- 1947 - 1986 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Management of World Bank records was originally undertaken according to a central filing system adopted in 1946. It included records originating from all parts of the Bank, with the exception of the offices of the President, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and the Personnel and Legal departments. The records were filed in four sections: operational files by region and country; general files on all topics not specific to a region or country; membership, bond, and finance files; and official documents. From this early period, it is the "Operational Files" which are included in this fonds.
In 1972, separate Regional Information Service Centers (RISCs) for the new Regional Vice Presidencies (RVPs) were established under the general control of the Central Files Unit. At that time, European and Central Asian countries reported to the Europe, Middle East, and North Africa (EMN or EMENA) Regional Vice Presidency which meant that operational records of ECA countries were filed alongside those of MNA countries. The EMN RISC was opened in September 1974. Within these RISCs the records were maintained in the same basic order as they had been during the 1946-1971 period; that is, the regional general files were handled as one body of records followed by files maintained on each country.
It was the responsibility of the Region and its units to regularly transfer official country and regional operational records to their RISC. In practice, however, regional front offices and the various RVP units did not always do this and would instead maintain their records on their own. By the late 1980s it became apparent that gaps in the Records Centers' holdings existed. In part to rectify this situation, the Regional units began, in 1992, to send records directly to the Archives rather than to the appropriate filing center. The "official" records of the regional operations were still required to be transferred to information centers until 1998 when all RISCs were terminated.
When the RISCs were eliminated in 1998, all records-keeping responsibilities were turned over to the regional offices. According to the Bank's Administrative Manual Statement 10.11: Management of Records, "Individual units maintain custody of their active records until such time that they are either transferred to the Archives or destroyed in accordance with approved records retention and disposition schedules. The WBG Archives has custody and control over access to records over 20 years old." In practice, this means that records are often transferred to the Archives at a point before they reach 20 years of age and are therefore still technically the property of the originating department even though physically they are in the care of the Archives. While the records are still less than 20 years old the originating department is able to request and use the records they have transferred to the Archives.
Some of the records in the "operational records" series were subject to archival processing in the early 1990s that resulted in new series classifications being created and ascribed. Initially, the country files from the period 1946-1971 were intellectually arranged in alphabetical order by name of country and a new series was created for each country. After the termination of the RISCs in 1998, the Archives added the 1972-1998 country files maintained in the RISCs to the files of each country from the 1946-1971 period. Those records that had been transferred directly to the archives rather than to the RISCs (as described above) were not included in this exercise.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
This fonds has been provisionally arranged into eight series. Sub-headings are used to break up the content of this field according to provisional series. For a complete list of the provisional series, see the "System of Arrangement" field below.
The majority of the records in this fonds are country operational records. The "operational records" series contains records related to the Bank's operational work overseen by the Europe and Central Asia region (ECA) Vice Presidency and its predecessors. Records relate to investment, structural adjustment, technical assistance, and economic and sector work (ESW) financed, co-financed, and / or managed by the Bank. Note that projects financed or co-financed by external bodies such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), national governments, and trust funds but which were executed by the Bank are included.
The records in this fonds were created by Area Departments (1947-1972), Country Departments (CDs, 1972-1997) and Country Management Units (CMUs, 1997-2011) as well as the Economic Department (1946-1952), Technical Operations Department (TOD, 1952-1965), Projects Department (1965-1972), regional project departments (1972 - 1987), technical departments (1987 - 1997), and sector departments (1997 - 2011). See the "Administrative history" field for a history of these units and their functions. Records specifically relate to operations in countries overseen by the ECA as of 2016. These countries have remained constant since 1991 when ECA and the Middle East and North Africa region (MNA) were created out of the former Europe, Middle East, and North Africa region (EMN or EMENA). Records relating to these countries created while they reported to EMN and its predecessors prior to 1991 are also included. Note that records of regional projects or programs that span more than a single country are also included in this series as are records relating to the World Bank's involvement with the Soviet Union prior to its dissolution and, following dissolution, to Russia and other former Soviet republics.
