Knowledge Management in International Financial Institutions

Published by: 
Independent Evaluation Department, Asian Development Bank
Publication Date: 
December, 2014

Document Type:

ECG Paper #7

This paper synthesizes the findings of 14 recent knowledge management evaluation studies and related reports from the evaluation units of six international financial institutions (IFIs) connected with the Evaluation Cooperation Group: the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

The objective was to identify commonalities in these reports that would provide lessons of more general use to those in IFIs trying to improve knowledge management. The wide range of knowledge management practices in IFIs, and the different nature of the evaluation reports meant that it was not feasible to complete a comprehensive in-depth review. The paper reviews practices that can be used to improve the IFIs' own work, and also to enable them to offer more and better knowledge products and services to clients. It was beyond the scope of this paper to provide a full review of the debates regarding the definitions of knowledge and knowledge management in the context of development assistance. Nevertheless, definitions of key terms have been proposed in this paper and a glossary is included in Appendix 1.