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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.

 

My Two Big Worries about the World Bank

For the first time in its seven-decade-long history, World Bank staff staged a work stoppage earlier this month. Staff are unhappy about the “Change Process,” aka the ongoing internal reorganization that President Kim initiated on his arrival at the bank now more than two years ago.

Close but No Cigar: Paying for Performance Is Not Necessarily COD Aid

When we make presentations on COD AIDat development agencies, we are frequently told: “Oh, we’re already doing that.” The more we investigate, however, the fewer cases we find where agencies are really disbursing funds against independently verified outcomes in a hands-off fashion. We’re tempted to say “close but no cigar.”

P4R: Looking to the Pilot Phase

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis.

After many stages of drafting, debates, and consultations, the World Bank´s proposed results-based financing instrument, Program-for-Results is going for approval to the Bank´s Board on January 24. The latest draft of the policy can be found here; we´re pleased to see that Bank staff listened to comments at a CGD roundtable and many other consultation meetings and incorporated changes to previous drafts. CGD hosted a final discussion of P4R on Thursday January 19, with a presentation by World Bank VP for operations, Joachim von Amsberg, and a panel that included Anne Perrault of the Center for International Environmental Law, Marta Garcia Jauregui, who represents Spain, Mexico and several Latin American countries on the World Bank board, and CGD president Nancy Birdsall (see event video here).

The United States Can Give Better Aid to Haiti

This commentary also appeared on The Huffington Post and Global Post

Last week at a United Nations conference, donors pledged more than $10 billion to finance reconstruction and development investments in Haiti. The United States promised a hefty $1.15 billion.

But pledging money is the easy part. The United States, the lead donor and friend with the greatest interest in Haiti's future development, can do much more, in two ways: its own aid programs can be more effective; and it can take steps beyond aid that are far more critical to long-run prosperity for Haiti's people.

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.

Washington Post Editorial Gets it Wrong on the Volcker Report on Corruption and the World Bank; Financial Times Does Better

A Washington Post editorial today ( A Fight Over Corruption ) says that the new report by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker on the effectiveness of the World Bank's anti-corruption department, (the Institutional Integrity Department or INT)) "reserved its toughest language for the bank bureaucracy itself." The editorial then quotes from the report:

Zoellick Approved As Next World Bank President: What Challenges Ahead?

Yesterday Robert Zoellick was elected by unanimous vote by the Board of the World Bank to become its next president. He now assumes The Hardest Job in the World, as we called it in a 2005 CGD report to the then-incoming president, Paul Wolfowitz. Mr. Zoellick is an avid reader -- and absorbs ideas and issues like a sponge. This bodes well for the Bank and for Bank staff. Informal meetings he has had with officials around the world, activists, and Bank watchers in Washington's leading think tanks indicate Mr.

Two More Challenges for Mr. Wolfowitz

In Tuesday's editorial on "Mr. Wolfowitz and the Bank", The New York Times referred to three issues that need his leadership:

"giv[ing] more of a voice to less wealthy and poor countries;…find[ing] new ways to mobilize private sector financing; [and] addressing global challenges like epidemics, sustainable energy and post-conflict reconstruction."

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