Recommended resources 2008

16 February 2009 | Resource


International Monetary Fund programs and tuberculosis outcomes in post-communist countries ; David Stuckler, Lawrence P. King, Sanjay Basu
Links IMF economic reform programs to significantly worsened tuberculosis incidence, prevalence, and mortality rates in post-communist Eastern European and former Soviet countries, independent of other political, socioeconomic, demographic, and health changes in these countries.

The World Bank in fragile and conflict-affected countries: ‘How’, not ‘how much’; Edward Bell
Gives a summary of, and outlines problems with, the World Bank’s evolving approach to development in fragile and conflict-affected states and makes recommendations for working in such complex situations.

The World Bank’s new poverty estimates: Digging deeper into a hole; Sanjay Reddy
Argues that the Bank’s re-estimation of poverty figures are still plagued by errors in calculation and methodology and so present a distorted image of what is necessary to achieve an adequate standard of living in developing countries.

After structural adjustment, then what? Lending selectivity by the World Bank; Elisa Van Waeyenberge
Criticises the Bank’s criteria for allocating IDA funds. It argues that the Country Policy and Instititional Assessment (CPIA) ignores need, assumes governments have full control and neglects external and structural issues.

Critical conditions: The IMF maintains its grip on low-income governments; Eurodad
Updates and confirms findings that despite its 2003 conditionality guidelines, the IMF has not reduced the burden of structural conditionality in low-income countries.

No additionality, new conditionality: A critique of the World Bank’s proposed climate investment funds ; Third World Network
Criticises the Bank’s role in climate change financing as creating parallel frameworks of climate change governance which may undermine existing multilateral climate change regimes. The briefing paper, prepared for the Bonn climate talks, then proposes some of the alternatives to Bank-driven instruments for climate change financing.

The World Bank and its carbon footprint: Why the World Bank is still far from being an environment bank ; WWF
Analyses the carbon footprint of the World Bank’s energy portfolio, finding the last decade of projects will cause 26 gigatonnes of CO2 emissions, equivalent to approximately 45 times the annual CO2 emissions of the UK. It calls on DFID to ensure that the Bank calculates its carbon footprint in a fully comprehensive and transparent way.

Doing Business: An independent evaluation ; Independent Evaluation Group
Validates trade union and civil society criticisms of the IFC’s flagship publication, Doing Business. It finds problems with causality, data reliability, lack of consideration of the benefits of regulation, failure to uphold the spirit of ILO core labour regulations and more.

The growth report: Strategies for sustained growth and inclusive development; Growth Commission
Looks at how developing countries can achieve fast, sustained and equitable growth. Despite headline messages that seem tame, the detailed findings of the report show that the “right mix of ingredients” is quite different than what the economic orthodoxy and the IFIs have been telling developing countries for the past 30 years.


Development redefined: How the market met its match; Robin Broad and John Cavanagh
A whirlwind tour of how activist movements rose up to challenge the Washington Consensus and international institutions over the last three decades.
Paradigm, ISBN: 9781594515231

The battle against hunger: Choice, circumstance, and the World Bank; Devi Sridhar
Uses the case study of a World Bank nutrition project in India to tackle questions on development assistance and hunger. Attempts to uncover the workings of power through a close look at the structures, discourses, and agencies through which nutrition policy operates.
Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780199549962

The World Bank and the gods of lending ; Steve Berkman
Former World Bank task manager Berkman exposes the Bank’s lack of interest in fighting corruption. This book offers an insiders perspective on World Bank operations.
Kumarian Press, ISBN: 9781565492592

Beyond the World Bank agenda: An institutional approach to development ; Howard Stein
Stein attempts to present an alternative vision of institutional development. Taking in-depth looks at finance, state formation and health care he offers a vision beyond the neoclassical workings of the Bank.
University of Chicago Press, ISBN: 9780226771670

African agriculture and the World Bank: Development or impoverishment? ; Kjell Havnevik, Deborah Bryceson, Lars-Erik Birgegård, Prosper Matondi and Atakilte Beyene
An investigation into the productivity and welfare concerns of Africa’s smallholder farming population. This book assesses the validity of the Bank’s statement that African smallholders can compete, given the destabilisation that has plagued the continent during the years of World Bank conditionality.
NAI Policy Dialogue, ISBN: 9789171066084

Can compensation prevent impoverishment? ; Michael M. Cernea and H. M. Mathur (eds)
Former World Bank sociologist, Cernea, heads a volume that provides a new impetus to search for practical solutions to forced displacement. It brings to the fore new ideas and policy recommendations which hope to overcome shortcomings or omissions in current thinking, policies and practices.
Oxford University Press, ISBN: 9780195687132

Electronic resources
A site launched by NGOs Transnational Institute (TNI) and Institute of Policy Studies to bring forward critical thinking on the financial and economic crisis.

TWN Climate listserv
On top of its exting listservs on trade and on finance, the climate listserv features analysis and news on climate change negotiations at the UN and climate change financing, including at the World Bank. To subscribe, email:

The website of the civil society International Steering Group (ISG) towards the Ghana High Level Forum on aid effectiveness catalogues all the best thinking on aid and the full demands of NGOs.