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World Bank Group Delegation visits PTB on Study Trip

From 11-15 September 2017, PTB’s Technical Cooperation Department welcomed a delegation from the World Bank Group. This delegation included employees from the headquarters in Washington, D.C. as well as from individual regional offices that are involved in the planning and implementation of projects to enhance and reform quality infrastructure systems in emerging and developing countries. The delegation’s participants came, for example, from Ukraine, Turkey, Jordan and Austria.

The group was accompanied by Dr. Alexis Valqui, Susanne Wendt and Diana Kleinschmidt.

During their visits to different institutions of the German quality infrastructure system (such as DIN e.V. and DAkks GmbH) as well as to the private sector at Perschmann Calibration and Volkswagen AG Salzgitter, the delegation gained an insight into the quality infrastructure system in Germany and into the local aspects of quality assurance. Because the topic of food safety was at the focus of the study trip, visits to the Niedersächsisches Landesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Lower Saxony State Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety) and the Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety) were organized. The group was very impressed with the information and gratefully participated in the discussion that followed.

The laboratories at PTB were also a source of great interest and made a big impression. Department »Mass – Realization of the Unit« provided the delegation with an up-close view of the new definition of the kilogram and Division »Medical Physics and Metrological Information Technology« familiarized the visitors with their work using practical examples.

The study trip also served the purpose of expanding and intensifying the existing collaboration between the World Bank and PTB’s Technical Cooperation Department. The participants and PTB staff were invited to exchange information about the experience they have gained in promoting and reforming national quality infrastructures (NQIs) in developing and emerging countries. Not only were the organizations introduced to each other, but their work in different regions throughout the world was also presented at various sessions.

Since her assignment to the World Bank in May 2016, Susanne Wendt has been working on a toolkit for quality system reform for developing and emerging countries with a team from the World Bank. The toolkit is planned to be published and implemented starting in 2018. It will be based on international good practices and diagnostic instruments as well as include case studies. Ms. Wendt has already presented an extract of the joint publication to her colleagues from the department and discussed it with them. Thanks to this lively discussion, the presentation of the toolkit during the ISO general assembly in Berlin was well prepared.