Analysis

Environment

Analysis

REDD and the rights of Indigenous Peoples

One of the most contentious issues under discussion in current climate change debates is how to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD) by ensuring protection of the world's rainforests. Mrinalini Rai of the International Indigenous Peoples Forum on Climate Change argues that this initiative, heavily backed by the World Bank among others, raises questions about how to ensure fair compensation to those developing countries that undertake a commitment to such reductions.

17 April 2009 | At Issue

IFI governance

Analysis

Country positions for the London Summit

On April 2 several industrialised and emerging market economies will meet at the London summit. Slowly, the policy positions of participating countries are emerging and give an overview of what might be the outcomes of the meeting. This paper gives an overview of official standpoints of participating countries ahead of the summit on a variety of topics and, taking that into considerations, provides an overview of what is likely to be agreed on in the end.

1 April 2009 | Briefings

IFI governance

Analysis

Put People First

The global financial and economic system is in crisis. Existing economic policies and institutions have overseen an economic system scarred by high levels of poverty and inequality, which is contributing to an environmental catastrophe. This paper is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between a wide spectrum of civil society organisations in the UK with millions of members from across the nation. We call on the UK government to show its commitment to putting people first by signal

13 March 2009 | Paper

IFI governance

Analysis

Bretton Woods 2: What should be on the agenda?

What roles should twenty first century international financial institutions (IFIs) play, and how should they be structured? This paper sets out some of the key issues that would need to be resolved at a second UN monetary and financial conference - a 'Bretton Woods 2' - and discusses the road ahead.

13 February 2009 | At Issue

Conditionality

Analysis

The World Bank, the IFC and the antecedents of the financial crisis

The financial crisis seemed to come out of the blue, but Paulo dos Santos of the University of London argues that the ground was laid by financial sector privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation. Far from these trends being confined to the rich world, the World Bank and the IFC have played a key role in pushing these policies throughout emerging markets, exposing them to the fallout of the financial crisis.

27 November 2008 | At Issue

Finance

Analysis

Africa and the making of adjustment

Development economist and professor of African studies Howard Stein examines the evolution of policy in the Bank, focusing on how economists became hegemonic. In this essay he details the origin of structural adjustment, tracing its roots back to a set of neoliberal economists who gained influence at the Bank in the late 1970s.

29 September 2008 | At Issue

Accountability

Analysis

The IMF's regressive secret

While tax policy and reform is an election battleground in developed countries, the IMF has increasingly turned it into a secret technocratic exercise in developing countries. This briefing examines the IMF's involvement in providing advice on tax policy, particularly its recommendations for the imposition of value added taxes (VATs).

17 June 2008 | At Issue

Infrastructure

Analysis

Facilitating whose power? WB and IMF policy influence in Nigeria's energy sector

Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the World Bank's energy portfolio still fails to reap the double dividend of renewable energy technologies that would tackle both energy poverty and climate change. Nigerian economic policies shaped by World Bank and IMF recommendations, policy agreements and conditionality have so far lead to a dysfunctional electricity privatisation process, a heavy and as yet unfulfilled reliance on reform of the gas sector, and the failure to make any widespread practical pr

2 April 2008 | At Issue

Accountability

Analysis

The IFIs in 2007: year in review

2007 will certainly go down in the annals of the IFIs as an annus horribilis. But a bad year for the IFIs has meant a relatively good year for developing country policy space.

4 February 2008 | Review

Environment

Analysis

Is the Bank's carbon markets approach an effective way to address climate change?

The World Bank's involvement in the carbon market is under hot debate: Janet Redman from the Institute for Policy Studies opposes its approach while Jon Sohn, from Climate Change Capital argues that there is a role for the Bank to play.

4 February 2008 | At Issue

Private Sector

Analysis

The International Finance Corporation: Behind the rhetoric

There is evidence that the IFC's financing of small and medium enterprises, almost all of which occurs via financial intermediaries, is under-supervised, and that direct lending is still focused on large companies in emerging market economies with questionable value-added.

4 December 2007 | At Issue

IFI governance

Analysis

Double majority decision making at the IMF

Many have championed the use of double majorities at the IMF board in order to increase the ability of developing countries to influence decision making. The acceptance of this idea by incoming IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn is welcome, but if he chooses to use a chair-based, rather than member-state-based, second majority it will not change the power dynamics at the board.

30 October 2007 | At Issue