranda, and reports circulated as part of the committee's activities between 1965 and 1972; there are a very small number of records dating from 1962 to 1964. Records relating to committee communications include: memoranda proposing meetings by committee members; conclusions and recommendations on papers; notes of meetings; memoranda submitted by committee members who could not attend meetings containing their comments on reports; attendance lists; informal notes for discussion for upcoming meetings; memoranda on the meeting of an EC subcommittee that previously reviewed the report; and meetings minutes.

Reports circulated by the committee secretariat for review and other materials circulated for information and background are also included in this series. Records include: press releases; briefing papers; portions of president's reports and recommendations on projects submitted to the Executive Directors; mission Terms of Reference; Country Economic Briefs, Country Program Notes, and Country Program Papers; and International Development Association (IDA) operations briefs on specific countries.

Note that in some report folders, only a secretariat's cover letter is included, indicating the title of a draft report that was previously attached and the date when either comments are requested or when a meeting will be held to discuss the report. In these cases, the actual report is not included and the folder title indicates "no report attached".

Circulation of reports for review or information

Series contains draft reports and related materials circulated by the Economic Committee (EC) secretariat to committee members for review during a meeting of the committee, for written comment, or for information. In rare cases, the report is circulated by the committee chairperson. Most of the files included in this series use the classification system imposed following the reconstitution, in 1965, of the Staff Economic Committee (SEC) as the Economic Committee. Those files that include classification in their titles are classified as EC/O, or reports distributed to committee members, most but not all under review by the committee.

Note that in some report folders, only a secretariat's cover letter is included, indicating the title of a draft report that was previously attached and the date when either comments are requested, or a meeting will be held to discuss the report. In these cases, the actual report is not included, and the folder title indicates "no report attached".

The majority of the EC's time was given to review of reports focused on the economies and development prospects of individual countries. As such, most of the draft reports included in this series are Country Program Papers (CPPs, October 1969 to October 1972), Country Program Notes, Recent Economic Developments, or other general country economic reports. A small number of more focused country reports relating to the review of a specific aspect of that country's economy are included; these are generally focused on economic sectors suchas transportation, agriculture, energy, etc.

Draft reports relating to non-country-specific topics that were circulated to committee members are also included in this series. Reports date from 1965 to 1970. Some folders include the report as well as "correspondence" which generally refers to memoranda or other documents distributed in support of the review of the report under consideration.

Also contained in this series are draft versions of country economic profiles in the form of "Country Economic Briefs" prepared in 1968 by the Economic and Area Departments with contributions by the EC. These profiles were created, as described in the collection's preface, "to be a ready reference on the economies of World Bank Group members and of the World Bank Group's economic policy attitude towards them." The intention was to upgrade and update the material when more information became available. The briefs may include: a brief discussion of the country's economic situation and development challenges, authored by Area Departments; conclusions and recommendations prepared by the EC; a data brief, compiled by the Economic and Area Departments; and the latest economic map available highlighting topics such as land use, manufacturing centers, resource areas, etc.

A set of Five-Year Program Papers from 1968-69 are also included in this series. These economic profiles duplicate much of what is included in the Country Economic Briefs. The primary addition, which is not included for every folder, is memoranda summarizing the current development outlook for the country. This includes discussion of key problems and issues, creditworthiness, Bank actions, and tables documenting Bank project lending.

The series includes a small collection of monthly reports on Bank lending operations dating from 1969 and 1970. It is unclear if these tables were circulated to committee members or if they served as reference material for the committee's secretariat. The reports each focus on active or potential Bank-funded projects and consist oftwo types: reports on appraisal and negotiations of a project; and preparation and identification of a project. The former charts the progress of the appraisal and negotiations through 12 steps, from "decision to send appraisal mission" to "loan or credit signed." Each step includes an original forecast date, the previous month's forecast, and the current forecast or actual date. Reports on the preparation and identification of projects list the latest step completed as well as pre-investment studies required. Both types of reports include the option for notes and are signed by the Loan Officer.

Monthly reports describing expected economic missions by Area Departments and the staffing needs related to that mission travel are also included. Reports, beginning in January 1969, initially included expected mission travel and staff required for the following six months. Beginning in September 1969, reports began providing this information for the twelve months. While it is likely that all of these reports were circulated to committee members, beginning in September 1969 each report includes a cover letter indicating that the report was sent to committee members by the committee's secretariat. The final report provides planned mission travel for April 1970 to June 1971.

Committee communications

Series contains communications primarily circulated by the Staff Economic Committee (SEC, 1952-1965) and Economic Committee (EC, 1965-1972) secretariats to the members of the committee. In rare cases, records included in this series were circulated by the committee's chairperson. Beginning in July 1965 with the reconstitution of SEC as the EC, communications include an "Economic Committee" cover stencil and are classified according to what kind of document it is; in the case of the records in this series, EC/A (notice of meeting) and EC/M (notice of meeting, conclusions and recommendations, and minutes) are used.

Generally, only a single document is included in each folder; a single document may, however, include attachments in the form of reports or other documents that will be reviewed by the committee or used as reference. Communications include: minutes from the meeting (dated either the same day as the meeting or within two weeks) which usually document the highlights of a meeting listed in chronological order; notes from the meeting, which are more formal in that they have topical subsections often including a "conclusions and recommendations" section; and standalone "Conclusions and Recommendations". In small amounts, "Notice of Meeting" memoranda relating to upcoming meetings are included. These can include meeting agendas and logistical information. Notice of Meeting memoranda can also include attachments such as reports to be reviewed or supporting documentation to be considered.

A relatively small number of records relating to the communications of EC subcommittees dating from 1965 to 1967 are also included in this series. As part of the 1965 reconstitution of SEC into the new EC, subcommittees were created and given the responsibility to review drafts of country- and region-related reports for quality review prior to consideration by the full EC. The majority of the reports reviewed by the subcommittees are "Current Economic Position and Prospects" for individual countries. Records include the notes of the subcommittee meetings and a list of those in attendance. Most subcommittee records are classified as EC/F.

This series also contains three folders dating from 1970 to 1972 that include distribution lists of committee members, procedures on how to write and distribute committee materials, schedules of meetings, and memoranda discussing administrative matters of the secretariat.

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