Tag: World Bank

 

My Two Big Worries about the World Bank

For the first time in its seven-decade-long history, World Bank staff staged a work stoppage earlier this month. Staff are unhappy about the “Change Process,” aka the ongoing internal reorganization that President Kim initiated on his arrival at the bank now more than two years ago.

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.

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.

AIDS Donors and Patients Need the World Bank – but Only If It Is Hard to Provoke

Earlier this year, Uganda’s President signed into law an Anti-Homosexuality Act  that strengthens penalties against gay people and defines some homosexual acts as crimes punishable by life in prison.  If enforced to its full extent, the law is expected to endanger public health by handicapping HIV prevention and treatment efforts; already, the national police have raided and forced a US-supported HIV/AIDS treatment center to shut down. 

Missing in the Infrastructure Rush: Intact Ecosystems

This year, a common theme of those discussions was financing for infrastructure investment in developing countries.  I’m disappointed, but not surprised, that these conversations tend to focus exclusively on the need for new bricks-and-mortar infrastructure to meet needs for energy, water, or transport services, and seldom acknowledge the need to maintain the ecological infrastructure that already provides a large portion of those services for many of the world’s poor.

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