With the future of the World Bank up for grabs in the presidency race and the IMF facing a resource crunch, many developing countries are pursuing alternatives to the Washington-based lenders, with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa even mooting a joint BRICS Bank.
An unprecedented competition for the presidency of the World Bank, with two highly experienced developing country candidates nominated in addition to the US candidate, has raised demands for reform of the Bank's approach to middle-income countries, human rights, environmental issues, and the private sector, among others.
It is widely accepted that global imbalances were a major contributing factor to the recent global financial crisis. In written evidence submitted to the UK Treasury Committee, we argue that there are four main underlying causes and three areas of major reform needed.
Reacting to the announcement that Robert Zoellick is stepping down as World Bank President, a global coalition of campaigners has called for an open and merit-based process to elect the next World Bank leader, and for developing countries to determine the selection.
Rumours that Robert Zoellick will not seek another term as World Bank president after his term ends in June have thrown open the debate about leadership selection at the Bank.
One of the IMF's three roles is lending to members countries with balance of payments difficulties, using resources provided by its other members. Generally, these resources come in two forms: quota contributions tied to voting rights in the institution, and bilateral contributions which do not affect countries' voting rights.
The executive board of the IMF continued to disagree, in an early September discussion, on what to do with the $2.76 billion windfall profits from its 2009-10 gold sales.
The UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has questioned the government's rationale for increasing funds to multilateral agencies, such as the World Bank.
After discussions with the executive board and staff, but no public consultation, the Bank released a "corporate scorecard" in September, aiming to provide "a snapshot of the Bank's overall performance" to help "strategic dialogue between management and the board on progress made and areas that need attention."
A state's relationship with the IFIs and the type of assistance it receives is determined by its country classification. Some crucial types of classifications are: the World Bank's operational lending categories; the Bank's analytical categories used in the World Development Report; the IMF's operational and analytical categories, the IFC's frontier market category; the Bank's fragile state category; and the distinctions used by the Bank and IMF in deciding on and reporting success in governance