The Rise of Social Protection, the art of Paradigm Maintenance, and a disagreement with the World Bank

Spent a mind-stretching day last week with a bunch of social protection experts from the LSE, IMF and assorted other bodies. Social Protection includes emergency relief, permanent mechanisms such as pensions and cash transfers, and ‘social insurance’ based on people’s personal contributions. LSE boss Minouche Shafik set the scene really well: ‘The failure of safety…

By Duncan Green November 8, 2018 2

One step forward, two steps back? Why WDR 2019 harms the World Bank’s role as a thought leader on employment and gender equality

Guest post on the new World Development Report by Shahra Razavi (left) and Silke Staab of the UN Women Research and Data Section. (The views expressed here are in their individual capacities and do not reflect the position of UN Women). Diego Rivera’s 1931 mural, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City,…

By Duncan Green October 25, 2018 4

How to decode a UN Report on Global Finance (and find an important disagreement with the World Bank on private v public)

A giant coalition of UN-affiliated aid organizations (3 pages of logos!) recently published Financing for Development: Progress and Prospects 2018. These big tent reports are a nightmare to write, and not much easier to read. Anything contentious is fought over by the participants, and the result tends to be pretty bland. I’m not sure how…

By Duncan Green May 15, 2018 9

The World Bank’s flagship report this year is on the future of work – here’s what the draft says

The World Bank’s 2019 World Development Report will be on ‘The Changing Nature of Work’ and It’s worth reading because, even though this kind of annual flagship format feels a bit dated, WDRs are always a treasure trove of references and ideas, while what they miss out adds important insights into mainstream thinking in the…

By Duncan Green April 26, 2018 1

Is there a new Washington Consensus? An analysis of five World Development Reports.

Alice Evans earns my undying admiration (and ubergeek status) by casually revealing that she has read the last 5 WDRs on the day of their publication. Here she summarizes what they show about the Bank’s evolving view of the world. A new Washington Consensus is emerging… It recognises complexity, context, learning by doing, politics, and…

By Duncan Green November 3, 2017 4

The World Bank’s 2018 World Development Report on Education: a sceptic’s review

Guest post from Prachi Srivastava (@PrachiSrivas), Associate Professor in the area of education and international development at the University of Western Ontario. When the World Bank announced that the 2018 World Development Report (WDR) would be on education, I was sceptical. I’m not denying the Bank’s research expertise. It devotes substantial money and staff and…

By Duncan Green October 18, 2017 1

WDR 2017 on Governance and Law: great content, terrible comms, and a big moral dilemma on rights and democracy

Spoke yesterday at the London launch of the 2017 World Development Report on Governance and The Law. Although Stefan Kossoff did a great job in summarizing the report on this blog a few weeks ago, I thought I’d add a few thoughts from the discussion. The current debates on governance, of which the WDR is part,…

By Duncan Green March 2, 2017 12