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International Governmental Organizations : World Bank

About the World Bank

According to its About - What We Do page, "the World Bank has set two goals for the world to achieve by 2030:

  • End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3%
  • Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country."

The World Bank

  • Provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries. Some projects are cofinanced with governments, other multilateral institutions, commercial banks, export credit agencies, and private sector investors.
  • Provides or facilitates financing through trust fund partnerships with bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Provides policy advice, research and analysis, and technical assistance.

The World Bank is made up of five institutions:

See the Articles of Agreement for each institution.

Web site

Some parts of this web site are available in multiple languages, including Arabic and Russian. Other language options are listed here.

Home page

Publications main page

  • Can search publications from this page, or browse by
    • topic
    • region
    • collection (type of publication)
    • country
  • One collection consists of Multilingual content, PDFs of selected publications.

Documents and Reports

  • Archive of publicly available World Bank documents, including operational, project, and board documents.
  • Can search documents, or browse by
    • country
    • topic
    • document type
    • language

World Bank E-Library

  • Available to anyone on-campus. Available off campus for UW Madison students, faculty and staff only.
  • Fully cross-searchable portal of over 5,000 World Bank documents. The collection consists of over 2,000 World Bank publications and over 3,200 Policy Research Working Papers, plus each new book and paper as they are published.
  • Content goes back to the 1990s, farther back than on the free World Bank sites.
  • Help section; the Advanced Search Tips are probably the most helpful.


  • Links to 52 databases from the World Bank, including World Development Indicators.
  • More information about specific databases and series is found by clicking on link to Support in upper right portion of page. Answers to a number of common questions about the data can be answered from the Knowledge Base.

Projects and operations
You can

  • search projects by keyword
  • browse projects by
    • country/area
    • sector (type of economic activity)
    • theme (Bank objectives or goal)

Finding books, periodicals, pamphlets at the library

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's libraries have print documents published by the World Bank. The print documents are included in the library catalog.

Hints for searching the library catalog

  • Search the name of the organization (or subsidiary body) in the
    • Authors/creators box to find publications issued by the organization
    • Subjects box to find publications about the organization
  • Type phrases in quotation marks. Example:
    "World Bank"
  • Some IGOs use British spellings of words in their names.

    Try both American and British English-language spellings if you're not getting many results. Common words affected by this:

    American spelling British spelling
    center centre
    defense defence
    organization organisation
    program programme