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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.

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Presentation on theme: "Challenges in Web Governance in a Complex International Organization: The Case of the World Bank Robert Valantin Third Web4Dev Conference UN, New York."— Presentation transcript:

1 Challenges in Web Governance in a Complex International Organization: The Case of the World Bank Robert Valantin Third Web4Dev Conference UN, New York November 2006

2 The World Bank and the Bank Group
World Bank: The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). Affiliates: International Finance Corporation (IFC) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) Membership:184 countries Headquarters: Washington, DC, and more than 100 country offices Staff: Approximately 10,000employeesin offices around the world Established: July 1, 1944during a conference of 44 countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire


4 The The World Bank The 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 The Intranet 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.). Extranets such as Client Connection and the Online Media Briefing Center provide restricted access to specialized information for specific groups.

5 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 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 — 86 percent of the content items are posted by 26 percent of publishers.

6 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

7 A challenge for the Bank’s Web
“The challenge for the Bank is to provide a state-of-the-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)

8 Current Approach Utilize the Bank’s technological infrastructure and organizational base, using common tools, institutional systems, guidelines, and “look-and-feel” while maintaining an essentially decentralized (VPU*-based) system for content production, quality control, management, and resourcing. *VPU=Vice Presidential Unit (i.e. a “department” in the Bank

9 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 Reporting Accessibility Access to Bank publications Enforcement

10 Current Approach: External Web Goals
Provide a coherent, easy-to-use-and-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 partnerships.

11 Current Approach: Some Institutional Groups
Information Policy Council (IPC) and Business Sponsors Group (BSG) – two formal governance mechanisms which review requests for IT-related capital funding, including capital spending for the Web E-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-and-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

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

13 Over to … The Case of South Asia by Daria Lavrentieva
One VPU’s Approach Over to … The Case of South Asia by Daria Lavrentieva

14 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 standards/policies Better integration of the Intranet, the External Web and Extranets – and integration within The Bank Group -- has potential for additional synergies.

15 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-driven/organized. 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-active?) governance

16 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 content” 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?

17 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.

18 Functions that are required of “Web Governance”
1 Web-related strategy and policy development and review 2 Content policy and editorial focus 3 Monitoring and evaluation 4 Technical enhancements and improvements 5 Management oversight.

19 1. Web strategy and policy development and review
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 developed). Selectively review VPU-level strategies and implementation plans and share best practices with a view to harmonizing these. Review the Bank’s Web Publishing Policy and make changes as appropriate.

20 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 design. 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 organizations.

21 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 measures. 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-incentives.

22 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 development

23 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 involved) 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 Bank-wide policies and initiatives. Report back to the Web Community.

24 Reactions from South Asia
Over to Daria for comments …

25 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.

26 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

27 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 guidelines. 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.

28 Manager, Development Information World Bank
THANK YOU! Robert Valantin Manager, Development Information World Bank

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