Fonds - Records of the Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice Presidency

Identity area

Reference code



Records of the Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice Presidency


  • 1993 - 1997 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

40.31 linear feet of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

Biographical history

The Environmentally Sustainable Development Vice Presidency (ESD) was one of three vice presidencies created during Bank President Lewis Preston's reorganization of January 1, 1993. Following the abolishment of all senior vice presidencies on December 1, 1991, Preston initiated a larger reorganization in 1993 that aligned the Bank's organization with the priority areas of its poverty reduction effort. The result was three new thematic vice presidencies: the ESD; Finance and Private Sector Development (FPD); and Human Resources Development and Operations Policy (HRO).

The vice presidencies were responsible for:

  • Providing operational support to the Regions through participation in Sector Operations Division (SOD) task teams, undertaking specialized assignments for the Regions, providing ad hoc advice, distilling lessons of operational experience and disseminating best practices, and definition of sector and operational policies;

  • Assisting in identifying and addressing the Bank's skills mix and training needs;

  • Providing information and intellectual support to interested actors outside the Bank;

  • Liaising with the UN and other official and private organizations;

  • Delivering complete products to the country directors in the 'clustered' subsectors, where the small number of expert staff can most efficiently be located in the central Vice Presidency.

At the time of its establishment, ESD had the following subordinate departments: the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department (AGR); the Environment Department (ENV); and the Transportation, Water and Urban Development Department (TWU). It was also responsible for the Secretariat of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Each sector department maintained the following functions:

  • prepare policies, guidelines, standards, handbooks and analytical tools relevant to the sector;

  • identify, codify and disseminate best practices and lessons of experience, and evaluate weaknesses;

  • provide advice to the Regions as needed;

  • monitor and track work in the sectors assigned in order to identify generic issues and identify, evaluate and influence trends and patterns;

  • perform surveys of experience and practice within the Bank and elsewhere, and develop innovative approaches;

  • participate in Bank-wide efforts to assess skill requirements, and to upgrade skills through recruitment, training, orientation, seminars, newsletters, etc.;

  • represent the Bank to external communities of interest; and

  • maintain an awareness of relevant external practices and viewpoints.

In 1997, the thematic vice presidencies were reorganized to strike a better balance between country focus and sectoral excellence. To facilitate sharing of expertise and knowledge, the Bank established networks that linked Bank-wide communities of staff working in the same field across organizational boundaries and with external partners. Each of the three thematic central vice presidencies was transformed into the central units, or anchors, of each network and consisted of the existing sector departments. The result of the 1997 restructuring was four networks: the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network (ESSD); the Finance, Private Sector Development, and Infrastructure Network (FPD); the Human Development Network (HDN); and the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PRM). The former sector departments of ESD were placed in different networks. ENV, AGR (as the Rural Development Department [RDV]), and the CGIAR Secretariat were placed inESSD while TWU was placed in FPD.

Archival history

Some of the records in this fonds were initially sent from ESDVP to the Bank's Institutional Information Services Center (IISC) prior to their transfer to the Bank's Archives. Records that were not first transferred to the IISC were transferred directly from ESDVP to the Archives.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Records were transferred from ESDVP or from the IISC to the Archives using approved records retention and disposition schedules.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The fonds consists of chronological files created by ESDVP. Separate chronological files were created for incoming and outgoing correspondence as well as for incoming faxes. Correspondence relates to: the research and writing of departmental reviews; conference planning and attendance (specifically the Hunger Conference of November 30 to December 1, 1993); the publication of research; plans related to the Bank's 50th anniversary celebration; IT issues within ESD; cross-sectoral and Regional support and collaboration; staff training; budget planning; Bank-wide policy reviews (including the Bank-wide Review of Involuntary Resettlement [1986-1993]); personnel decisions; collaboration and communications with external agencies, institutions, governments, etc.; participation in and organization of meetings; and grants and trust funds.

The fonds also contains the chronological files of ESD Vice President Ismail M. Serageldin from January 1993, to December 1996. Records include correspondence between Serageldin and: ESD's sector department directors; other thematic vice presidencies in the Bank; Bank President Lewis Preston; other Bank departments and units; and external agencies, institutions, government officials, and NGOs outside of the Bank. Records relate to: the planning, research, and review of annual reports, research reports, policy papers, and projects/operations reviews; conference attendance and planning; meetings; budget planning and resource allocation; and cross support between ESD and other vice presidencies and the Regions. General discussion of Serageldin's new position as ESD Vice President and the function and purpose of the newly created ESD is also the subject of some correspondence.

The fonds also contains records of the Transport, Water, and Urban Development Department (TWU) from January 1993, to December 1995. Records include chronological files. Files consist exclusively of electronic message print-outs. Correspondence is between the Department and other ESD departments and Bank departments.Correspondence is created by and addressed to the various TWU divisions. Records relate to: Bank projects; information exchange; meeting and working group participation; cross support between departments, vice presidencies, and the Regions; training of Department staff; conference attendance and organization; hiring and staffing; review of Country Assistance Strategy reports; and mission proposals.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


Accruals are not expected.

System of arrangement

The records are arranged in one sub-fonds and two series:


  • TWU chronological files


  • ESDVP chronological files

  • ESDVP Ismail M. Serageldin chronological files

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Records are subject to the World Bank Policy on Access to Information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Records are subject to the Copyright Policy of the World Bank Group.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

  • See the sector fonds that contain the records of ESD's divisions, including: Records of the Urban Development Sector, (WB IBRD/IDA URB); Records of the Transport Development Sector, (WB IBRD/IDA TRA); Records of the Water Development Sector, (WB IBRD/IDA WAT); Records of the Environment Sector, (WB IBRD/IDA ENV); Records of the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector, (WB IBRD/IDA AGR); Records of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), (WB IBRD/IDA CGIAR).

  • See Records of the Sector Policy and Research Vice Presidency (PREVP) and the Sector and Operations Policy Vice Presidency (OSPVP) (WB IBRD/IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_93).

  • Also see the records of the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network (ESSD), (WB IBRD/IDA IDA WB_IBRD/IDA_92).

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Description control area

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Internal World Bank Group Archives rules based on ISAD(G).

Disclosure status

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

22 October 2012




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