A new book by two researchers at the University of Oslo describes the structure and decision-making processes of multilateral institutions. Covering the World Bank, regional banks, IMF, WTO and UNDP, they analyse how major donor governments, and increasingly NGOs, determine their directions. They also describe specific cases such as the Arun III dam, Nepal and the Samut Prakarn project, Thailand. They are very critical, but conclude: “with all their faults the World Bank and other multilateral institutions are a potential bulwark against the unilateral actions of a single powerful country”.
Originally created to help the poor escape poverty and deprivation, the World Bank became the most important advocate for the commercialised microcredit model. Yet, critics argued it undermined the chances of sustainable and equitable development to create a poverty trap of historic proportions.
While the World Development Report (WDR) 2018 on education has some redeeming features, it is part of the Bank's longstanding very narrow view of education, and is silent on education financing.
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