Recommended Resources on the World Bank and the IMF 2023

19 February 2024

Pile of books from the Tibet Green Library. Credit: Bart Heird

Credit: Bart Heird


  • Private sector watch: Global synthesis report 2023
    CSO Partnership in Development Effectiveness, 1 December 2023
    This report interrogates the role of the private sector in development, and the risks posed to marginalised communities due to the increasing involvement of such actors in this arena.
  • Thread lightly: Why IFIs should put people and the environment at the centre of the transition mineral supply chain
    Recourse and Trend Asia, 27 November 2023
    This report explores the reality for mining and supply chains of transition minerals needed for renewable energy expansion in coming decades. It questions how International Finance Institutions (IFIs) can play a role in ensuring human rights and environmental justice are at the heart of the transition mineral supply chain, so that mineral rich communities and countries can benefit from their natural resources, and not be harmed.
  • The colonial roots of Global South deb
    Debt Justice, 27 November 2023
    This report exposes how current global south debt is both a colonial legacy, and a neo-colonial tool used by global north governments, institutions and corporations to plunder the wealth of, and extend their control over, global south countries and communities.
  • Blowing Smoke: How coal finance is flowing through the IFC’s Paris Alignment loopholes
    Inclusive Development International, 4 October 2023
    This investigation reveals that despite promises to halt financing for coal development and align with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the World Bank continues to indirectly support a sector that experts say is one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions and the devastation of the planet through climate change.
  • Bandage on a Bullet Wound: IMF Social Spending Floors and the Covid-19 Pandemic
    Human Rights Watch, 23 September 2023
    This report analyses IMF loans approved from March 2020 until March 2023 to 38 countries, and finds that the vast majority are conditioned on austerity policies, which reduce government spending or increase regressive taxes in ways likely to harm rights. It also finds that recent IMF initiatives, announced at the beginning of the pandemic, to mitigate these impacts such as social spending floors are flawed and ineffective in addressing the harms caused by the policies.
  • IMF Lending and the Road to Green Transition: One Step Forward, One Step Back
    Change Initiative, Environmental Governance Institute, Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC), the Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) and the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), 20 June 2023
    This report highlights the impact of recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending programs on the phase-out of fossil fuels and the likelihood of achieving green and just transitions in Bangladesh and Uganda.
  • Southern Debt Report: Characteristics and challenges
    Latindadd and Afrodad, 23 May 2023
    The report highlights the concerning levels of debt faced by countries in the Global South and warns of the adverse consequences for the most vulnerable individuals. The study, conducted in three regions of the South—Latin America, Africa, and Asia—analyses the debt composition, associated risks, and proposes global policies aimed at transforming the international financial architecture with fairness.

Briefings & Policy Papers

  • Gender just transition: A path to system change
    WEDO, 28 November 2023
    This briefing aims to enhance understanding of what a “gender just transition”. It offers a guidance to policymakers and government officials at the national level responsible for designing and implementing just transition policies and programs, and support
  • Debt Service Watch: the worst debt crisis ever
    Afrodad, 11 October 2023
    Based on a new global debt service database covering 139 countries which borrow from the World Bank, this policy briefing shows that the citizens of the Global South now face the worst debt crisis since global records began.
  • Stand up for inclusive public services
    Action Aid Malawi, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and UK, 24 May 2023
    This illustrated guide on Gender-Responsive Public Services (GRPS) sets out how women and girls’ rights are impacted when public services are poor quality, privatised or cut, particularly in situations such as the current intersecting crises – inequality, climate, health, education, conflict and debt – alongside the Covid-19 pandemic. It also highlights how the policies and approaches pushed by international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF and World Bank are undermining access.
  • Reparations as a pathway to decolonisation
    Gender & Development Network, 18 May 2023
    This briefing explores different ‘reparations approaches’ and their value in ensuring transformative responses where former colonisers acknowledge, remedy and redress the legacies of European colonialism and slavery.

