External Review of the World Bank Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative

December 2010 - The goal of this external review of the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR) program is to inform the decisions of World Bank Group (WBG) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) management regarding its continuation, strategic direction and implementation arrangements.

In broad terms, the Academy has been asked to: Ascertain the results of the StAR initiative to date; Assess the relevance, effectiveness and efficiency of the StAR initiative and its work program in aggregate and by program component; Highlight both positive and negative lessons learned, and identify those factors that have impacted positively and negatively on the performance of the StAR initiative; and Provide findings, conclusions and recommendations that can be used to inform decision making and strengthen the design of any follow-up phase.

Key Recommendations

  • The Panel recommends that the Management Committee, working with the StAR Secretariat, institute a new five-year StAR work plan that establishes clear annual benchmarks within a results matrix that is formally approved and adopted by the Committee, as well as specific annual budget commitments that align resources with expectations.
  • The Panel recommends that the World Bank President and Managing Directors make it clear that StAR is a priority, and work with the three WBG Management Committee members to establish a five-year commitment to a specific annual allocation for StAR from their WBG budget funds.
  • After conducting initial due diligence to determine country needs and political will, StAR should develop a country-specific action plan for each country with whom it engages.
  • The Panel recommends that the high quality knowledge products that have been developed under StAR’s auspices be better leveraged by creating dissemination and utilization plans.
  • The Panel recommends that StAR focus its advocacy efforts on specific policy, regulatory, and legal reforms that are needed to facilitate stolen asset recovery.