In March, the World Bank launched its new Africa strategy, outlining three main areas in which it will focus its operations: competitiveness and employment, vulnerability and resilience of citizens, and governance and public sector capacity.
The UK should not increase its contribution to IDA in the current replenishment. Instead, it should focus on achieving substantial reforms of the World Bank and IFC in key areas, including health, gender, climate and energy, and the private sector, and in radically improving the legitimacy, transparency and accountability of the institution.
New evidence of worsening gender performance and persistent conditionality has led critics to ask if the Bank is fit for purpose.
As the UK government reviews its funding and relationships with multilateral organisations, we argue that the World Bank Group's poor performance, lack of country ownership and accountability, and tendency to 'mission creep', require a focus on institutional and policy change at the Bank, and no increase in funding.
Trends in the relationship between World Bank and IFC technical assistance policies and the IFC's investment portfolio raise interesting questions over possible conflicts of interest. Disclosure at the IFC remains opaque making specific details of projects and policies hard to come by.
A recent Independent Evaluation Group report, Decentralization in Client Countries, finds that in only a third of cases the Bank contributed positively to the effectiveness of recipient country attempts to decentralise.
The advisory services (AS) department of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has grown rapidly since its establishment in 1986 and is seen by the IFC as one factor that distinguishes them from other financiers.
The Fund has finally decided to revamp one of its three main pillars of activity, technical assistance, but the changes threaten country ownership over TA strategies.
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).
An evaluation of the World Bank’s training for capacity building reveals serious flaws in design and implementation that undermine country ownership; the same criticism is being levelled at the IMF over its plans to charge for technical assistance.