The World Bank is the premier intergovernmental organization focused on international economic development. It defines its mission as “Our dream is a world free of poverty” and “to help people help themselves and their environment by providing resources, sharing knowledge, building capacity, and forging partnerships in the public and private sectors.” The sharing of knowledge and data is a core business of the World Bank and is critical to its work to end extreme poverty and foster shared prosperity.
To accelerate poverty reduction, the World Bank conducts research on a broad range of topics including development economics, climate change, agriculture, and public health. In 2010, the World Bank ushered in a new era by introducing an Access to Information Policy and by making its statistical databases open and free, including the right to reuse. In July 2012, the World Bank became the first major international organization to implement an Open Access (OA) policy for its research and knowledge and to adopt Creative Commons licensing.
The OA policy requires that all World Bank research and knowledge products, whether published by the World Bank or a third party publisher, be made freely available online through the World Bank Open Knowledge Repository (OKR). All content solely published by the World Bank is made available under the most liberal Creative Commons attribution license (CC BY), which enables any user in the world to read, share, re-use, distribute and link to the work without charge or restriction other than attribution. The OKR supports optimal discoverability by complying with OA interoperability standards. The World Bank’s goal with the Open Access policy and the OKR is to make World Bank knowledge available to many as possible – so they can innovate and build on it and lead to faster solutions to the world’s most pressing development problems.