Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

Photo of the World Bank headquarters

Time, Gentlemen, Please

It is time for an open, fair, merit-based process to appoint the next President of the World Bank. And I’ll explain below why I think the Europeans may, at last, break the cartel that has prevented this.

Bogotá

Making GCFF Financing a Win for Venezuelans and Their Colombian Hosts

As dueling claims to the Venezuela’s presidency threaten to spark further violence and devastating economic and social turmoil accelerates, the exodus of Venezuelan migrants continues. In a context of increasing pressure and the possibility of larger inflows, the World Bank recently announced that Colombia is now the third country to be eligible for the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF)—a partnership among the World Bank, United Nations, Islamic Development Bank, and others. The GCFF, which is hosted by the World Bank, offers highly concessional financing to middle-income countries hosting significant numbers of refugees. But financing is just the first step. It’s critical to learn lessons from past experience and ensure that policies are in place so that financing yields results and promotes self-reliance.

pen on document

A Review of the Mid-Term Review of the IDA Private Sector Window

A few weeks ago, the World Bank’s soft-lending arm IDA held the mid-term review of its 18th round of funding. As background for the meeting, the World Bank produced a status update of the new IDA Private Sector Window (PSW) that I have blogged about before. The update provides valuable insight into how the $2.5 billion of PSW funding is being used at the halfway mark of its spending cycle but leaves some big unknowns.

question-mark

Answering the World Bank’s $75 Billion Question

Next week in Zambia, donors to the World Bank’s financing window for low-income countries, the International Development Association (IDA), meet to discuss IDA’s future. This “mid-term review” is both a stocktaking session and a teeing up of the next round of fundraising for the world’s largest concessional lending fund. Formal negotiations will commence next year, but the meetings in Zambia set the scene for those negotiations.

A Syrian woman at a sewing machine

IDA Funding for Refugees and Hosts: 5 Ways to Improve and Why We Need More

On average, a refugee is displaced for 10 years, and after being displaced for five years, the average jumps to more than 20 years. The world could no longer ignore this reality in 2015, when more than one million asylum seekers and migrants arrived to Europe seeking refuge and opportunity. The phenomenon, however, was nothing new for the numerous refugee-hosting countries around the world. These countries, many of which are in the developing world, are all too familiar with the limits of traditional humanitarian approaches—short-term, siloed, and focused on life-saving needs.

international currencies

Redesigning the IDA Private Sector Window for Impact: Some Principles and Potential Practices

I have previously suggested that the current design of the $2.5 billion World Bank/IDA Private Sector Window (PSW) seemed an inefficient use of scarce aid resources, didn’t follow the World Bank’s own guidance on disclosure and design of subsidies to the private sector, and is noncompetitive, nontransparent, and unstructured. In this blog post, I offer some ideas on how the World Bank Group could reconstruct the PSW towards real development impact in the next round of IDA funding, to be negotiated in 2019.

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