World Bank

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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Can development really be delivered by investing in private banks?

Duncan Green - April 11, 2014

Peter Chowla of the Bretton Woods Project introduces its new report, which asks why the World Bank is still stuck in pre-crisis thinking about finance and what civil society should do about it. ‘Banksters’ have become famous since the financial crisis just five years ago. Media portrayals of New York’s ‘Wall Street’ or the ‘City’ in London have frequently vilified bankers. Though Occupy Wall Street …

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The World Bank tackles Mind and Culture: heads up on the next World Development Report

Duncan Green - March 31, 2014

Even though annual reports by the many fragments of the multilateral system have proliferated in recent years (I can’t keep up any more), the World Bank’s World Development Report still stands head and shoulders above the rest. And the next one’s theme, WDR 2015: Mind and Culture, due out in November this year, is pretty eye catching. And welcome. There’s not much to read on …

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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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