EY - Working with the World Bank Group to end poverty

Promoting prosperity and ending extreme poverty

Working with the World Bank Group

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Ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity. To fulfil these dual ambitions, the World Bank Group (WBG) is implementing programs and projects in some of the world’s most challenging environments.

EY has worked with the WBG in 58 countries. Ours is a relationship rooted in deep collaboration, shared priorities and a mutual passion for lifting people out of poverty.

But there is much more still to do. More than 1 billion people still live in destitution, and inequality is on the rise in many developing countries.

Under the leadership of its President, Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the WBG has set itself a dual mission:

  • End extreme poverty: reduce the percentage of people living on less than US$1.25 a day to 3% by 2030.
  • Promote shared prosperity: foster income growth of the bottom 40% of the population in every country.

It is clear that solutions tailored to local challenges are pre-requisites. The WBG’s internal changes will leave it better placed to empower its local operations and promote knowledge about what works, and what doesn’t, in this most challenging of sectors.

EY is also adjusting its service to align with the WBG’s priorities. We have invested in dedicated global industry centers that act as hubs for sharing industry-focused knowledge and experience in areas including Government & Public Sector, Oil & Gas and Life Sciences.

We have also established clusters focusing on areas of importance to the WBG:

  • Infrastructure

    While the country-by-country need varies, infrastructure is seen as an indispensable necessity to poverty reduction, social progress and inclusive economic growth.

    While in developed countries the priority is upgrading existing networks and systems to meet the need for higher-quality services, developing countries need new infrastructure to support power, transport, water and communications.

    The increasing influence of digital technologies on economies is also leading to new challenges. Planning low carbon cities of the future — smart cities — is increasingly important.

    The WBG will have a crucial role to play in facilitating this process. EY’s 700-strong global infrastructure team stands ready to assist the WBG and its client countries throughout the infrastructure life cycle (from feasibility, to policy development, to public-private partnership, to implementation and project monitoring) across key sectors (transport, energy, and social infrastructure).

    Take a look at our Infrastructure Advisory services.

  • Cleantech and sustainability

    The invidious impact of climate change is now all too apparent: weather-related damage costs an average of US$200 billion a year globally, with climate change increasing the cost of development by 25 to 30%, according to the WBG.

    It’s not just about climate change. Access to sustainable sources of energy is also crucial.

    The WBG, supported by EY’s Cleantech and Sustainability WBG Cluster, is helping finance the development of clean technologies and renewable energy in order to create jobs, establish new industries and help countries develop into resource efficient and low carbon economies.

    Take a look at our Cleantech services.

  • Gender inclusion

    Over the next decade, the impact of women on the global economy — as producers, entrepreneurs, employees and consumers — will be at least as significant as that of China’s and India’s respective one-billion-plus populations.

    But according to the WBG’s own figures, women account for 58% of unpaid employment. Globally, a sixth of girls die in early childhood, and only 10 to 20 of every 100 land owners is a woman.

    In both developed and developing countries, creating opportunities for women to participate in the economy will improve their earning potential, assist families to move out of poverty and contribute to the overall economy.

    EY’s Gender Inclusion Cluster has been created to assist the WBG’s work on gender inclusion, women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship development.

    Take a look at our range of thought leadership reports on gender, inclusiveness and women in leadership.

  • Information and Communication Technologies

    The evolution of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) over the last two decades has changed the way the world works. It has transformed every aspect of human life by radically improving the methods and means of delivery of products and services to people.

    Governments worldwide are increasingly looking at technology as a lever of socio-economic change. From being “an enabler” of change it is now slowly becoming “a leader” of change.

    Financial inclusion, social welfare systems, Open Government, innovation, health care, education and internet based trade and commerce are only some of the areas where experiments are leading to rising prosperity and reduced poverty.

    We work with policy-makers at all levels and across geographies to support ICT enablement projects.

    Take a look at our Citizen Today edition on delivering a digital future.

  • Private sector development

    The issue of high unemployment is particularly affecting many countries’ youth. The WBG has found that in most emerging economies, 9 out of 10 jobs are created by the private sector.

    Addressing the skills shortages that are prevalent across many developing countries is an important first step.

    Governments able to improve the investment climate and simplify the ease of doing business are likely to prove more attractive to investors, but there is no one size fits all. It is also important to focus on access to capital, access to best practice and access to markets.

    EY has created a framework to help governments harness private sector development. The framework helps federal and provincial governments, development agencies, and not-for-profit organizations to drive inclusive growth through job creation.

    Take a look at our thinking on private sector development for job creation.

In addition to the clusters, our other areas of focus include:

  • Governance

    Good governance and strong, accountable institutions are crucial for poverty reduction and development effectiveness.

    Operating on the frontlines and in some of the world’s most challenging environments, the WBG is leading the charge and is working in partnership with governments, the private sector and civil society. The Bank actively encourages governments to become more transparent, more accountable to their citizens, less susceptible to corruption, and better at delivering services.

    EY is well-equipped to support the WBG and its client countries along this journey, with more than 2,500 investigation, dispute and technology professionals around the world who work with public and private organizations to help resolve and investigate alleged misconduct and fraud.

    Experienced in forensic accounting, public financial management, technology systems and risk management, our multidisciplinary teams investigate suspected problems, as well as taking preventative measures to the risk of such problems recurring.

    Take a look at our Fraud Investigation and Dispute services.

  • Tax

    For the WBG, the increasing recognition that tax is pivotal to securing sustainable economic growth has seen the issue rapidly shift center stage. There are three principal tax challenges facing developing countries:

    • Increasing revenue but at the same time encouraging investment
    • Collecting more taxes with less government resources
    • Strengthening the technical capacity of their tax authorities

    A stable, transparent, simple and predictable tax environment encourages much-needed foreign and domestic investment. Policy-makers also need to better articulate to voters the direct link between tax collection and government spending. Building and sustaining cross-government capacity, especially in revenue administrations, will need to be planned and actively supported.

    Take a look at our Tax services.

We work hand in hand with development organizations, agencies and governments in developing countries. The WBG needs integrated, cross-border service, and our streamlined global structure means we can rapidly access the right people and deploy high-performing teams to deliver exceptional client service worldwide.

This combination of global oversight and local execution means that the WBG has access to international leading practices enhanced by on-the-ground knowledge and insight.

We are committed to doing our part to help build a better working world.