The April 1998 Institute for Development Studies Bulletin critiques the Bank’s World Development Report, The State in a Changing World.
UK Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short told the Financial Times in April: “We are in a very silly situation. The international institutions are meant to be complementary, but the IMF keeps charging around taking other peoples’ jobs in areas where it is not necessarily competent”.
The Bretton Woods Project is about to be sent the yellow cover draft of the Bank’s 1998 World Development Report.
The Bank will spend $50m over the next two years recruiting financial sector experts for a new Special Financial Operations unit.
In April Jane Hill, President of the American Anthropological Association, wrote a strong letter to Bank Group President James Wolfensohn and Carol Lee, IFC Vice President and General Counsel.
More flexibility and a new approach was suggested in the external review of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility (IMF loans to poorer countries) published in March.
The IDA Deputies - government officials who negotiate the refinancing of the World Bank’s International Development Association concessional lending arm - have met twice to discuss the policy framework for future IDA lending.
The IMF has been urged to be more transparent and accountable by a US Study Group convened by the Centre of Concern, and by the UK Chancellor.
Friends of the Earth US and other NGOs wrote to their government representatives in April to stress that the donor discussions about providing more money for MIGA should talk about reforms first and about shifting the portfolio away from mining and fossil fuel projects such as the controversial Lihir Island goldmine in Papua New Guinea.
In addition to extending the IMF’s role, its governors have been examining measures to prevent future financial sector crises.
The IMF is holding a meeting in late May in Ghana to explain its strategy to NGOs there.
Giving the WIDER annual lecture in Helsinki the World Bank Chief Economist called for a…