IFI governance


Towards a partnership Bank?

15 September 1998

A refreshing new World Bank discussion paper frankly recognises that aid agencies are not cooperating effectively, and that mechanisms such as Consultative Groups and the Bank’s internal culture need to change. Partnership for Development: Proposed Actions for the World Bank also acknowledges that governments and civil society groups need a far greater say in aid agency actions in their countries.

The main features of its strategy are:

  1. organising national conferences to debate development strategies with civil society and the private sector;
  2. forging partnerships between donors by improving aid coordination mechanisms;
  3. reducing the burden of different donor reporting and budgeting requirements;
  4. holding Consultative Group meetings in borrower countries, co-chairing with the government, and allowing civil society and company attendance.
  5. developing new incentives to overcome the Bank’s inward looking culture and encourage collaboration with outsiders.

These useful proposals conflict with the Bank’s drive only to support countries with good policies, and will be hard to sell internally and to other agencies.

The paper’s author, Nawal Kamel, has held meetings in the USA, UK, Vietnam and Cote D’Ivoire to discuss it with interested NGOs, academics and officials. Both the paper and notes from the meetings are available ( nkamel@worldbank.org).