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”.
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In December 2013, the German Development Institute, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Bretton Woods Project, in collaboration with the G-24, hosted a high-level workshop in Berlin to foster an open exchange on the profound changes in the global economy and the implications for global economic governance and its constituent institutions and members.
Last year BRICS' leaders agreed to launch a BRICS development bank. Whether this is considered positive depends in part what questions are being asked. Sameer Dossani of ActionAid International highlights the flaws in the World Bank and IMF, analyses whether a BRICS Bank could be different from these institutions and proposes what it should do and what it should look like.
The Bretton Woods Project is an ActionAid hosted project (UK registered charity no. 274467).