Journal articles, books & blogs

  • What’s not to like about the IDA Private Sector Window
    Center for Global Development, 9 November 2023
    This blog argues IDA21 negotiators should take a hard look at the PSW before considering more funding for it, because the window is distorted, opaque, and doesn’t let very much of anything through.
  • Love or labour? The invisible wheel that turns the world
    Joanita Najjuko and Crystal Simeoni, Interventions, lssue 3, 6 November 2023
    The authors argue for greater inclusion of the perspectives of women and girls as well as better recognition of their needs in macro-level economic decision-making. They demand feminist economic justice, show how unpaid care work is central to our economies and encourage resistance against the co-option of gender-based initiatives by neoliberalism.
  • The World Bank A Critical History
    Eric Toussaint, Ed. Pluto, July 2023
    Seven international case studies illustrate the impact of World Bank policy. The author also explores the political, economic and strategic motives of the US government with regard to the World Bank. The book concludes with a proposal for replacing the World Bank, IMF and WTO with new, multilateral and democratic institutions.
  • Financing the common good
    Marianna Mazzucato, Project Syndicate, 1 May 2023
    The United Nations has warned that “cascading and interlinked crises” are jeopardizing not just the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, but “humanity’s very survival.” Mitigating the threat requires a radical reform of international finance, based on a market-shaping paradigm that advances the common good.
  • The return of austerity imperils global health
    Thomas Stubb, Alexandros Kentikelenis, Daniela Gabor, Jayati Ghosh and Martin McKee, BMJ Global Health, 20 February 2023
    This article examines the prospects of national health budgets increasing in such a context, drawing on new International Monetary Fund projections on public spending around the world.
  • The World Bank needs to get serious about reform
    Jake Smith and Joe Thwaites, NRDC, 9 January 2023
    This blog argues that the World Bank needs to seriously up its game to help tackle the multiple crises the world is facing, with addressing climate change prime among them.

Open letters, statements and press releases

  • An urgent call for debt, climate and economic justice
    Global Action for Debt Cancellation, 8 October 2023
    The letter calls on the IMF and World Bank, all governments North and South, and private financial actors to act now to ensure urgently needed and real reform of the international financial architecture alongside undertaking systemic solutions that include building post-carbon societies and economies where financial, food and energy sovereignty are a reality.
  • Social Security for All: Key Pillar for New Eco-Social Contract
    Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors, 3 October 2023
    This joint statement urges the IMF and the World Bank, pivotal actors in financing and shaping social security policies in low- and middle-income countries, to take measures that could improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people such as committing to realizing the right to social security, and cease austerity measures.
  • A joint statement on the IMF’s Article IV report
    Arab Reform Initiative, 28 July 2023
    Regional civil society analyses IMF’s Article 4 on Lebanon and urges the IMF to: maintain vigilance to prevent the dilution of reforms and ensure the proper adoption and implementation of legislation; solidify the principles of equality and accountability as fundamental pillars in addressing the losses in the financial sector; and continue to broaden its consultations with civil society actors and other stakeholders, given the political resistance to reform within formal political institutions.
  • Marrakech Working Group first statement
    Marrakech Working Group, 25 June 2023
    More than 70 organizations from the MENA region and the world launch a statement today calling the IMF and the World Bank to cancel the debt and End austerity policies. This statement is issued by the Marrakech Working Group, composed of individuals and organizations from the MENA region.
  • Global North leaders must redirect trillions from fossils, debt, and the 1% to address global crises
    Oil Change international, 19 June 2023
    This letter from 150+ economists and policy experts calls on Global North leaders to put real global financial system transformation on the agenda at the June 22-23 Paris “Summit for a New Financing Pact” — starting by redirecting funds from three parts of our economies that are driving climate change and inequality: fossil fuels, unfair colonial debts, and the super rich.
  • We reject the IMF & World Bank Meeting on our continent
    Africa Liberation Day 2023 Statement, 24 May 2023
    The statement demands that African leaders wake up at last to their responsibility of leadership, articulate our interests and promote and implement the myriad African counter proposals to IMF and World Bank policies.
  • IMF/World Bank spring meetings: Bold action for sustainable recovery needed
    ITUC, 6 April 2023
    In a statement to the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, the ITUC and its Global Unions partners are calling for the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to overhaul the multilateral system and take bold action to ensure a new social contract for a sustainable recovery.