IDA Discussions Start

15 January 1998

Paula Donovan, the World Bank staff member in charge of raising funds for the Bank’s soft loan arm the International Development Association (IDA), has undertaken a series of meetings designed to reassure parliamentarians and NGOs. Her main arguments are that IDA money is allocated to countries which are performing best, that project implementation is improving, with an increasing focus on the social sectors.

UK and other NGOs have begun to discuss approaches to IDA ahead of the first meeting of donor government representatives in late February and have written to Ms. Donovan asking for information on various issues.

These include:

  • the poverty impact of IDA support for structural adjustment;
  • the Bank’s spending and reform plans in health and education;
  • efforts to increase civil society participation in Country Assistance Strategies and Economic and Sector Work;
  • reform of the Bank’s internal incentives which have contributed to the design and approval of poorly performing projects;
  • IDA‘s approach to gender matters;
  • how the Bank will assess when and how to deploy IDA money to guarantee private sector investment, eg for the Nam Theun II dam in Laos;
  • whether the Bank is planning to use new measurements of national accounts;
  • how the Bank approaches negative net transfers from poor countries to itself which result from repayments of previous Bank loans

The letter concludes by asking how the Bank will increase the transparency of the IDA negotiations.

Letter available from the Bretton Woods Project.