World Bank

Social inclusion and concentration of wealth – what the World Bank gets right and what it misses.

admin - October 29, 2013

This guest post comes from Ricardo Fuentes-Nieva, Oxfam Head of Research, (@rivefuentes) No one expects the World Bank to be a simple organization. The intellectual and policy battles that occur inside the Bank are the stuff of wonk legends – I still remember the clashes around the poverty World Development Report in 2000/2001. This is not a criticism. One of the strengths of the World …

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The New Global Inequality Debate: “A Symbol of Our Struggle against Reality”?

admin - October 17, 2013

Guest post from Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America’s Vice President for Policy and Campaigns  This blog will make more sense if you watch at least a few seconds of this Monty Python skit first.   Monty Python haunts me.  Too close to the bone if you work in a rights-based organization.   When I got into development work in the 1990’s, the UN and some NGOs were getting …

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Pretty good so far, what’s next? Jim Kim’s first year at the World Bank

admin - July 2, 2013

By Nicolas Mombrial, head of the Oxfam International’s Washington office A year ago today, the World Bank got a new chief. In all its 66 years, the bank head has always been an American, and Jim Yong Kim was president Obama’s pick. We’ll never know if Jim Kim was the best person for the job, we said at the time, because despite some interview process …

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The BRICS Bank gathers momentum: another sign of the world’s shifting power balance

admin - June 7, 2013

The momentum behind the creation of a new international bank by the BRICS countries seems to be building steadily. Its leaders will review progress on the BRICS Bank at a special BRICS summit in the sidelines of the St Petersburg G20 Summit in early September. They expect to finalise plans for the Bank at the Sixth official BRICS Summit in Brazil in early 2014. And …

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Impressions of North America’s aid and development scene: the good, the bad and the ugly

admin - May 13, 2013

Just got back from a two week immersion in the US & Canada aid and development scene (well, the East Coast version, anyway). Boston, New York,Washington and Ottawa, talking at universities, NGOs, multilaterals and aid agencies and experiencing a wonk version of groundhog day + powerpoint, brought on by giving the same presentation 16 times (I’m getting pretty good at it now). Overall impressions?  Lots …

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Is power and politics a massive distraction? Crossing swords with the World Bank.

admin - May 8, 2013

This post is written on the hoof, dashing between presentations, so please pardon the rough edges. Yesterday I shared a platform with Marcelo Giugale, the World Bank’s Africa Director for Poverty Reduction and Economic Management (right). We were coming from very different places, some might say different planets, which is always stimulating. I did my standard power and politics spiel, focusing on multidimensional poverty, inequality …

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Does the World Bank speak with forked tongue on Land Grabs?

admin - April 15, 2013

Rob Nash, Oxfam’s Private Sector policy adviser, finds a deep contradiction in the way the World Bank talks (and acts) about land Last week I was at the World Bank’s Land and Poverty Conference in Washington DC, sitting in one of the most luxuriously appointed office buildings I have ever seen, (and I used to work for Lehman Brothers), as we discussed the land issues …

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Development optimism from Justin Lin: review of ‘The Quest for Prosperity’

admin - January 9, 2013

‘Every developing country has the opportunity to grow at over 8% a year for 20-40 years, and to get rid of poverty within a generation.’ There’s something very refreshing about listening to East Asian development economists, in this case the prolific Justin Lin, a former World Bank chief economist, launching his new book The Quest for Prosperity, at ODI just before Christmas. The contrast between …

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The World Bank’s new chief economist on redistribution, taxation, economists, climate change and, errm, multi-player sudoku

admin - November 28, 2012

The World Bank’s new chief economist, Kaushik Basu (right), came through London last week and had a good initial exchange of views with some NGO wonks. I went to a similar exercise with his predecessor, Justin Lin (blogpost here), and the comparison was interesting. Whereas Justin focussed on industrial policy and structural upgrading, Kaushik talked a lot about governance, inequality, taxation and growth. Justin focussed …

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