Ideas to action: independent research for global prosperity
Don’t Innovate IDA (Unless You Have To)
February 08, 2024
What’s the best way for a think tank fellow to demonstrate they’re washed up? Say there’s no need for new policy. And yet… This year, donors will negotiate the replenishment of the World Bank’s soft lending arm, IDA. World Bank president Ajay Banga wants to the replenishment amount to be the bigges...
Building Blocks for an Enhanced Global Public Goods Window at the World Bank
January 22, 2024
At the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings last fall in Marrakesh, the Bank governors endorsed innovative financial instruments to boost lending at the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)—the Bank’s arm that lends to creditworthy countries. Some donor countries have signaled thei...
Stories from My 14 Years at the World Bank (1979-1993)
December 18, 2023
It’s been 25 years since I worked at an IFI and yet women still represent only about 30 percent of senior management in these institutions. Worse, almost none of the world’s major multilateral banks has had a female president in all that time.
Pulling Up the Curtain on Why So Few IFI Leaders Are Women
December 04, 2023
In a seminal paper, Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse show that when musicians do a blind audition for symphony orchestra positions—they perform behind a curtain—women are more likely to be hired than men. But, when the curtain is up and the person hiring can see who is performing, men are more likel...
Main Takeaways on Debt from the Annual Meetings
November 29, 2023
Sovereign debt issues for emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs) were a predictable subject of many conversations at the World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech. Here are our main takeaways on the state of play and how to make progress to address urgent needs amidst slow-moving pr...
Navigating the Precarious Development Landscape: Insights from the 2023 Development Leaders Conference
November 02, 2023
Geopolitical risks are rapidly converging, making the world more crisis-prone and precarious. Faced with a near economic collapse in some low and lower middle-income countries, the escalating devastation of climate-related disasters aggravating existing vulnerabilities, and a sharp rise in conflicts...
Empty Words, Empty Wallets: The G20’s Broken Promise on SDR Recycling
October 30, 2023
In August 2021, as the world continued to grapple with the far-reaching effects of the ongoing global pandemic, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) took a significant step to help. Recognizing the unprecedented challenges faced by nations, the IMF issued an allocation of US$ 650 billion worth of S...
Fixing Project Bureaucracy at the World Bank
October 13, 2023
World Bank president Ajay Banga’s declared strategy is to lead with a better bank before pushing for a bigger bank. I hope it works. His shoutout to the dribs of finance offered by Germany and the US toward guarantees and hybrid capital in his Annual Meetings speech today only served to emphasize ho...
The US Failed the World in Morocco
October 12, 2023
As the World Bank and IMF meetings wrap up in Morocco, hopes for an imminent revolution in multilateral finance look forlorn. A dollar of capital can support five dollars of lending at the IBRD and the costs of subsidized finance for the poorest countries through IDA are shared amongst more than fif...
Introducing the MDB Reform Tracker
October 09, 2023
Ahead of the highly-anticipated World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Marrakech, the Center for Global Development has unveiled a new tool to track reforms at the multilateral development banks. The Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Reform Tracker is an innovative platform that explores how the six la...