Engineering policy norm implementation: The World Bank's transparency transformation

Book Chapter
Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard, eds. Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Catherine Weaver and Christian Peratsakis examine the implementation of international aid transparency policy norm within organizations, focusing on the case of the World Bank. In 2010 the Bank introduced a new Access to Information policy resting on the presumption of automatic access to all materials except those on a carefully defined list of exceptions. They argue that this shift was led by critical champions within the organization, who carefully negotiated and implemented the policy in order to avoid many of the pitfalls of a major policy change. This success however has had two major outcomes. The first, a positive one, is that it also triggered an unanticipated change in which the Bank through its ‘Open Data' initiative, made much of its data available to the wider public. But they also the World Bank's move to champion transparency appears to have shifted the goal line of the norm itself, away from a view of transparency as an end in itself to transparency as a means to greater accountability. 
Research Topic
Economic Development