Strengthening UN-IFI Collaboration

The global landscape today is dotted with cases of rising risks of conflict and political instability linked to the confluence of pre-existing fragility, rising macroeconomic pressures, climate risks, and more recently the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

More than ever, the important role that multilateralism plays can be demonstrated in addressing these multiple risks to global development. The power of multilateralism lies in the ability to galvanize global resources—human, financial, technological, and others— towards addressing pressing challenges at the global, regional, and country-level.

Focusing on the linkages between the UN, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is vital because these institutions play a critical role in supporting the global development process. The various opportunities for global reflection on the effectiveness of this multilateral development framework have revealed that collaboration between the UN and the International Financial Institutions (IMF and World Bank) is vital for effectively understanding how macroeconomic risks interact with political risks in contributing to fragility, conflict, and violence. Whilst the three entities recognize this, the operationalization of this objective has not always been straightforward. On the positive side, there is strong agreement among Bank country directors, IMF mission chiefs, and UN leadership on the primacy of political dynamics, and there are very good examples of country-level coordination between the UN’s political and security apparatuses, and the IFIs.  However, there remains a strong sense that all three institutions are grappling with difficult political judgments to which they do not have ready answers.

In response to these challenges, CIC has been implementing this program, which is aimed at supporting dialogue between the UN and IFIs that prioritizes finding actionable ideas for enhancing links between their work.

The objectives of this program include:

  1. Inter-organizational learning occurring through CIC-facilitated exchanges between the UN and the IFIs.
  2. Deepened country/region-specific understanding of opportunities, benefits, and modalities for UN-IFI collaboration.
  3. Member states improving their coherence and alignment in the signals they provide in UN-IFI governing bodies.


Photo Credit: 2013 World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings, April 2013, © Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank