The World Bank’s Global Development Gateway is proceeding gradually. Despite much criticism of the initiative’s scope and approach the Bank appears to be moving ahead as originally planned. The few changes adopted are mostly marginal, such as cutting one word from the project’s title, making it simply the ‘Development Gateway’. The Gateway will still claim to provide “quality” analysis based on all stakeholders’ views on virtually all development topics. There is still no clarity on governance arrangements for the Gateway, and it looks anyway as if these will be established too late to have any real bearing on the Gateway’s scope and approach.
Meanwhile Bank Board discussions on the issue have been postponed because the Bank now plans to set the Gateway initiative in the context of a bigger scheme, the digital alliance. This appears to be a fund-raising mechanism for international institutions to respond to the ‘digital divide’. A new ILO study notes that only five per cent of the world’s population uses the Internet and 88 per cent of these users live in industrialized countries.