In late February government representatives met in Paris to begin negotiations on replenishing the World Bank’s concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA).
The three yearly negotiations have previously been used by governments and NGOs to scrutinise the World Bank’s performance and press for improvements. Although it is often hard to build consensus about what NGOs and governments should advocate, IDA negotiations are one of the few times when the Bank can be subjected to the conditionality that it normally imposes on others.
In Paris donors discussed the Bank’s performance-based lending framework, the goal of allocating 50 per cent of IDA resources to Africa, the role of IDA in post-conflict reconstruction and good governance work, as well as global public goods.
Three further official meetings are planned, with the next from 5-7 June in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. By this time, the Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department reviews will be available (see Bretton Woods Update 15). Unlike previous IDA negotiations, the Bank has promised this time to involve Southern governments and civil society representatives, and to make public their negotiation documents.
For arguments against further World Bank funding see: www.worldbankboycott.org