10:00—11:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada)/ 2:00 - 3:00pm Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)/ 3:00 - 4:00pm British Summer Time (BST)

Global Challenges Require Global Solutions: Transforming the MDB System


  • Lawrence Summers, Chares W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
  • Donald Kaberuka, Chairman and Managing Partner, SouthBridge
  • Minouche Shafik, Director, London School of Economics
  • Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development 


With alarming speed, the COVID-19 pandemic delivered a series of unprecedented global shocks to health and economic systems around the world. These shocks and other transnational challenges, like accelerated climate change and geopolitical conflict, have emerged against a backdrop of scarce resources and competing domestic priorities. The multilateral development bank (MDB) system, a crucial source of finance for developing countries, still isn’t always equipped to tackle global challenges that defy national borders or invest in global public goods, like pandemic preparedness or the conservation of our natural capital.

How can we rethink the World Bank and other MDBs to tackle the new, global challenges facing us today? How do their structures, missions, and financial models need to change? Six years ago, CGD released a high-level report laying out how the MDBs could adapt to a new global landscape and the rise of new donors, recommendations which shaped how they navigated those challenges. This event marks the beginning of a new program of work from CGD on the next evolution of the MDBs—their evolving mandate to provide global public goods. Throughout the project CGD will consult key experts and policymakers as well as emerging market stakeholders to develop a concrete roadmap for a modernized MDB system focused on global challenges.

If you have questions for our panelists, please submit your comments via YouTube.

Due to audio issues, Lawrence Summers' remarks were difficult to hear. The full remarks are available below.

Read Lawrence Summers’ remarks
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