South-South investment— that is, the movement of capital from one developing or middle-income country to another—is an increasingly important way to deepen financial markets, generate growth, and put new sources of funds to use. It is also a strategic priority for IFC. Over the past eight years, such investment has accounted for up to 20 percent of IFC's projects and commitment volumes—increasingly in the poorest countries—in Africa and in the Middle East. According to the Independent Evaluation Group, it has yielded strong development outcomes and helped raise environmental and social standards.
The Speaker's Bureau serves as the official liaison between the World Bank Group and its visitors, including students and teachers, youth organizations, business leaders, governmental representatives, and other professionals. It also responds to invitations to conferences and participates in guest lectures.
Each spring, thousands of government officials, journalists, representatives of civil society organizations, and invited participants from academia and the private sector gather in Washington, D.C., for the Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. At the heart of the gathering are meetings of the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee and the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee, which discuss progress on the work of the IMF and the World Bank Group. Also featured are seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world's financial markets.
The World Bank Group Staff Association (SA), founded in 1972, is an organization of staff members dedicated to furthering two broad objectives:
• To foster a sense of common purpose among staff in promoting the aims and objectives of the World Bank Group
• To promote and safeguard the rights, interests, and welfare of staff
The SA is also a strong and unified body whose aim is to reach an understanding between the staff and the Bank Group management, ensure that staff members are treated as full and equal partners in an environment of openness and transparency, and improve the staff's capacity to perform their jobs.