In August, the IMF executive board appointed an external panel to review the work of the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO), the body that assesses the work of the IMF.
With the World Bank's safeguards review due to be launched, indigenous groups and civil society organisations (CSOs) called for it to be rigorous and extensive. Meanwhile, the environmental and social track record of the Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), has come under scrutiny in India, Colombia and Brazil.
As the G20 and the World Bank continue their push for increased investment in large-scale public-private led infrastructure projects, further scrutiny of the Bank's track record puts its strategy in question.
Minutes of safeguards meeting, Washington DC, 21 April 2012
Minutes of IFC and extractives meeting, Washington DC, 21 April 2012
The final report of the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group's (IEG, the Bank's arms-length evaluation unit) assessment of the Bank's response to the 2008/09 global economic crisis confirms that Bank measures followed pre-crisis patterns and often failed to reach those most affected, leaving the Bank vulnerable to future crises.
The deepening economic crisis in the eurozone continued to dominate headlines in 2011, with the IMF participating in controversial lending attached to austerity policies and conditionality requiring privatisation of public services, layoffs in the public sector and wage and pension cuts for vulnerable and poor people. The policies being pursued in Europe are strikingly similar to the structural adjustment programmes pushed in developing countries in the 1980s and 90s, which provided some of the
Over the summer the Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF released draft issues papers for two forthcoming evaluations.
The Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released its annual report at end August, again finding shortfalls and uneven results across the World Bank Group. While the Bank's leadership has steered the institution towards more private sector work, outcomes in the education sector and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region have dropped substantially.
The World Bank, in conjunction with the G20, is prioritising massive, cross-border infrastructure with private sector involvement, but has failed to involve any local communities.