20-22 November 2006

tansygoobertownInternet και Εφαρμογές Web

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Challenges in Web Governance in a
Complex International Organization:

The Case of the World Bank

Robert Valantin

Third Web4Dev Conference

UN, New York

22 November 2006


The World Bank and the Bank Group

World Bank:

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)
and the

International Development Association (IDA)


International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency

International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)

184 countries


Washington, DC, and more than 100 country offices


Approximately 10,000
in offices around the world


July 1, 1944
during a conference of 44 countries in Bretton Woods, New



The Web @ The World Bank

External Web

helps businesses, civil society, client
governments, investors, job seekers, journalists,
parliamentarians, youth, and students to help them to achieve
their development
related objectives


provides Bank staff with easy access to a wide
variety of practical information useful to their work, as well as
an environment to initiate different kinds of transactions related
to travel, time recording, leave, services (translation, visitor
passes, etc.), operational lending (PCNs, PADs, ISRs, etc.).


such as
Client Connection

and the
Online Media
Briefing Center

provide restricted access to specialized
information for specific groups.


The External Web @ The World Bank

In one six
month period, the External Web served some 45
million pages views to over 6.5 million individuals and recorded
8.2 million visits.In any month, it attracts about a million unique
visitors, who view eight million pages during 1.4 million visits.

Over 300,000 downloads are recorded each month.

Bank staff account for about 7 percent of page views

The Bank’s internal content management system has logged
over 175,000 content items on 1,283 sites since 2003. These
items were published by 932 individuals.

In 2005 alone, over 76,000 content items were published. A
small number of publishers tend to carry the burden

percent of the content items are posted by 26 percent of


The External Web @ The World Bank

For additional details on the Bank’s External Web site and
findings from our recent “Web in Review” …

See Nick Harrison’s presentation “From Good to Great:
Managing an Effective International Web Site” provided
in the Web4Dev conference materials as a resource


A challenge for the Bank’s Web

“The challenge for the Bank is to provide
a state
art, reliable Web
presence with interesting, fresh, and
relevant content covering the large
variety of countries, topics, projects and
activities in which the Bank is engaged
while meeting the information and
transactional needs of a very diverse set
of clients and users within the Bank and
around the world.” (Robert Valantin)


Current Approach

Utilize the Bank’s technological infrastructure
and organizational base, using common tools,
institutional systems, guidelines, and “look
feel” while maintaining an essentially


based) system for
content production, quality control,
management, and resourcing.

*VPU=Vice Presidential Unit (i.e. a “department” in the


Current Approach: Web Publishing Policy

Management sponsorship

Formal clearance for External Web content

Guidelines: style, naming, site management, etc.

Common technical platform (and exceptions)

Site archiving

User feedback



Access to Bank publications



Current Approach: External Web Goals

Provide a coherent, easy
navigate entry point into the
World Bank and its knowledge resources and development activities

Provide authoritative information on key development issues through
research, project findings, lessons learned, datasets, etc.

Support development practitioners in their work through online
communities, relevant knowledge products, training opportunities, and
other means

Facilitate better Bank operations through streamlining business
processes, increasing transparency, and customer care

Play a global advocate role for development issues by communicating
with educating the media, students & teachers, the general public
interested in development issues, and other stakeholders

Carry out best practice in website management (design, architecture,
policy, management, governance)

Exchange lessons learned in using the Web for development (e.g.
Web4Dev!) and develop joint products and activities through


Current Approach: Some Institutional

Information Policy Council (IPC) and Business Sponsors Group

two formal governance mechanisms which review
requests for IT
related capital funding, including capital
spending for the Web

Publish Working Group

more formal (representative)
group which “governs” development of the “E
Publish” tool

Regional Webmasters Group

informal group of Webmasters
representing Bank regions; work on issues of common
interest (e.g. “look
feel for regional and country pages)

Central Web teams (in ISG+EXT and in other VPUs)

see the
next slide

Web Community

informal group of people working on the
Web in the Bank


Current Approach: Web Teams

Small Central Web Teams in EXT and ISG manage common
issues, policy, guidelines, oversight (“enforcement”), plus
selective content quality enhancement efforts, site reviews,
Web Community events/training, business
sponsorship/requirements/coordination of development of
corporate systems/applications for the External Web.

Other Teams in ISG handle the Intranet and Extranets.

