Environment

News

World Bank climate funds: "a huge leap backwards"

1 April 2008

The recently proposed climate investment funds to be administered by the World Bank are under heavy fire for proposing a governance structure that replicates the inequities of the Bank's board and undermines the UN climate framework.

Infrastructure

Commentary

Facilitating whose power? WB and IMF policy influence in Nigeria's energy sector

Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the World Bank's energy portfolio still fails to reap the double dividend of renewable energy technologies that would tackle both energy poverty and climate change. Nigerian economic policies shaped by World Bank and IMF recommendations, policy agreements and conditionality have so far lead to a dysfunctional electricity privatisation process, a heavy and as yet unfulfilled reliance on reform of the gas sector, and the failure to make any widespread practical pr

2 April 2008 | At Issue

Infrastructure

News

Rural electrification: "financial viability" over welfare

A recent evaluation by the World Bank's Internal Evaluation Group on the welfare impact of rural electrification finds that only seven per cent of dedicated World Bank rural electrification projects have an explicit poverty reduction objective.

1 April 2008

Environment

Commentary

Camisea and the World Bank: A lost opportunity to make things better

Several weeks ago the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank approved a loan for Camisea II in Peru, the project to export liquefied natural gas. Even though concerns had been raised about this project over environmental, social and now economic issues, the IFC did not hesitate to provide a loan for the Lot 56 consortium operated by Hunt Oil (Peru NLG).

1 April 2008 | Guest comment

Finance

News

Europe questions IFIs on conditionality: whose outcome?

A new report shows that IMF structural conditionality did not decline in the five years after the approval of the Fund’s conditionality guidelines. With little progress at the World Bank, many wonder whether a new approach is needed.

1 April 2008

Environment

News

Forest carbon facility: "more harm than good"?

As details emerge of the World Bank's new facility to pay countries for preventing deforestation, concerns about its operations and governance mount.

1 April 2008

Social services

Background

The World Bank and health

In the last five years the global system for channelling development finance to the health sector has changed radically, causing the Bank to seriously re-examine its role in health finance. This article covers the who, what, where and how much of the World Bank's work with in the health sector.

1 April 2008 | Inside the institutions

Environment

News

World Bank strategic review kicked into long grass

Since president Robert Zoellick announced his six "strategic themes" for the Bank at the annual meetings in 2007, Bank watchers have been trying to decipher what this means for a planned strategic review.

1 April 2008

IFI governance

News

IMF governance renovations: fresh paint while foundations rot

The shareholders of the IMF have squandered the political will for governance reform of the institution by making marginal changes that will fail to shift the balance of power.

1 April 2008

Environment

News

Leaky logic: dams in three countries questioned

Recent reports have raised new questions about the impacts of World Bank-funded dams in Uganda and Laos, while in Mozambique the World Bank will likely be approached to fund another controversial project likely to be spearheaded by China

1 April 2008

IFI governance

News

Calls for Bank to uphold human rights

As the UN human rights council holds its seventh session in Geneva in March, a variety of recent reports calling for greater human rights accountability of the World Bank have been published.

1 April 2008

Finance

News

IFC challenges highlighted in the Middle East

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank, is rapidly increasing its investment in the Middle East, raising questions about the development value of its activities. A Norwegian study of the IFC's Doing Business indicators questions the usefulness of the index to making real-life improvements to a country's business environment.

1 April 2008

IFI governance

News

World Bank and procurement: Development tool or TNC sop?

A new study on the Bank's push for procurement reform suggests that a narrow focus on value for money may undermine the ability of governments to use procurement as a tool for development; meanwhile US and European corporate lobbyists continue to pressure the Bank to go slow on the use of developing countries' own procurement systems.

1 April 2008

Finance

News

The IMF in Argentina: the search for relevance

Since Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner assumed the presidency in December the Fund has been involved with the renegotiation of Argentinean debt with the Paris Club and a controversy over official statistics.

1 April 2008

Finance

News

IFIs foot dragging on key debt issues

The IFIs are struggling to catch up to global debates on odious debts and responsible financing; have failed to take action on vulture funds; and have been dragging their feet on debt relief programmes for Haiti and Liberia.

1 April 2008

Finance

News

A taxing agenda for the IMF

The irony of the IMF giving a passing grade to Liechtenstein on money laundering in the same month that Germany launches a massive investigation into tax evasion based in the Alpine country shows that the Fund has a lot of work to do if it wants to help clamp down on illicit flows.

1 April 2008

IFI governance

News

Training for nothing?

An evaluation of the World Bank’s training for capacity building reveals serious flaws in design and implementation that undermine country ownership; the same criticism is being levelled at the IMF over its plans to charge for technical assistance.

1 April 2008

IFI governance

News

Bank both player and referee in road to Accra

On aid effectiveness the World Bank is both player and referee, prompting cries of foul play by civil society groups.

1 April 2008