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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.

 

We Read the New World Bank Group Strategy, So You Don't Have To

This is a joint post with Mead Over

The new World Bank Group Strategy posted this week for discussion by the Development Committee, the ministerial-level forum that oversees the World Bank and the IMF, provides a solid analytical foundation for what has so far been a messy and disjointed re-organization effort. The release of the paper coincided with a speech by bank president Jim Kim that covered much of the same ground, but the strategy paper digs deeper.  For those of us who believe that the World Bank has a crucial role to play in addressing the problems of the 21st Century, there is much to applaud.

Organize the World Bank Like a University, Not a Consulting Firm

This is a joint post with Alan Gelb.

In response to our August 5 blog criticizing the World Bank’s current reorganization plans, a few readers wrote to ask us if we could come up with a better idea. This is a daunting challenge. We’ve heard that the Bank has spent millions over more than a year to generate more than 40 ideas about how to tweak the Bank’s organization and has intensively discussed three overarching ideas, for none of which we have actually seen a background paper – or even a PowerPoint.  So with brains unfettered by facts, uncluttered by concept papers, bereft of briefings and emboldened by ignorance, here goes…

World Bank Reorganization: To What End?

This is a joint post with Mead Over.

The World Bank is reorganizing. Bloomberg reports that president Jim Yong Kim has written staff about a shake-up at the bank’s highest levels in preparation for implementing an as-yet-to-be-announced new institutional strategy. Such can be unsettling for bank employees, some of whom will find their jobs on the line and others who may get new bosses. Is there any reason for the rest of the world to care?

Recognizing and Rewarding the Best Development Professionals

This blog post is co-authored with Martin Ravallion, who has been the Director of the World Bank’s Development Economics Research Group for several years and is currently Acting Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the Bank. The blog is cross-posted on the World Bank site here.

These days there is a lot of discussion within development organizations and governments across the globe (including the World Bank) about how to assure a greater emphasis on development impact. It would no doubt help if senior management gave stronger verbal signals on the ultimate goals of the institution, and more actively supported staff to attain those goals. But such “low-powered incentives” have been tried before, and the problems seem to persist.

Cash on Delivery Aid…The Book!

Last week was a busy time in Washington for those interested in results-focused approaches to foreign aid, with two major events, one here at CGD and one at the World Bank.