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Three Questions to Ask the Three Candidates to Lead the World Bank

The Obama Administration, whether by design or by accident, has opened the door for the first time in the World Bank’s history to the possibility of a real contest over the merits of its nominee to take the helm there compared to a nominee from the developing world. All three candidates have experience working on development (and that is a refreshing change from the tradition of financiers and political heavyweights at the helm). But their strengths are different. In the case of Kim, the U.S.

The Future of the World Bank – Nancy Birdsall

Charles Kenny

Following Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will step down from the World Bank presidency at the end of June, the World Bank board has called for member countries to submit nominations for his successor, with a fast-approaching  deadline of March 23rd. The board has said it will then narrow the nominations to a short list of three, with the goal of naming a new president before the World Bank/IMF spring meetings in April.

Next World Bank President: Two Non-U.S. Candidates for the Short List

This post is joint with Arvind Subramanian

The next World Bank president will need the legitimacy and wide support that only an open and merit-based selection process can ensure. This is now commonly agreed. The best way to ensure legitimacy is to have more than one serious candidate. The Obama administration is sure to nominate a strong candidate. Obama cannot be seen to be relinquishing the right of the United States to name an American, especially in this election year. But the U.S. has signaled its willingness to participate in an open and competitive and process. And the Bank’s board has called for nominations from all member states, which the board says it will then narrow to a short list of three.

Does It Matter Who Runs the World Bank?

With Robert Zoellick’s announcement that he will step down from the World Bank presidency at the end of June, now comes the question of who his successor will be, particularly whether it will be an American.  Just a few days ago I commented on the awkwardness of the situation for the White House.

What to Do About U.S. Aid to Pakistan -- Nancy Birdsall and Arvind Subramanian

The debate over U.S. foreign assistance in Pakistan has grown hotter lately, with Stanford political scientist Stephen Krasner arguing in Foreign Affairs that the United States should get tough by threatening to halt aid to Pakistan to force the country into cooperating better on security matters. CGD president Nancy Birdsall responded with an article in Foreign Policy. Drawing on the recommendations of a 2011 CGD study group report, Beyond Bullets and Bombs: Fixing the U.S. Approach to Development in Pakistan, she argued that U.S. development assistance should be focused on helping to create a stable, prosperous Pakistan—goals that are in America’s own best interest and would be ill-served by trying to use the aid as a bargaining chip.

The Next World Bank President: A White House Stuck between Promises and Political Realities

World Bank president Robert Zoellick has announced he will step down at the end of his term in June. In this post written shortly before the announcement, Nancy Birdsall offers advice to the White House on about how to proceed.

The insider talk on the next World Bank president is heating up, with rumors that Robert Zoellick will formally initiate the process in the United States system shortly by indicating to the White House that he will step down at the end of his term in June.

Then begins the collision in the White House between its promises to the global community and political realities at home. The collision boils down to the question of whether or not the White House will try to ensure that the longstanding U.S. privilege of picking World Bank presidents prevails once more—arguing that the Europeans after all got their way on another European at the IMF last summer. (For more on this issue, go to the updated CGD Initiative page on the Future of the World Bank here or a Bretton Woods Project site on the World Bank president here).

Barder on Post-Bureaucratic Aid . . . and the Complexity Motive Behind Cash on Delivery

Owen Barder unpacks the results agenda, now so much discussed in the aid and development community, here.  It’s brilliant. He sets out four different motivations of various parties in the community for their recent focus on the “results agenda”. I asked myself which motivation has driven my devotion to the idea of Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid). (If you are new to COD Aid, see this short video for a start.)

Punishing Pakistan Is Not the Way to Go

This post originally appeared on Foreign Policy's AFPAK page.

In the January/February 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs, Stanford political scientist Stephen Krasner claims that "current U.S. policy toward Pakistan has failed" and recommends that the United States take a radically different approach: credibly threaten to sever all forms of cooperation, including all U.S. aid - military and civilian - to force Pakistan into cooperating with the United States on security matters. Center for Global Development President Nancy Birdsall responds.

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