Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF: 2018

1 February 2019 | Resource


Enforcing the rules in a global economy: The emergence of structural conditionality in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund Pauly, L., 2018; In: Indart, G., Critical Issues in International Financial Reform, New York: Routledge, Chapter 9

International finance institutions are known for suggesting structural conditionality; a tactic which this chapter suggests has the motive of initiating interaction amongst international political economies.

One size for all? policy advice of the World Bank and the OECD on quality assurance and evaluation of school education in Russia, Brazil, and China Takala, T., Kallo, J., Kauko, J., Rinne, R., 2018; in Wiseman, A.W., Davidson, P.M., (ed.), Cross-nationally Comparative, Evidence-based Educational Policymaking and Reform (International Perspectives on Education and Society, Volume 35) Emerald Publishing Limited, pp.301-319

This chapter discusses the impact of transnational education policy agendas made by the World Bank and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

World Bank Urban Shelter projects in East Africa: matching needs with appropriate responses? Campbell, J. 2018; in: Housing Africa’s Urban Poor, London: Routledge, Chapter 11

This chapter reviews the success of the World Bank-sponsored urban shelter programmes in East Africa since 1974 and whether similar shelter projects would be successful in meeting the needs of the urban poor.



A toolkit for advocacy at the World Bank Group Eurodad, October 2018

This report provides a toolkit for those interested in development finance issues within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An overview of the Bank is provided before giving guidance on possible advocacy and campaign work.

A toolkit for advocacy at the International Monetary Fund Eurodad, April 2018

This report provides a toolkit for those interested in development finance issues within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The report focusses on how the IMF influences international finance architecture and the effects of this.

Argentina goes back to the IMF. Neo-Liberalism, crisis and protest Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, November 2018

After 15 years of independence from the IMF, Argentina once again sought help from the IMF after devaluation of the peso. This report discusses the turbulent relationship between Argentina and the IMF.

Assessing austerity: Monitoring the human rights impacts of fiscal consolidation Center for Economic and Social Rights, February 2018

This briefing assesses the impact of austerity measures in the decade since the 2008 financial crisis on human rights. Suggestions for policy makers, oversight bodies, and civil society actors are offered to ensure there is not another lost decade for human rights due to fiscal consolidation.

Broken promises: The World Bank, international investors and the fight for climate justice in the Philippines Inclusive Development International, Bank Information Center Europe, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, April 2018

The Philippines is becoming increasingly vulnerable to threats posed by climate change, especially typhoons. Though the government signed the Paris Agreement in 2017 and adopted the Renewable Energy Act, they are also pushing through coal expansion projects financed by domestic banking centres. This paper discusses the implications of this.

Climate scheme hands $105 million profit to global insurance industry Jubilee Debt Campaign, November 2018

In over 80% of the most economically damaging climate disasters of the 21st century, government debt was higher two years after the disaster. This report critiques the current model of climate risk insurance, arguing that currently the victims of disasters are the one’s that must foot the bill of climate change.

Coming out of the dark: Is the IFC investing in a fossil free future? BIC Europe, November 2018

By tracking 148 financial intermediaries (FIs) investments made by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector arm, this report aims to assess whether the IFC has really reformed its FI lending.

Extreme poverty and human rights United Nations General Assembly, September 2018

This report discusses the trend to encourage privatisation popular amongst governments and international actors and the subsequent implication on human rights.

Gender equality and macro-level economics: recommendations for action Gender & Development Network, May 2018

GADN make recommendations on the ways macro-level economic policy can be transformed to achieve gender equality.

History RePPPeated – How public private partnerships are failing Eurodad, October 2018

Public private partnerships are promoted by the World Bank and other multilateral development banks as the solution to promoting SDGs, however this report discusses PPPs shortfalls with reference to both developed and developing countries.

Lighting the way? Assessing the World Bank’s Climate Action Plan and energy access BIC Europe, October 2018

The WBG has made commitments towards both resolving the unacceptable situation of unequal access to electricity and climate change goals, however sufficient progress has not been made on either goal. This paper discusses the shortfalls of the WBG in this area.

Powering the transition World Bank and other IFI energy lending in Asia Oxfam, October 2018

The Climate Vulnerable Forum of countries has made commitments to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050 in Pacific Island nations putting IFI energy sector support plans to shame. This paper suggests how IFIs can improv

Realising women’s rights: The role of public debt in Africa Gender & Development Network, August 2018

Public debt in the African continent undermines the ability for governments to meet their commitments on gender equality and the promotion of women’s rights. GADN suggests a reform of the global financial system is required to ensure the costs of debt are not disproportionately born by women.

Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights United Nations General Assembly, July 2018

This report discusses the IMF stance on social protection and suggests that in light of the Funds involvement in low-income countries it ought to include social protection in its considerations.

Reward work, not wealth Oxfam, January 2018

Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme poverty seven times over. 82% of all wealth created in the last year went to the top 1%, and nothing went to the bottom 50%. Dangerous, poorly paid work for the many is supporting extreme wealth for the few. Women are in the worst work, and almost all the super-rich are men. Governments must create a more equal society by prioritizing ordinary workers and small-scale food producers instead of the rich and powerful.

Seven reasons why feminists say no to World Bank-IMF Neoliberalism APWLD, October 2018

The report highlights the ways in which World Bank infrastructure projects and IMF conditional loans impact women’s human rights.

Shortchanging energy access: A progress report on multilateral development bank finance Oil Change International, October 2018

This report discusses the success of financing energy access projects by MDBs. It finds that whilst half energy access finance went to energy poor countries, more directed targeting needs to occur in order to reach the most energy poor communities.

Short-changed: How the IMF’s tax policies are failing women ActionAid UK, October 2018

The report examines the gendered impact of the IMF’s promotion of regressive, indirect taxes like VAT compared with progressive taxes that are directly linked to income and wealth. It recommends that gender responsive tax and expenditure policies should be at the heart of the IMF’s efforts to tackle gender inequality.

The IMF and fragile states evaluation report 2018 Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund, 2018

Countries facing persistent fragility, conflict, and violence have been deemed an international priority because of the potential implications for global stability. This report discusses the role the IMF should play in improving this situation.

Time for a reboot at a critical time for multilateralism Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) of the International Monetary Fund, July 2018

Provides an evaluation of the impact of the IEO in the work of the IMF in relation to current global developments.



An evaluation of the feedback loops in the poverty focus of world bank operations Fardoust, S., Kanbur, R., Luo, X., Sunderberg, M., 2018, Evaluation and Program Planning, Volume 67, pp.10-18

Feedback loops are used by the Independent Evaluation Group of the World Bank to enhance operations and give more focus to work, however this article argues that they are currently weak and ineffective with regard to poverty focus.

Disequilibrium in development finance: The contested politics of institutional accountability and transparency at the World Bank Inspection Panel Sovacool, B., Naude Fourie, A., Tan-Mullins, M., 2018, Development and Change, pp.1-29 [Online]

Focusing on the World Bank independent inspection panel this article reviews how independent accountability mechanisms operate.

Empowering women through agricultural extension: A global perspective Tiwari, R.K., 2018, Indian Rural Market: Opportunity and Challenges in the Global context, 1(1), pp.68-75

This article critically discusses the push from IFIs to increase female labour force participation.

The politics of transnational accountability policies and the (re)construction of corruption: The case of Tunisia, Transparency International and the World Bank Murphy, J., Brindusa Albu., O., 2018, Accounting Forum, 42(1), pp.32-46

This paper discusses how transnational actors like the World Bank define acceptable governance and assume that corruption is endemic in developing countries. The effects of such policies are discussed.

The role of the World Bank in middle-income countries Kabur, R., 2018, Issues in Indian Public Policies, [Online] pp.167-180

Paper provides a discussion of World Bank relationships with MIC’s. It points out that MIC’s are a diverse category and therefore should be considered differently.



Argentina: new austerity, old neoliberalism Green Left, February 2018

Protests in Argentina after the coalition government, Cambiemos, presented a bill in congress proposing cuts to social security by $3.4 billion.

Budha Ismail Jam, et al v. IFC: An Indian fishing community takes on the World Bank EarthRights International, 2018

The World Bank’s private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is taken on by fishing communities and farmers for the role it played in funding Tata Mundra Ultra Mega coal fired power plant, which has destroyed natural resources relied upon by locals.

Civil society wishlist for the World Bank’s post-2020 climate goals Civil society letter signed by 37 organisation, September 2018

Civil society groups from around the world issued eight recommendations for the World Bank’s consideration, ahead of its announcement of its new 2025 climate targets in December 2018 at COP24.

