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The World Bank as hummingbird: Leveraging knowledge for development finance

Otaviano Canuto's picture



My admiration for hummingbirds began in my native Brazil.   The hummingbird’s flight patterns may seem a mystery as they shift from one flower to the next.  But hummingbirds are immensely purposeful, agile, and proficient pollinators – among the most hard-working members of many thriving ecosystems.  And they can be found from Alaska to the southernmost regions of South America.  
 
The Bank’s efforts to transfer knowledge, germinate ideas, and catalyze change sometimes put me in mind of the hard-working hummingbird.  My visit to the World Bank’s Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia last year is a case in point.  As I learned about the Bank’s partnership with Malaysia and the origins of the Hub, I was struck by the broader relevance for our work with upper middle-income countries, and our efforts to share global lessons and leverage knowledge to maximize financing for development.  The visit sparked three main observations.