Skip to main content

Leaked document: 74% staffers say there is no openness and trust in World Bank

By Our Representative
Nearly 74 per cent of employees the powerful international bankers controlled by the developed world, World Bank, think they do not agree with the view that the bank leadership "creates a culture of openness and trust". Another 59 per cent believe they are not confident that they could report "unethical conduct without fear of reprisal."
Revealing this, the International Consortium of Investigating Journalists (ICIJ) has said in a report, based on a leaked World Bank document, that the staff members of the top bank live an atmosphere of "fear and retaliation." The World Bank has a total of around 12,000 employees.
"Just 26 percent of employees who responded to the survey’s specific questions said they agree that bank leadership 'creates a culture of openness and trust'. Only 41 percent said they were confident they could report unethical conduct without fear of reprisal", the ICIJ report, prepared by Sasha Chavkin and Michael Hudson, says, even as releasing the 139-page World Bank confidential document for public perusal.
"Many World Bank Group employees complain the bank’s managers are shutting down internal debate and ruling by fear", says ICIJ, quoting from the confidential document, even as quoting employees' responses.
"The World Bank has evolved into a place of fear and retaliation,” one employee said, while another complained, “Intellectual debate is no longer welcome. Management is inept and there is no captain in this ship. Senior management does not know its own organization… only fear, fear, fear.”
The 163-page compilation of open-ended comments was submitted last year as part of an in-house bank survey. “Managers have a lot of power and use it for retaliation,” another employee wrote.
"Employee surveys that invite staffers to submit anonymous responses often reflect some dissatisfaction, especially in an institution with the size and reach of the World Bank Group, a global financier that backs dams, roads and hundreds of other development projects each year", ICIJ points out.
"But the harshly critical responses to the survey completed by about 12,000 employees – 79 percent of the bank’s workforce – appear to go well beyond typical gripes about pay and fairness. The survey shows a startling lack of support among the bank’s employees for senior management – and reflects deep worries about a culture that many characterize as toxic", it comments.
The ICIJ created a flutter recently by identifying several World Bank-funded projects which have adversely affected livelihood and environment of the local people, contrary to the top bank's claim that it "ensures" minimal adverse impact of the projects funded by it. In India, it singled out the Tatas' 4000 MW ultra mega power plant for this. The portion on India was published in The Huffington Post, a well-known online news portal.
Referring to this, the ICIJ report says, "The World Bank has come under fire from outsiders in recent months. ICIJ, Huffington Post and other media partners have documented the bank’s failure to protect people in the path of development projects. Human rights groups have criticized the bank for pushing to weaken 'social and environmental safeguards' designed to protect vulnerable populations".

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).