Knowledge

News

World Bank and poverty debates (II): Poverty reduction claims vindicated?

Two new World Bank working papers have rekindled the debate over how to count the poor, with the Bank asserting that even more people have been brought out of poverty in China than had previously been estimated.

17 June 2008

IFI governance

News

Evaluation faults Bank's 'same old formula' for public sector reforms

In May, the Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released its evaluation of Bank support for public sector reform, giving high marks for looking after the books, but failing grades for reforming the civil service and rooting out corruption.

17 June 2008

IFI governance

News

UN calls for human rights accountability

A UN report says the World Bank's investment arbitration facility is at odds with the protection of human rights.

17 June 2008

IFI governance

News

IFC's intermediaries neglect environment: evaluation

The Independent Evaluation Group found 'high development outcomes' in approximately two-thirds of projects funded by IFC-financed financial intermediaries (FI) which serve micro, small and medium enterprises.

17 June 2008

Environment

News

Donor cartel undercuts finance for renewables

The World Bank and donors have finalised the design of the climate investment funds (CIFs) despite continued complaints over their governance and worries over their investment in non-renewable energy.

17 June 2008

Gender

News

Rethinking the IFIs' roles in conflict states

A new report from NGO International Alert draws lessons for the Bank's work from its experience in Burundi, Nepal and the DRC. The IMF is struggling to decide how to engage in conflict-affected states.

17 June 2008

Infrastructure

News

Agribusiness vs. food security

The causes of and remedies for the food crisis are hotly contested; how this rupture in the status quo is resolved will have decisive implications for the roles of the IFIs as well as more broadly for global food security and ecological sustainability.

17 June 2008

Infrastructure

Background

The World Bank and transport

Given that the World Bank's primary activity in its first decades of operation was financing infrastructure projects, the fact that the transport sector is the single largest sector for Bank lending should come as no surprise. However with the prevalence of concerns about underinvestment in social sectors, transport lending was on the decline in the late 90s and early part of this century. Now the pendulum is swinging back and transport sector lending is on the rise in both the public and privat

17 June 2008 | Inside the institutions

Finance

Commentary

Turkey and the long decade with the IMF

In May Turkey ended its latest stand-by agreement with the IMF. To some this meant the long awaited declaration of autonomy for Turkey and the loss of the final "consumer" for the IMF. For others who adhere to the neoliberal orthodoxy, this meant the graduation of Turkey and the successful completion of the IMF programme. The reality is that neither is correct.

17 June 2008 | Guest comment

IFI governance

News

Upheaval planned for IMF technical assistance

The Fund has finally decided to revamp one of its three main pillars of activity, technical assistance, but the changes threaten country ownership over TA strategies.

17 June 2008

Social services

News

IMF structural conditionality here to stay

Despite the criticism of Fund structural conditionality levelled in the IEO's January report, the management implementation plan of board-endorsed recommendations provides little confirmation that the IMF will solve the problem.

17 June 2008

IFI governance

News

IMF challenged on accountability, governance

A scathing report from the Independent Evaluation Office highlights the IMF's lack of transparency and accountability, but there appears to be little shareholder agreement on the IEO's conclusions and consolidation of European board representation.

17 June 2008

IFI governance

News

All change at the top of the Fund

With 13 of the IMF's 20 Washington-based departments facing a change of leadership, the IMF may be at its most malleable state ever, offering managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn a chance to put his imprint on the institution.

17 June 2008

Accountability

Analysis

The IMF's regressive secret

While tax policy and reform is an election battleground in developed countries, the IMF has increasingly turned it into a secret technocratic exercise in developing countries. This briefing examines the IMF's involvement in providing advice on tax policy, particularly its recommendations for the imposition of value added taxes (VATs).

17 June 2008 | At Issue