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Views from the Center

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President Bush in Latin America: Democracy, Social Justice and a Dollop of Aid

President Bush is going to Latin America, and that has inspired a round of commentary in the mainstream press. A New York Times editorial urges the President to focus on democracy, human rights and social justice, and applauds the recent doubling of U.S. aid to the region. Democracy and social justice and a dollop of aid (the current budget of $1.6 billion is barely 1 percent of spending by Latin governments on health and education) are good things.

The World Bank and the Triennial Tin Cup: The Donors Will Give, But What Will They Ask?

The FT notes that talks have begun for the IDA-15 replenishment round. This is the latest set of negotiations that take place every three years where the World Bank asks its shareholders for cash to provide grants or to buy down the interest rates for its lending to poor countries--and when the donors typically load up the Bank with new conditions. Although these talks are often tough, the donors almost always increase their contributions.

A New Impact Evaluation Institution to Promote Learning for Development

”Bellagio,"Countries know where they want to be, but they may not know the best way of getting there. We would like to see the development of a new institution which can help us generate and use impact evaluation findings and help build capacity within our country to develop evidence and answer some of our enduring questions." --Margaret Kakande, Ugandan Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development