Strategy/roles

Gender

Commentary

Huge gaps in the World Bank's Gender Action Plan

The World Bank's new Gender Action Plan (GAP), aptly named Gender equality as smart economics, is tightly framed in the Bank's economic policy framework.

31 January 2007 | Guest comment

Environment

News

Global energy solutions bank on carbon trading

In the midst of climate talks in Nairobi and the release of the Stern review on the potential catastrophic economic impacts of climate change, the World Bank has been touting the most recent draft of its investment framework on clean energy and development, and stepping up its role in devising market-based solutions to climate change. Critics have decried the hypocrisy of the Bank's role in funding fossil fuel projects, and the perverse rationale behind carbon trading

23 November 2006

Infrastructure

News

High-risk water infrastructure at any cost

After a decline in the late 90s, World Bank lending for water projects has been rapidly increasing over recent years, reaching $1.8 billion in FY05, and is set to continue.

23 November 2006

Rights

News

Bank, Fund sidestep labour standards: Promote violation of workers’ rights

The World Bank’s 2007 Doing Business Report rewards countries with low levels of labour protection and the IMF’s World Economic Outlook urges labour market deregulation. This has prompted calls from organised labour, developing country governments and US senators for the institutions to respect the standards of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

23 November 2006

Finance

News

IMF macroeconomic advice: 'thanks, but no thanks'

The IMF’s ability to dictate economic policy to member states is fraying because of lost credibility in the wake of its failures in East Asia, Argentina and Russia. Developing countries are now rejecting the Fund’s interference in their economies.

23 November 2006

Accountability

News

World Bank’s handling of fragile states “unsatisfactory”

In September the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released its review of World Bank support to 'fragile states'. The report gave the Bank a mixed review on its effectiveness, but raised serious questions about both the way the Bank is organised internally to deal with fragile states and the system it uses to allocate resources. Researchers and Bank-watchers question whether the review has gone far enough to examine what causes state 'fragility' and what role Bank-led reforms and projects may

10 October 2006

Rights

News

World Bank-IMF annual meetings 2006

The annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Singapore faced controversy over the ‘blacklisting’ of civil society participants.

20 September 2006

IFI governance

News

Independence of IMF’s evaluation arm questioned

In an evaluation of the IMF Independent Evaluation Office's first five years of work, an external committee concluded that the IMF board may have undue influence over the body. Additionally the IEO set itself an ambitious work plan for the next year, as it plans to delve into the Fund's internal organisation and trade policy

11 September 2006

Finance

News

Tinkering at the edges of governance reform: IMF quota proposals

After months of official wrangling and European stalling, proposals for changing IMF quotas, which determine financial contributions and voting power in the organisation, have coalesced around a small ad hoc increase for four countries, a commitment to make the quota formula more closely match economic realities and an increase in the basic vote

11 September 2006

IFI governance

News

Evaluation finds Bank's disaster work reactive, lacks strategy

The Independent Evaluation Group published an evaluation of World Bank assistance for natural disasters, finding that the Bank lacks a strategic approach to disasters, is failing to integrate disaster preparation in its lending, and lacks sufficient expertise or coordination mechanisms.

19 June 2006