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Has the aid industry introduced the reforms it agreed in 2005 to make aid more effective? No, according to the survey published last week by the OECD DAC. In this blog post we reflect on why this matters, and what it means for the forthcoming summit in Busan.
A Moveable Feast of Meetings: Owen Barder
The development sector is in a mess. Developing countries have to deal with a large and growing number of partners, each with separate agendas, priorities, and requirements. Meetings, reports, milestones and systems multiply. Skilled staff are hired away from governments and from business to serve in local agency offices or NGOs. Funding is fragmented and unpredictable, which means that developing countries are often unable to bring together the scale of long-term, predictable finance needed to undertake significant institutional reform and service delivery. As just one example - in Vietnam, it took 18 months and the involvement of 150 government workers to purchase just five vehicles for a donor-funded project, because of differences in procurement policies among aid agencies.
There was a lot of justified hand-wringing and tough talk too in the media and in think tank and NGO-land about the unseemly use by Europe of its unwarranted voting weight at the IMF to push the election of Christine Lagarde. The appointment this week of Zhu Min, a former deputy governor of the People's Bank of China, as the one of two IMF
The World Bank’s expanding public information mandate is the focus of Stephanie Strom’s excellent article in Saturday’s New York Times. During Robert Zoellick’s tenure as the Bank’s president, he has promoted free public access to databases that formerly required a paid subscription, such as the World Development Indicators, or were simply unavailable (such as detailed information on the location, design, objectives and performance of Bank projects). We have no doubt that this excellent initiative will be a boon to development analysts and scholars worldwide.
Recently the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF), over which I preside, held its bi-annual meeting at CGD and issued its 24th statement. Among the CLAAF members that participated were several renowned economists, including Guillermo Calvo, Carmen Reinhart, Pablo Guidotti, Guillermo Ortiz and Roque Fernandez.
The IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has come under criticism, including apparently from Senator Patrick Leahy, for a recent loan to a company owned by a Saudi prince to build a 5-star hotel in Ghana’s capital, Accra. This Washington Times article highlights three main criticisms: