Leaders are at last recognising the extent of the human crisis caused by the financial crash and failure of the growth process to deliver socially sustainable development.
The World Bank’s World Development Report for next year will tackle the thorny questions of which institutions can direct economic, social and environmental policies in an age of globalization.
A new official report has criticised the Bank’s record in overseeing the resettlement of people displaced by projects it supports.
Leading non-governmental thinkers and advocates met in Ottawa in parallel with the Commonwealth Finance Ministers’ meeting to discuss financial crises and the needs of the world’s most vulnerable and poorest people.
Bob Deacon, Director of the Globalization and Social Policy Programme (based in Sheffield and Helsinki) criticised the World Bank’s stand on social policy at a recent Overseas Development Institute discussion meeting in London.
The World Bank has finished consultations on its partnership initiative to “put committed governments and their people at the centre of the development process” and agreed some action steps for the next few months.
In late October the G7 took limited steps to strengthen the international financial architecture, after the World Bank-IMF annual meetings ended with a plethora of proposals but no substantive agreement.
The World Bank Group has set up a telephone hotline to provide a central point for reporting allegations of fraud and corruption.
A major new Policy Research Report by the Bank argues that it is pointless to provide aid money to countries unless they have certain economic policies and a good institutional environment.
In October World Bank Chief Economist Joe Stiglitz made another major speech going “beyond the well-documented failures of the Washington consensus to begin providing the foundations of an alternative paradigm”.
The IMF has decided to hire a new public relations firm to bolster its battered image.
In October the Bank Information Center held a strategy meeting for 80 people from NGOs and foundations concerned about the World Bank.