World Bank

Why is the World Bank Group dragging its feet over its disastrous PPP policy on funding healthcare?

Duncan Green - November 20, 2015

Oxfam health policy lead Anna Marriott gets back from maternity leave to find that the World Bank Group is dragging its feet over a disastrous health contract in Lesotho Back in April 2014, World Bank Group President Jim Kim said in a televised interview (19 ½ minutes in) that his organisation would be ‘the’ go-to group to understand how health sector public private partnerships (PPPs) …

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Where has the global movement against inequality got to, and what happens next?

Duncan Green - October 6, 2015

Katy Wright, Oxfam’s Head of Global External Affairs, stands back and assesses its campaign on inequality. The most frequent of the Frequently Asked Questions I’ve heard in response to Even it Up, Oxfam’s inequality campaign. is “how equal do you think we should be?” It’s an interesting response to the news that just 80 people now own the same wealth as half the world’s population …

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Why we should be worried by the World Bank shoveling $36bn to ‘financial intermediaries’

Duncan Green - April 2, 2015

Everyone’s heard of the World Bank, but far fewer people know of its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, which describes itself as ‘the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries’. It’s huge and growing, and it’s got some nasty skeletons in its cupboard – today it comes in for a good kicking from The Suffering of Others, a …

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What to do about Inequality, Shrinking Wages and the perils of PPPs? A conversation with Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist

Duncan Green - March 10, 2015

Along with a bunch of policy wonks from NGOs and thinktanks, I had an exchange with World Bank chief economist Kaushik Basu this week. Rules of engagement were that the meeting  was off the record, but I was allowed to blog as long as the Bank saw a draft to make sure I wasn’t about to get him the sack. In the end, however, the …

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The new World Development Report (on mind, society and behavior): lots to like, but a big fail on power, politics and religion

Duncan Green - December 16, 2014

This probably doesn’t need saying, but the World Development Report is a big deal. The World Bank’s annual flagships have a track record of shaping debates on particular issues, and raising them up the endlessly churning development agenda. So it pays to pay attention. This year’s WDR, published this month, is on ‘Mind, Society and Behaviour’. I (like most people) have only read the 20 …

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From transactional to transformational: thinking about the future of Social Accountability. Twaweza guest post.

Duncan Green - October 17, 2014

Varja Lipovsek & Ben Taylor of Twaweza, one of my favourite accountability NGOs, read the tea leaves on the future of their field In the private rooms of the Royal Society in London, under the stern gaze of Isaac Newton, the World Bank, DFID, ODI and a handful of others gathered recently to discuss an evaluation of the Bank’s Governance Partnership Facility (GPF) and the …

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Is the era of flagship publications (HDR, WDR) coming to an end?

Duncan Green - October 15, 2014

Had an interesting chat with some UNDP types last week in the Brixton cafe that is fast becoming my second office. In the same week as UNDP was named top donor on transparency (ahead of the UK and US), they were evaluating the UNDP’s flagship publication, the Human Development Report (HDR). Over the long term, I am a huge fan of the HDR, which is …

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Why is economic orthodoxy so resistant to change? The art of paradigm maintenance.

Duncan Green - September 17, 2014

Ever wondered why it’s so hard to shift big institutions (and the economics profession in general) on economic policy, even when events so graphically show the need for change? I’ve just come across a fascinating 2006 paper by Robin Broad, ‘Research, knowledge and the art of ‘paradigm maintenance’: the World Bank’s Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC)’, summary here. Full paper here. It must be about …

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Good? Bad? Ugly? Two years in, how’s Jim Kim doing as World Bank boss?

Duncan Green - July 15, 2014

Nicolas Mombrial, head of the Oxfam’s Washington office, does his cup half full/empty thing on Jim Kim’s first two years in office This month, Jim Kim celebrated his second anniversary at the head of the World Bank Group (WBG). After his first year, I concluded “pretty good so far but the jury is still out”. Has anything changed since then? Well, Jim Kim has said …

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Bad Aid: How a World Bank private financing scheme is bleeding a nation’s health system dry

Duncan Green - April 17, 2014

So much for the theory, here’s a bit of grim aid practice (and some top advocacy) to end aid week here on the blog. Lehlohonolo Chefa, Director of the Lesotho Consumer Protection Association (LCPA) reflects on a week when his organization’s report on a disastrous health experiment in his country made big waves at the World Bank spring meetings Lesotho is a small mountainous country with …

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