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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.

 

EBRD Raises the Bar for International Appointments

On Friday evening, the governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development   (EBRD) selected a new president: British civil servant Sir Suma Chakrabarti. The decision is important because the EBRD has recently taken on a major global challenge: assisting the countries of the Arab Spring.  It also matters because the selection process raised the bar for open, transparent and merit-based leadership selection at other international institutions, including the World Bank, IMF and the other regional development banks.

Pakistan: Here’s What the United States Actually Can Do Right Now

A recent Foreign Affairs article by Stephen Krasner suggests that the United States should withdraw all military and civilian assistance from Pakistan in response to the countries increasingly volatile relationship. CGD President, Nancy Birdsall, takes a more measured response and calls for a renewed focus on U.S. support to private sector growth in Pakistan.

This is a joint post with Milan Vaishnav, and Danny Cutherell

On December 8th, CGD hosted its first Pakistan study group meeting since the release of its June 2011 report on the U.S. development strategy in Pakistan. Our focus was on how the United States could better support the private sector, especially small business, in Pakistan. That discussion—and our ongoing conversation with study group members, Pakistan experts, and CGD colleagues—provided the basis for our sixth open letter (authored by Nancy) to the Obama Administration, available on our website.

This Time Really Is Different (Is the Money There for Europe and the Rest of the World?)

This is a joint post with Amar Bhattacharya of the G-24

It is more obvious every day that Europe cannot save itself. A meltdown in Europe would not only hurt Europe and the United States. It would also deal a blow to people’s livelihoods everywhere, with high costs especially to people living close to the margin in the developing world. The blow would hurt right away as trade, remittances and commodity prices collapse. And it would continue to hurt over the next two years and more, requiring a long slow slog of the United States and Europe out of stagnation, recession or worse, and knock-on effects in China, Brazil and other big emerging markets that until recently were powering global demand.

IMF Leadership: OK for Now, but Fixing the Process Shouldn’t Wait

Christine Lagarde is now firmly in place at the IMF, and her competence, political savvy, and good humor bode well for the institution and the global economy.  Indeed, with the crisis in the eurozone upon us, the results of CGD’s spring survey on how a managing director should be chosen at the IMF may feel behind the moment if not the times—but anyone with five minutes to spare should take a look at David Wheeler’s analysis of the results.

IMF Leadership Selection Survey: Early Results at Odds with European Rush

Early results from our global opinion survey on the selection system, criteria and candidates for the new head of the IMF are now available. If you haven’t yet taken the survey and do so now, you will get access to the results as of yesterday. Not surprisingly, there is overwhelming agreement that the selection system should be open, competitive and merit-based, without regard to nationality (more on that below).

IMF Leader Selection: It’s the Process, Stupid

This post also appeared on the Huffington Post.

A Bretton Woods project statement issued on April 6 was prescient indeed:

The MD must be, and must be seen to be wholly independent of any national or regional interest. This is particularly important when the home state is a powerful member of the IMF. In practical terms therefore, recent or sitting ministers should be ruled out.

Who’s that? The candidate now supported by France and the UK: Christine Lagarde is, of course, a sitting minister of a powerful member country.

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.

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