Illicit financial flows and the tax haven and offshore secrecy system Tax Justice Network, February 2018

Reducing and eventually eliminating illicit financial flows has been recognised by the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the United Nations as important for achieving Sustainable development goals. However, what is covered by the term ‘illicit’ is unclear.

IMF conditionality: still undermining healthcare & social protection? Eurodad, May 2018

Despite previously denying claims that conditionalities connected to IMF lending worsen health outcomes, Eurodad hopes that 2018 reviews of its conditionalities regarding health care will be considered.

Letter by Independent Expert on Foreign Debt and Human Rights to Jim Yong Kim on 2019 WDR OHCHR, August 2018

Letter to president of the World Bank expressing views on the draft World Development Report 2019.

Newly adopted UN resolution shows growing consensus to improve regulation of education in accordance with human rights law The Global Initiative, July 2018

UN Human Rights Council issued a public statement highlighting the need to further regulate the commercialisation of education in respect to human rights principles.

Response to The Guardian’s opinion piece on Tunisia IMF, February 2018

IMF defend advice given to Tunisia, claiming that they do not advocate austerity but instead promote ‘well-designed, socially balanced reforms’.

Role of IMF-backed elimination of universal social protection in protests Development Pathways, 2018

Iranian population suffers after IMF encourages government to end universal cash transfers.

S. Government opposes “absolute” immunity for World Bank Group in brief to SCOTUS EarthRights International, August 2018

US Supreme Court reverses ruling that international organisations like the Word Bank Group are entitled to ‘absolute immunity’ for lawsuits in US courts. Instead, these institutions are ruled to be subject to the same ‘restrictive’ immunity faced by foreign governments.

The fiscal costs of PPPs in the spotlight Investment Policy, March 2018

PPPs are becoming an increasingly popular way to finance development, however they come with higher risks and often higher costs to governments.

The World Bank’s fetish for ranking: The case of Doing Business rank for Chile Oakland institute, February 2018

Discussion of debate as to whether ‘methodological changes’ to the World Bank’s Doing Business Ranking system were a deliberate ploy to disfavour Chile in rankings because of their new socialist president, Michelle Bachelet.

The World Bank’s incoherent approach to taxes Oxfam, January 2018

Article provides a critique of the World Bank’s Doing Business Rankings which it argues are flawed on a variety of grounds including subjectivity, tax indicators and labour components.

Whither democratization and sustainability? Heinrich Boll Stiftung, October 2018

A critique of the 22 proposals on broad areas for increasing the power of the current development finance system listed in the G20 EPG Report.

Latest articles on this issue



Recommended resources on the World Bank and IMF: 2018

BOOKS Enforcing the rules in a global economy: The emergence of structural conditionality in the…

1 February 2019 | Resource



Doing Business 2019: World Bank’s tunnel vision obscures calls for reform

The Doing Business Report 2019 criticised by civil society over its promotion of deregulation and low business tax.

6 December 2018



Call for critical resources on World Bank and IMF for 2017

Request for critical IMF and World Bank resources of 2017.

6 December 2017



World Bank’s Doing Business report

This Inside the Institutions looks at the Doing Business report and retraces key steps in its history and development, explains how ratings are calculated and outlines some of the main criticisms regarding its methodology and ideological background.

3 July 2017 | Inside the institutions



ILO paper questions IMF research on labour market reforms

A recent ILO publication finds major methodological flaws in reserach papers that the IMF used to justify the weakening of labour regulation.

27 June 2014



Business as usual: World Bank rejects Doing Business reforms

World Bank publishes minor changes to its Doing Business report, addressing only one of the criticisms of an independent panel review while activists continue to highlight the damage done by the rankings.

20 June 2014



The future of Doing Business

Sponsors: EURODAD, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), International Working Group on Trade-Finance Linkages Panelists: Natalia Speer…

11 April 2014 | Minutes

Social services


Poland reverses World Bank-promoted pension scheme

Poland has taken public control of a World-Bank-promoted private-asset-managed pension scheme which was causing huge losses, but the Bank continues to deny blame.

31 March 2014



Civil society reacts to 2014 World Bank Doing Business report

Civil society organisations react to the latest Doing Business Report and call for reforms.

2 December 2013



IMF forecasting models

Forecasting models are crucial to how the Fund performs its role as lender and global economic monitor, but the assumptions underpinning these models are frequently derided as unrealistic.

4 October 2013 | Inside the institutions