|dc.description||The World Bank is better known as a financial institution than as a source of information about development but, each year, it produces over 400 publications and many hundreds of economic, sectoral and evaluation reports. It issues over a hundred information bulletins and, over the Internet, puts out a brief description of World Bank projects that are in the course of preparation. The only constraint is that most of the documents are available only in English.
This source of information comprises five main sectors:
The Bank's publications are distributed throughout the world through a network of distributors and two bookshops, in Washington and Paris, which are open to the public. A free catalogue is available. This lists titles that are available for sale, gives details of distributors and the procedure for ordering. A quarterly update gives the latest information on new publications.
More than 200 libraries throughout the world have joined a programme which allows them to make Bank publications available for public consultation.
Public Information Centres
Public Information Centres have been open for one year in Washington, Paris, London and Tokyo. Documents which previously had been strictly for internal use only can now be viewed at, or obtained from, these Centres.
The following collections of documents are available free of charge:
Project Information Document which summarize projects which are in the course of preparation.
Environmental data sheets which summarize the environmental impact of (sensitive) projects.
Summaries of evaluation reports. These deal with the lessons to be drawn from completed projects. They can be accessed directly by computer using Internet.
For US$20 it is possible to have the following despatched by airmail from Washington:
Environmental assessments. These evaluate the impact of World Bank and IMF projects on the environment and on the population, and describe the measures taken to minimize any such impact.
National environmental action plants. Available to the public, provided that the relevant government agrees.
Staff appraisal reports. These evaluation reports describe the technical, institutional, economic and financial aspects of each project supported by the Bank.
Country economic and sector reports. These are in-depth studies of the economy and other sectors of the specified country.
Sectoral policy papers. These examine sectoral policies and options for the future.
Development Business. This UN publication, which is published fortnightly and is available by subscription, is principally directed towards business and commerce. For the World Bank, and other regional development banks, it provides four types of information:
· a monthly list commenting on all projects in the course of preparation, and giving details of the amount of credit or lending, the sector of activity, the nature of the project, and the address of the administration or organization in the borrowing country which is guaranteeing the loan;
· a brief description of each operation as approved by the Council;
· invitations to tender for goods or services to be financed by a loan or an agreed credit;
· the addresses of companies or organizations which have obtained contracts for supplying goods or services so that levels of competition may be assessed.
There are also many information bulletins and reviews published by different departments of the World Bank. The quarterly, Finance and Development is published jointly with the IMF. World Bank News is a weekly newsletter aimed at the Press. There are also a number of monthly and quarterly newsletters which provide information about a specific sector or region. Their purpose is to publicize internal research work through the working papers, discussion papers and research papers which are produced by the departments concerned. FPD Notes for example, provides information about World Bank research on industry, privatisation and banking; Transition on the processes of moving towards a market economy; Findings, which is concerned with Africa; The Environmental Bulletin on environmental issues; and The Urban Edge, which is concerned with the urban sector.
The World Bank 1818H Street NW Washington DC 20433 USA
For Development Business, write to United Nations 1 UN Plaza GCPO Box 5850 New York NY10163-5850 USA
For Finance and development write to Subscription Service International Monetary Fund Washington DC 20431 USA
World Bank European Office 66 avenue d'Iéna 75116 Paris FRANCE -Farming systems research finds a new image.||