Technical teams in ISG handle common content management
platform (“E
Publish”), databases, servers


Web teams in each VPU actually create content and “sites”
following overall guidelines and using resources provided by
their own management


One VPU’s Approach

Over to …

The Case of South Asia


Daria Lavrentieva


Issues with the current approach

Need for an overall Bank (Group) Web Strategy in
the context of a Bank (Group) Information Strategy
and IT Strategy

Need for clearly identified/responsible Web Business
Sponsors in VPUs to ensure strategic business value
of sites, adequate resourcing, monitoring of use and
effectiveness, and archiving [Bank Web Policy]

Need for effective institutional oversight of content
quality and monitoring of adherence to

Better integration of the Intranet, the External Web
and Extranets

and integration within The Bank

has potential for additional synergies.


Issues with the current approach

Multiplication of sites (language sites, different sites dealing
with similar content), and duplication of content are not efficient
… e.g. there are 13 sites that address trade, published by 8
different Units

Most traffic (77 percent of page views) is served on 10 percent
of the sites.

The “system” is supply
driven/organized vs. demand

How to balance the desire to make information widely available
(the Bank’s Disclosure Policy) with the need for quality control?

How to build in technological innovation while dealing with
complex institutional systems: Are we ready for Web 2.0?

Need for more clearly defined and active (pro


A key question …

Should the Bank change its overall approach to content from
decentralized, supply
driven (“sites
based”) approach to
“something else”?

A model where VPUs and others “contribute” content
which is shareable and reusable

A model where suppliers and users of content “help
design customizable delivery mechanisms” for the

A model which actively uses metrics to inform the
choice of content and allocation of resources?

A model which supports technological innovation and
encourages user
involvement and partnerships?


And despite all of the challenges and issues …

Somehow … it all works … and not too
badly at that!

The Web “system” in effect mirrors the
organizational structure of the Bank and
ways that the Bank works.


Functions that are required of “Web

1 Web
related strategy and policy
development and review

2 Content policy and editorial focus

3 Monitoring and evaluation

4 Technical enhancements and

5 Management oversight.


1. Web strategy and policy development and

Define the Bank’s objectives for use of the Web in light of the
Bank Group’s mission and current priorities and policies.

Develop an overall Web strategy for the Bank Group covering
both internal and external Webs in the context of overall
Information and IT Strategies (which also need to be

Selectively review VPU
level strategies and implementation
plans and share best practices with a view to harmonizing

Review the Bank’s Web Publishing Policy and make changes as


2. Content policy and editorial focus

Review existing content
related/editorial policies and
guidelines and recommend changes as appropriate.

Review proposed major changes to the overall site

Suggest major new content features and themes.

Develop guidelines for linkages to external sites and
to potential external partners (e.g. private sector)

Develop guidelines for cooperation on Web content
related matters with other international development


3. Monitoring and evaluation

Review periodic reports on the overall site and on
sets of sites (e.g. by VPU, network, theme). Such
reports would cover both quantitative and qualitative

Review annual reports of major components of the
Bank’s Web (e.g. the Web in Review for the External
Web), and make recommendations as appropriate.

Monitor compliance with the Web Policy. Provide
appropriate incentives and dis


4. Technical enhancements & improvements

Review input from the Web community and other
sources to identify promising strategic changes in
approach/technology for the Web at the Bank.

Assess the impact of proposed significant changes to
overall system architecture to the Web Community in
the Bank and users.

Provide guidance on major technological investments
related to the Web and suggest priorities.

Act as a catalyst for innovation and technology


5. Management oversight

Review Web
related requests to central Bank
budget, capital investment, and knowledge
management processes.

Maintain an overview of Bank
wide resourcing of the
Web (based on inputs from the various units

Liaise with other Information and IT governance
processes as appropriate.

Serve as “ambassadors” to Management (both VPU
level and Senior Management) to ensure support for
wide policies and initiatives.

Report back to the Web Community.


Reactions from South Asia

Over to Daria for comments …


Some parting thoughts …

Does it even make sense to use “Web”

as a differentiator any more ???

The Web is just another “interface”
between information repositories and
business processes within the Bank, and
users both inside the Bank and outside.


Some parting thoughts …

The Web is a set of software applications and tools.
Its development and funding are governed by the
existing processes covering all IT investments.

The Web is a collection of content.

It adheres to
standards and guidelines which cover various aspects
of “information” at the Bank. It should be governed
by whatever mechanisms are put in place for
governing them. Key aspects include: the Bank’s
Disclosure Policy, the Records Management Policy,
and the proposal for Information Governance


Some parting thoughts …

The Web is a distinct medium for information
delivery, communication, and transactions.

It is
covered by the Bank’s Web Policy and related

As a part of the World Wide Web,

the Bank’s Web
adheres to technical standards and industry
practices. As a leading development agency, the
Bank collaborates both formally and informally with
other organizations, both private and public sector, to
increase the availability, reach and usefulness of its
information and that of the development community
more generally.



Robert Valantin

Manager, Development Information

World Bank