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Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Washington Post Editorial Gets it Wrong on the Volcker Report on Corruption and the World Bank; Financial Times Does Better

A Washington Post editorial today ( A Fight Over Corruption ) says that the new report by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker on the effectiveness of the World Bank's anti-corruption department, (the Institutional Integrity Department or INT)) "reserved its toughest language for the bank bureaucracy itself." The editorial then quotes from the report:

Grain Prices Are Rising. Blame it on the Middle Class?

Can the growth of the middle class lower living standards for those who stay poor? The answer might be yes if people use their increased income to buy more of a good important to the poor, such as food or housing; prices may increase as a result, decreasing what the poor can afford to buy.

Poverty Matters Most: A Comment on the Volcker Report

Today the Volcker Commission released a report with a set of recommendations about how the World Bank can strengthen its anti-corruption procedures by reforming its Department of Institutional Integrity. This is an important and timely conversation and the report will no doubt receive a high level of attention. But it is equally important that the Bank does not put corruption ahead of its central task—the alleviation of poverty.

Solar Power for the Lamps of Africa: World Bank and IFC Back a Bright Idea

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation have just launched an ambitious new program to bring electricity to millions of people in Africa who live without it. The Lighting Africa Initiative seeks to bring clean and safe lighting via solar lamps and other clean-fuel methods to thousands of villages and small towns that are not connected to the public grid and rely on kerosene lamps which are both polluting and unsafe.