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Panoramic view of Bogota, Colombia

The Interdependence Between Multilateral Development Banks and Middle-Income Countries

Every MDB is now confronted with the question of what to do with middle-income countries, given the need to focus on the Sustainable Development Goals in general, but very concretely on goal #1—poverty eradication—which will be difficult to achieve based on recent trends. MDBs are very important for MICs, but at the same time MICs are vital for MDBs. This is essentially a two-way relationship. Without MICs, MDBs will be less innovative, will have less knowledge and, importantly, will require more capital from shareholders. I will explain why I believe so in this short note.

Pile of Euros. Adobe Stock.

The Wise Persons Group Report on Europe’s Development Finance Architecture: Merger, Acquisition, or Reinvention?

Earlier this month, the long-awaited report on the future of the European financial architecture for development was released. Are the report’s proposals feasible? And crucially, do they offer a magic bullet to the intractable state of the European development finance system? I argue that although some of the proposals go some way towards offering a solution to the current problem, politics will undoubtedly trump logic, and we will—at least in the near future—be left with a stalemate.

A woman raises her hand to speak at a community meeting in Aurangabad, India. Photo by Simone D. McCourtie, World Bank

Money Can’t Buy You “Country Ownership”

Efforts to make aid more effective in the last two decades have given prominence to "country ownership." With true country ownership, aid is supposed to follow the priorities of recipient countries, rather than those of the funders. Yet funders have their priorities too. So recipients and funders have sought to resolve this potential conflict through policy dialogue and alignment of priorities. My new paper, "What is 'Country Ownership'?" explores this basic problem using a formal model to unravel three interrelated factors affecting country ownership.

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