Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Global Development: Views from the Center

Global Development: Views from the Center features posts from Nancy Birdsall and her colleagues at the Center for Global Development about innovative, practical policy responses to poverty and inequality in an ever-more globalized world.

 

Why Isn’t the World Bank Asking What Works Before It Revamps Its Procurement Rules?

The World Bank is in the process of reforming its procurement system, the set of rules that borrowers have to follow when they use Bank financing to buy goods and services. Most of the proposals sound very sensible: much less “prior review” of the process for smaller contracts (World Bank staff looking over bid documents, evaluation reports, and contract documents before they are finalized); more flexibility to use other people’s procurement systems if they’re high quality; more flexibility to use quality alongside cost in evaluating bids in return for greater transparency.

Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: Boon or Bane for Developing Countries?

The United States is negotiating trade and investment partnership agreements that would cover more than half of global trade if successful: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam are part of TPP, along with Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore. But most developing countries, and all of the poorest and most vulnerable, are on the outside looking in.

Volvo Standards and Transformational Infrastructure: Lessons for the Old and New Development Banks

At its founding, a primary function of World Bank was to help developing countries develop the energy, transport and water infrastructure essential for economic development. Half a century later, as the World Bank Country Director for Brazil I saw the products of this – the World Bank funded one major hydropower plant in each of the first ten years that the Bank operated in Brazil, thus helping Brazil build a low-cost energy platform for economic growth in Brazil for the next 50 years.

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