- 1994 - 2008 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
The Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network (PREM) was created in 1997 as part of President Wolfensohn's reorganization of the World Bank. The reorganization's objective was to strike a better balance between "country focus" and "sectoral excellence". It was also motivated by the recognition that the Bank's development programs were excessively driven by a culture of lending. The need to increase attention towards client needs and the quality of results was addressed by the reorganization.
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. The networks were intended to link staff working in the same sectors throughout the Bank, whether the staff was located in the Regional Vice Presidencies sectoral departments, Independent Evaluation Group (IEG, formerly the Operations Evaluation Group [OED]), World Bank Institute (WBI), or Development Economics (DEC). The objectives and responsibilities of the networks were many: reduce fragmentation; increase information flow; set priorities; manage quality; run the information system; consolidate external partnerships; vet staff promotions; and disseminate best practices. The work programs of network staff focused on:
- Global knowledge - putting the best development knowledge in the hands of Bank task teams; ensuring that the knowledge base was accessible to external clients; and contributing to the growth of the knowledge base.
- Enhanced skills - developing and providing content to training courses; establishing professional and technical standards for professional development.
- Shared strategies - assisting regional and central units to develop a common sector agenda, and ensuring that skills are effectively deployed across the entire network. Network leadership assumed responsibility for global programs, sector strategy development and evaluation, strategic partnerships, and learning and dissemination.
- Best teams and best practices - improving the Bank's flexibility and mobility by building stronger task teams and delivering higher quality products.
- Institutional initiatives providing substantial support for new Bank-wide initiatives, such as social development, rural development, financial sector, anti-corruption, human resources, and knowledge partnerships.
PREM was one of the first of three networks to be created in 1997; the others were the Human Development Network (HDN) and the Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Network (ESSD). Soon after, in 1997-98, the Private Sector and Infrastructure Network (PSI) was created. In 2000-01, the Operation Policy and Strategy Department became the Operations Policy and Country Services Network (OPCS). In 2003-04, the PSI became the Financial and Private Sector Development Network (FPSD) and in 2007 ESSD was combined with Infrastructure to form the Sustainable Development Network (SDN).
PREM is organized in the same way as the other Bank networks. Eachnetwork is headed by a vice president and head of network. Under the vice president is a network council that oversees the entire network. The council is composed of the top network managers from each Region and is responsible for setting the overall agenda for the network and for promoting effective deployment of skills across network units. It deliberates on issues relevant to the functions and objectives of the network - e.g., strategy; people; knowledge; quality/business process; and external partnerships.
At the time of its creation, the PREM Network absorbed department units, functions, and staff from different areas of the Bank. In December 1996, the Human Capital Development Vice-Presidency (HCD, formerly the Human Resources Development and Operations Policy Vice Presidency [HRO) was terminated, and its subordinate unit Poverty and Social Policy Department (PSP) was temporarily relocated under the oversight of Masood Ahmed. At the time, Ahmed was the International Economic Department Director (IECDR), but was transitioning into the role as PREM Vice President. The PSP temporarily became the Poverty, Gender, and Public Sector Management (PGP) during this time. The various divisions of PGP were then mapped into the newly created PREM network and would be officially moved into PREM when it was launched in July of 1997. IEC was terminated as part of the re-organization of the DEC Vice-Presidency. The IEC staff and functions were either absorbed into existing DEC units, or absorbed into the PREM Network. As a consequence, the former staff of PSP and IEC made up a large portion of PREM in its original form.
PREM contained four sector departments at its creation: Economic Policy Division (PRMEP); Gender Division (PRMGE); Poverty Division (PRMPO); and Public Sector Management Division (PRMPS). Each Sector Department has its own Board, with representatives drawn from the Regions as well as from the network itself. The Sector Boards are accountable to the network council and are supported by a secretariat.
Sectors departments were subsequently closed, absorbed, or renamed as PREM evolved. In 2000, PREM added a sector devoted solely to the joint IMF and World Bank Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative (PRMHP). The Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative (PRMPR) was also added in 2000. The Gender Division (PRMGE) was renamed the Gender and Development Division in 2000. The Poverty Division (PRMPO) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Initiative (PRMPR) were both closed in June 2001, and replaced by the Poverty Reduction Group (PRMPR) in July 2001. In 2002, PREM added the International Trade Department (PRMTR). The PRMPS was renamed the Public Sector Governance Department in October 2003, but retained its acronym. PRMHP closed in June 2004 and ongoing HIPC projects fell under the newly formed Debt Department (PRMDE) in July 2004. Around 2005, the Economic Policy and Debt Department (PRMED) was created, and appears to have replaced the PRMDE. As of 2014, the PREM Network lists the following thematic areas of concentration for sector departments: Poverty Reduction and Equity; Economic Policy and Debt; Public Sector Governance; International Trade; and Gender and Development.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
The fonds consists of records that relate to the activities of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Vice Presidency (PRMVP), and its oversight of the sector departments within the PREM Network.
This fonds includes incoming and outgoing correspondence chronological files maintained by the PRMVP front office. The chronological files of the following PREM Vice Presidents are included: Masood Ahmed, 1997-2000; Kemal Dervis, 2000; Gobind Nankani, 2001-2004; and Danny Leipziger, 2004-2009. The chronological files of PRMVP Senior Adviser Amarendra Bhattacharya (1998-2006) are also included.
The fonds also consist of oversight and support records related to the functions and actions of the PREM Network and its sector departments. This fonds also includes records that relate to PREM's involvement with other Network VPs, the Board of Executive Directors, the Office of the President, and other Bank units. PRMVP was involved in committees and meetings with these units and would provide both regular and ad hoc reports on topics related to PREM sectors. This includes minutes and agendas; memoranda; correspondence; presentation materials; speech transcripts; reports; working papers; and general budget records. The records contain meeting files related to the PREM Council, various PREM sector board meetings, and smaller steering and working group committees related to a specific action or topic.
Also included in the fonds are briefing books and notes prepared by the PRMVP front office for senior officials withinPREM and the World Bank. The briefing books and notes were prepared prior to trips, meetings, or other events attended by a senior official. The briefing books and notes contained programs, agendas, itineraries, logistical information, issues to be addressed, and other pertinent information. The fonds also contains letters prepared by the PRMVP front office for PREM and Bank senior officials.
The fonds additionally holds budget planning, management, and monitoring records created by the PRMVP. The records include fiscal year budgets for the PREM Network from 1998 to 2002. The records also detail PREM business plans, budget cycles, and work program agreements for the same years.
Other records within this fonds relate to ongoing liaison with external organizations outside of PREM and the World Bank. The records document PREM's relationships with NGOs, private and public organizations, and multilateral aid organizations. The PREM external liaison files include records from Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, 2001-2006; Asia-Europe (ASEM) meetings, 2001-2006; G-7, G-8, G-20, and G-24 meetings, 2001-2007; International Monetary Fund (IMF) meetings, 2000-2007; and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) meetings, 2003-2005. Other records relate to ad hoc meetings between PREM or World Bank senior officials and representatives from external organizations. These files consist mostly of correspondence, reports, agendas, and minutes from meetings.
Lastly, the fonds consistsof records related to conferences and seminars organized by PREM or to outside events attended by PREM VPs. Records related to PREM's annual Knowledge and Learning Week forum (or, PREM Week) are also included. These include proposals, contracts, topic selection, speaker selection, budget documents, program brochures, reports, papers, speech transcripts, and audio-visual recordings of session lectures from the years 1998 to 2006. The conference and seminar records for outside organizations include mostly invitations, programs, reports, or copies of papers presented.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling
System of arrangement
The following arrangement is provisional. Records are arranged into seven series:
- PREM Vice-President chronological files
- PREM sector department oversight and support
- Board, Bank Network, and Office of the President meeting and reporting records
- PREM Vice President and World Bank Senior Official briefing and support
- Budget planning, management, and monitoring
- PREM Vice President liaison with external organizations
- Conference and seminar organization and attendance
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