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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.

 

What WOULD It Take for the US and Europe to Give Up Control of World Bank and IMF Leadership?

This is a joint post with David Roodman.

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn debacle has unexpectedly forced the first leadership turnover at a Bretton Woods institution since the global financial crisis—the first leadership transition in what we might call the G-20 world. The tacit deal that has long put an American atop the World Bank and a European in charge of the IMF, rooted in the geopolitics of the 1940s, looks more archaic than ever. That’s why this time around, the calls have grown even louder to make the leadership selection process of the World Bank and IMF open, transparent, and meritocratic. Owen Barder suggests on his widely read blog that transparency and merit are key to maintain the reputation and relevancy of these international institutions, and Nancy Birdsall agrees that the decision needs to be based on merit, not nationality. The Financial Times and others news media say that it is time for everyone to acknowledge that we are in the 21st century with several emerging powers that must have a larger role in the Bank, the Fund and other multilateral organizations. One of us (Vij) has made this argument too, constructing a model of global governance that factors in GDP and population as of 2011, not 1941.

Responding to Worries about COD Aid

This is a joint post with Owen Barder.

In a recent blog post in the Guardian, Jonathan Glennie welcomes the new focus on results in foreign aid and has some good things to say about Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid) in particular. (We especially like this: “COD Aid demonstrates a post-ideological humility regarding how to achieve development.”)

In his article, but even more so in readers’ reactions below it, there are some questions about the possible effects of linking aid to results. We think that the commenters are right to raise these worries, because they are concerns that we share. But we believe that these concerns are relevant for other forms of results based aid, and to an even greater extent for conventional forms of aid, and that COD Aid would in fact go a long way towards allaying them.

Here are the main worries raised, with some reflections on whether and how they apply to COD Aid:

Appointing the Next Managing Director of the IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been accused of a horrible crime.  Like everyone else he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

We may, however, soon find ourselves looking for a new Managing Director of the IMF, either because DSK is involved in a legal case or because he has declared himself a candidate to be President of the French Republic.