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Development Matters

The Invisible Clash: Rich Country Standards for Poor Country Development?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

On September 30, 2004 CGD hosted a conversation between Washington Post columnist Sebastian Mallaby and South Africa’s Finance Minister Trevor Manuel. The discussion centered on Mallaby’s book, The World’s Banker: A Story of FailedStates, Financial Crises, and the Wealth and Poverty of Nations, with a special focus on the World Bank’s evolution in the face of NGO criticism. CGD Board Member Jessica Einhorn moderated the event.

Over the course of two decades, the Bank has been pressured to adopt rich country standards for poor country development, to an extent that raises questions about the Bank’s continuing usefulness to poor countries. With anti-globalization street protests now in abeyance, this invisible clash between northern NGOs and the World Bank’s borrowers has become the central fault line in the clash over development. Mallaby’s book is based upon over 200 interviews including 20 hours of discussion with World Bank President James Wolfensohn.

You can read an unedited transcript of the event here.