Photo of the World Bank HQ

How will the UK cast its vote for the World Bank?

The UK has repeatedly said that it favours merit-based appointments of the heads of the World Bank and IMF.  It is also a leading advocate for transparency and accountability in development. Now it can live up to both these commitments. The average British family contributes more than £30 a year to the World Bank and they are entitled to hold the British government to account for the choices that the British government makes about how it is managed. Read the full post »
The World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC

Choosing a new President of the World Bank

Nominations for the head of the World Bank have now closed, and there are three candidates:

  • Jim Kim, nominated by the United States; President of Dartmouth College, former head of HIV at the World Health Organization, and a founder
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This photo of men on horseback in front of Kate Kearney's Cottage in Kerry really does bring to mind a posse in Western films, with caps instead of stetsons. Were they tour guides perhaps?

Form a posse?

On Friday the World Bank London office had a meeting on ‘the Future of Aid’.   The meeting was, according to the tortuous language of the invitation, “conducted in an informal manner with interested stakeholders from governments, civil society, private Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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The front gate of a school in Addis Ababa

Can aid work?

Living in Ethiopia for the last three years, I saw aid working every day. I saw children going to school, health workers in rural villages, and food or cash preventing hunger for the poorest people.  The academic debates about aid … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Appointing the next Managing Director of the IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been accused of a horrible crime.  Like everyone else he is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

We may, however, soon find ourselves looking for a new Managing Director of the IMF, either … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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To them that hath … a fifth poverty trap for Africa?

Paul Collier’s last book, The Bottom Billion, proposed that there are four “traps” in which the poorest countries can become enmeshed (a conflict trap, resource trap, geography trap and governance trap).   He vividly explains why he thinks that “business … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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A market for aid

My new working paper, Beyond Planning: Markets and Networks for Better Aid is on the Center for Global Development website in the innovations in aid series.

In the paper I argue that more planning and coordiation among donors will not … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Donors not giving promised aid; financial crisis will make things worse

Our evidence to the House of Commons International Development Committee shows that donors are not on track to meet their commitments to increase aid, which they made in 2005. As a result, millions more people are living in poverty. The financial downturn is a "quadruple whammy" for developing countries. Read the full post »

World Bank Reform

Because everyone is so concerned with the financial situation, little attention has been paid to the other aspects of the World Bank and IMF meetings last weekend.

The Development Committee Communique says:

An additional Board seat for sub Saharan Africa

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NGOs – are they effective?

Not according to Blake Lambert and Wendy Glauser who write about Canadian NGOs:

Part of the reason NGOs have difficulty meeting their overall goals is that they often end up measuring day-to-day results rather than long-term progress. As Andrew Mwenda,

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A tale of two inquiries

The Government has consistently refused to set up a statutory inquiry into the way that many thousands of haemophiliacs were put at risk by the supply of contaminated blood products. (The new inquiry by Lord Archer of Sandwell is an … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Distributional impacts of climate change

Among some bloggers (such as Tim Worstall), and now on the BBC, it is becoming fashionable to say that Nicholas Stern's analysis of the economics of climate change overstates the case for intervention to prevent climate change, because … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Discriminating for religious reasons

Here is my ha'porth, for the record.  

It is no excuse to say that your religion requires you to discriminate against gays.  We would not tolerate the same argument to justify discrimination against people on grounds of race.  

Nor is … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Is the World Bank Effective?

The World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group has launched its Annual Review of Development Effectiveness.  It is an honest, and somewhat depressing, account of what the Bank has achieved.  According to the Washington Post:

Among 25 poor countries probed

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Hilary Benn and Bill Easterly Debate on DFID

Very interesting debate in this month's Prospect between Hilary Benn (Britain's Cabinet Minister with responsibility for International Development) and Bill Easterly, a critic of government aid.

For me, the money quote from Hilary Benn is this: 

All functioning governments have

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Microfinance pioneer awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank have been awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. 

This is a powerful statement by the committee (which is appointed by the Norwegian parliament) of the role of poverty reduction in promoting peace.

As the … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Can Aid Work?

Nick Kristof has a review in the current New York Review of Books of recent books by Jeff Sachs, Bill Easterly, Ruth Levine, Robert Calderisi, David Leonard & Scott Straus about the effectiveness of aid.

Coincidentally, G and I went … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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More democratic countries do more for developing countries

A new paper by  Jorg Faust at the German Development Institute looks at whether rich countries that have more accountable and democratic institutions have more development-oriented foreign policy:

… the results do support the main hypothesis presented here, namely that

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Extreme drug resistant TB

Ruth Levine at the Global Health Policy Blog rightly points out that the emergence of Extreme Drug Resistant TB is a further example of the way that our interests, in rich countries, are increasingly intertwined with the interests of poor … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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