The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries’ priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the ‘most pressing problems’ facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them.
The spotlight may be on Jim Kim’s new strategy for the World Bank this year, but Luis Alberto Moreno is busy pursuing an overhaul of his own at Washington’s other multilateral development bank (MDB).
The International Finance Corporation wants to increase its development impact in fragile states. Currently, the IFC’s fragile-state portfolio mirrors that of overall foreign direct investment stocks in such countries: focused in extractive industries and mobile telephony. That suggests potentially limited value-added from the Corporation’s investments in terms of crowding in private capital. If the IFC is trying to increase its portfolio and development impact in fragile states, it should look for sectoral opportunities that share some of the features of mines and mobile investments but currently attract limited FDI.
The World Bank should be ambitious in working toward clean energy approaches in its development strategies, but it would be a mistake to definitively rule out coal in all circumstances. Such a decision would be bad for development and would also undermine the very goals that the bank’s coal critics espouse by further pitting developing and developed countries against each other in the climate debate occurring within the bank. The key challenges are to identify the relevant development needs related to coal-fired generation, to define the role of the bank, and to elaborate guidelines to direct decisions. In this essay, we discuss the broad issues and then summarize what the guidelines likely would mean in practice.
A Proposal for IDA-17: Instead of an Income Transfer, Direct the IFC to Invest Its Time, Resources, and Expertise in IDA Countries
Instead of giving an income transfer, the IFC should provide financing and its expertise in a way that fits what it does best—investing in the private sector—while giving the IFC incentives to accelerate what it should do even better—taking greater risks in poorer countries.
This brief outlines how to implement a results-based approach in a way consistent with the World Bank’s recent experience with results-based disbursement, including its approval of the new Program for Results (PforR) instrument.
Climate negotiations have focused on reaching a top-down international agreement and on mobilizing a pool of financial resources. This brief explains the urgent need for a new entity to provide nonfinancial services to faciliate and augment climate action that any nations and private actors take. It explores one possible path for filling the gap: the creation of a new arm of the World Bank.