IFI governance


A new Bretton Woods? Critical perspectives on the World Bank’s proposed ‘evolution roadmap’ – A public debate

6 March 2023 | Events

Moderator: Luiz Vieira, Bretton Woods Project

Daniela Prates, UNCTAD
Phil Stevens, Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office
Ian White, World Bank Group Special Representative to UK & Ireland
Uli Volz, SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance
Fran Witt, Recourse

The World Bank’s evolution roadmap process takes place amidst a deteriorating global economic context, characterised by a deeply uneven recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, growing debt distress across many middle- and low-income countries, a reversal in global extreme poverty rates, increased climate change impacts, commodity price shocks in the food and energy sectors, and shrinking official development aid budgets – a series of overlapping challenges the World Bank itself has claimed is causing a ‘crisis of development’.

While few doubt the need for substantial development finance to kick-start the global low-carbon energy transition and get back on track with efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, a lively debate rages about how to reform the global financial architecture to facilitate this.

On 6th March 2023, members of civil society, academics and IFI officials joined the Bretton Woods Project and the Centre for Sustainable Finance at SOAS University for a discussion where they unpacked the World Bank’s reform proposals, contextualising them within broader calls for reform of the international financial architecture, and surfacing critical civil society and academic perspectives on reform of the World Bank and other international financial institutions.