In an October blog published ahead of the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Washington DC, Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm, noted that the IFC has developed “a new framework — Anticipated Impact Measurement and Monitoring, or AIMM — to enable us to better define, measure and articulate the development impact of each project.” AIMM will eventually allow the IFC to “judge and communicate our results not only from an operational and financial perspective but also from a development and portfolio perspective.” While details about timelines and the degree to which outside expertise will inform AIMM are not available, the IFC will convene a meeting with civil society organisations in London on 7 December to discuss the process.
The IFC’s discovery that as a development institution, it should “eventually” be able to judge its results “not only from a financial perspective” but also “a development perspective” seems a step in the right direction. As outlined in a January 2016 Mother Jones magazine article, titled The World Bank Is Supposed to Help the Poor. So Why Is it Bankrolling Oligarchs?, the IFC’s investment choices and their supposed linkages with its development mandate have been heavily criticised (see Update 84). Additionally, the heavy caseload of its accountability mechanism, the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), and persistent recent reports of the negative consequences resulting from the IFC’s inability to ensure its investments through financial intermediaries do no harm, underscore the need for structural changes within the institution (see Observer Spring 2017, Autumn 2016). Given the importance of the process, civil society is hopeful that the meeting in London will mark the beginning of a formal process of consultation with a wide array of stakeholders on the development of AIMM.