Records relating to all phases of the World Bank Project Cycle, from conception through negotiation and completion, are found in this series. Project records contained in this fonds were created by both the unit identified as the designated record keeping unit within the Region and, in smaller number, the regional units that provided project support and the departments and Vice President front office responsible for review. Included are records relating to not only completed projects but also to abandoned (or dropped) projects (i.e. projects that were abandoned in the course of preparation or that failed to gain Board approval) and suspended projects (i.e. approved projects, including those partially disbursed, which were suspended and not resumed). Records related to the discussion and negotiation of projects that were never initiated are also included.
Correspondence files make up the bulk of the project records and relate to the identification, preparation, appraisal, negotiation, approval, supervision, fund disbursement, completion, and review of each individual project. Correspondence is in the form of letters, printed email, memoranda, telexes, and faxes. Accompanying materials most often include aide-memoires, minutes of meetings, Terms of Reference, and back-to-office reports. Correspondence is between Bank staff and government officials, ambassadors, institutions, contractors, and consultants.
Project records may also include: Project Implementation Index File (PIIF) documents; executive project summary/project concept documents; annual progress reports; supplemental documents; Project Completion Reports (PCRs, also known as Completion Reports); consultant reports; supervision reports; and final versions of mandatory reports. A small amount of project-related newspaper clippings, financial statements, photographs, hand-written notes, maps, engineering plans, and copies of loan agreements and related documents may also be found. External documents received from borrowers, contractors, consultants, etc., including studies, reports, plans, specifications, PIIF documents, etc., are also included.
General country files are also included in the "operational records" series. These refer to correspondence (often in the form of chronological files), topical and subject files, and other records related to IBRD/IDA lending programs, other than those maintained for individual loans and credits. Records relate to economic, social, and sector work studies and research, analysis, and the development of sector and country programs, policies, and strategies. Specifically, these records might relate to: capital markets; indebtedness; investment law; missions to the country; technical assistance; disbursement; government relations; inquiries; local bond issues; cofinancing; consultative groups; aid groups; country liaison; resident representatives; and Country Program Papers (CPP) preparation. Records relating to and filed according to the various sectors of investment are also included. In each series, country sector topics may include but are not limited to: agriculture; education; energy; industrial development and finance; industry; population; health; nutrition; telecommunications; tourism; transportation; urban development; water and sewage; governance; public sector development; private sector development; and social development. Records related to the membership of former Soviet republics and other eastern European countries are also included in this series. General country file records take the form of correspondence, memoranda, minutes of meetings, notes for files, back-to-office reports, aide-memoires, briefing papers, and reports. Records relating to other analytical and advisory activities (AAA) and the related collection of data for these activities may also be included. These records may include research material in the form of surveys and spreadsheets and guides created or used for analysis or processing of data.
Country-specific records relating to country program management are also included in the "operational records" series. These records were maintained primarily by the Country Department headquarter units and were used to document Bank Group assistance planning and strategy for each country. Records may relate to the creation of Bank reports such as: the Country Assistance Strategy (CAS); Country Briefs; Country Strategy Papers; Country Economic Memoranda; Medium Term Framework Papers; and policy statements. These records take the form of: agendas; briefings and reports of country team meetings; final versions of reports; consultant reports on specific sector or project issues; meeting summaries and notes; and background materials used in the preparation of reports.
Also included in this series are informational records related to each country and to development issues specific to that country. Many of the topics covered in these records are focused on the various development sectors. These records primarily contain externally created reference material, although a small amount of internally generated material (such as press releases, speeches and addresses, and material related to internally sponsored conferences and seminars) may also be included. Reference materials may include: lists of government officials; information on external consultants; newspaper clippings related to country matters; press releases related to Bank and country activities; correspondence with government officials and/or ministries; and records related to the activities of field offices in the country. Also included, in small amounts, are books, journals, magazines, articles, extracts, directories, manuals, handbooks, guides, and dissertations originating from elsewhere in the Bank Group or of external origin. Topics may include common development sectors (agriculture, transportation, education, etc.) as they relate to specific countries as well as: resettlement; indigenous peoples; participation; Global Environment Facility (GEF); World Bank operation policies; country politics, legislation and economic situation; debt; cofinancing, trust funds, and small grants programs; and natural resource management.
Conferences, meetings, and seminar organization and/or attendance
Fonds includes records related to the planning and attendances of conferences, meetings, seminars, and training organized or attended by ECA staff. Records may relate to events planned by various organizational units within the Vice Presidency, including Country Departments. Records may relate to the identification and selection of themes, topics, speakers and / or participants. Series may also include: proposals; reports; transcripts; copies of invitations and brochures; and administrative arrangements.
External aid coordination and multilateral development assistance
Fonds consists of records relating to the development and implementation of strategies for cofinancing and other instances of development coordination with bilateral and multilateral organizations. Records relate to cooperative relationships between the Bank Group and donors, cofinanciers, development agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multilateral and bilateral organizations (government agencies, United Nations Development Programme [UNDP], Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD], etc.), and other partner organizations. Specifically, records may relate to: collaborative development assistance; Bank-sponsored seminars and conferences; consultative groups; and external funding for consultants. In addition to correspondence, records may include: copies of agreements and other legal documents; initiating briefs; reports and memoranda concerning disbursement of cofinanced funds; periodic reports to cofinanciers; trust fund audits; and other related materials.
VP Subject files
Fonds contains records relating to a variety of activities of which the Office of the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) Vice President is responsible or involved. As described in the "Administrative history" field above, ECA was created out of the former Europe, Middle East, and North Africa (EMN or EMENA) Vice Presidency in 1991. For records of the EMN Vice Presidency, see "Related units of description" field below.
Records in this series may relate to: public relations; borrower feedback; and VP unit evaluation and organization. Also included are country files relating to high-level involvement in projects, economic and sector work, and technical assistance. Records include correspondence and internal memoranda as well as country and thematic briefs, and meeting materials.
Departmental Communications and Support
Fonds consists of records related to the maintenance of ECA country departments' relationships with its client community both within and outside of the Bank Group as well as with the general public in individual countries. Records may relate specifically to the development of departmental and Bank-wide public relations policies, procedures, and communication strategies and major public relations initiatives and communication campaigns, such as the publication of reports. Records may include: correspondence; presentation slides and notes; press releases; transcripts of interviews; and talking point memos.
Fonds also consists of briefing books prepared for senior World Bank officials in preparation for visits to European and Central Asian countries as well as for participation in meetings, seminars, and speeches. Briefing books were created by ECA units including VP front office staff and were prepared for ECA senior officials as well as for other senior Bank staff including World Bank presidents and Executive Directors. Briefing books commonly contain: program of country visit; background profiles on country leaders and officials; talking points; country overview; World Bank Group activities; visit and meeting briefs; project meeting briefs; and other World Bank authored reports which serve as background information. In some files, travel information accompanies or is part of the briefing books.
Business plan and budget management records
Fonds includes records relating to the business plan and budget management activities (i.e. planning, implementation, monitoring, and review) of the Region. These records include: annual budget files created by the Region's budget and administrative units; Business Plans covering three-year periods; and Retrospective and Mid-Year Reviews. Records relating to the budgets of country and technical departments are included primarily in the form of correspondence and budget reports and tools. Budget records created by the Regional VP are also included.
Department directors' chronological files
Chronological files created and maintained by ECA country department directors and technical department directors are included in this fonds. These may include incoming and outgoing correspondence, copies of reports, and copies of other records created or received within the unit.
Management and oversight of unit functions
Records relating to the management and oversight of the Region's country and technical departments' functional responsibilities and policy development are included in this fonds. Topics may include: work program development; unit policy and procedures; agency structure and organization; management improvement studies; field office management; VP-wide coordination and direction; departmental reviews; management retreats; regional objectives and operational directives; staff surveys; and staffing. Records may include: work program agreements; monthly reports and operational summaries; research program materials; various task force records including some final reports; unit reviews; management team meeting records; World Bank procedures and guidelines; and general correspondence including those disseminated from the ECAVP to VP staff. Fonds also includes the chronological files of ECA Vice President Johannes Linn.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The following arrangement is provisional. Records are arranged in eight series:
- Operational records
- Conferences, meetings, and seminar organization and/or attendance
- External aid coordination and multilateral development assistance
- VP Subject files
- Departmental communications and support
- Business plan development and budget management records
- Department directors' chronological files
- Management and oversight of unit functions