The World Bank Group says it will stop producing the Doing Business report after an investigation unearthed data irregularities in Doing Business reports of 2018 and 2020.
The announcement by the World Bank Group on Thursday followed a decision by the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors to authorize the release of “Investigation of Data Irregularities in Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 – Investigation Findings and Report to the Board of Executive Directors,” an independent external review of the facts and circumstances around previously reported data irregularities in the 2018 and 2020 Doing Business reports.
“Trust in the research of the World Bank Group is vital. World Bank Group research informs the actions of policymakers, helps countries make better-informed decisions, and allows stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately. Such research has also been a valuable tool for the private sector, civil society, academia, journalists, and others, broadening understanding of global issues,” the Washington DC-based institution announced.
After data irregularities on Doing Business 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, World Bank management paused the next Doing Business report and initiated a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology.
In addition, because the internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former Bank staff, management reported the allegations to the Bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms.
“After reviewing all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the report the Bank released today on behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, World Bank Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report,”
“The World Bank Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this,” WB said.
The global financial institution said that going forward, it will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate.
“We are deeply grateful to the efforts of the many staff members who have worked diligently to advance the business climate agenda, and we look forward to harnessing their energies and abilities in new ways.”
Last year, Rwanda was among the countries that complained after questioning the abrupt change in methodology. The CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Clare Akamanzi said that while Rwanda acknowledged the Doing Business Report, “we note with great disappointment the abrupt change in methodology which has affected Rwanda’s global rankings negatively.”
“We will continue to engage the World Bank on this issue,” Akamanzi said last year in September. Only two Sub-Saharan economies, Mauritius and Rwanda, ranked among the top 50.