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An image of a graph showing M&E quality, and contribution of M&E to outcomes

Is Good Monitoring and Evaluation the Secret to Success for World Bank Programs?

The use of foreign aid to support poor countries with inadequate implementation capacity and weak regulatory institutions has at times, been described as “pouring money into a leaky bucket.” Given that there is seldom a quick fix for inadequate state capacity, aid programs can employ internal controls and monitoring mechanisms which increase effectiveness and value for money. This is part of the reason why aid organizations have in recent decades paid significant attention to monitoring and evaluation (M&E).

A wind turbine farm in Tunisia

Rethinking the World Bank Model for More Climate Financing

The fact is $100 billion a year is woefully insufficient to cover the cost of climate change adaptation, let alone financing clean energy transitions across the developing world. The adaptation price tag alone could reach $300 billion a year by 2030. According to the IEA, the cost of financing clean energy transitions could exceed $1 trillion a year by the end of the decade. These are big numbers. But they are achievable.

Headquarters of the World Bank. Photo by Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

Mapping China’s Rise in the Multilateral System

In a new report, we rely on public reporting from multilateral development institutions and funds to provide a clearer picture of China’s participation across the multilateral development system. We find that China has staked out a uniquely important position, one that relies on leading roles as a shareholder, donor, client, and commercial partner. No other country wears so many hats so effectively across these global institutions.  

Exploring the UK’s Preference for the World Bank’s IDA Fund

The UK made the largest absolute contribution in the last replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), the bank’s main instrument for assisting the world’s poorest countries.

As the World Bank mobilizes for the IDA replenishment next month, we take an analytical look at the UK’s previous allocations to IDA. In particular, we develop a measure to assess the UK’s relative “preference” for IDA; and then compare this to the other multilaterals it supports, to other providers, and over time. We conclude with a look at IDA’s performance and the wider context of the UK’s replenishment decision.

Photo by Ryan Rayburn / World Bank

The Data Manipulation Scandal That Could Topple the Heads of the World Bank and IMF, Explained

As the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund kick off next week, the Bretton Woods institutions are mired in scandal. I want to set aside the broader political calculations and focus on the case at hand: the Doing Business scandal. Facts matter, and the credibility of the World Bank and IMF matters beyond current leadership. So let’s review what we actually know about the data manipulation, how it arose, and who may be to blame, starting at the very beginning.

An image of the IMF/World Bank Meetings.

Don’t Lose Sight of the Real Business of the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings

Anyone who follows the media on development finance will not be surprised if the corridor talk at the upcoming Annual Meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) is affected by the recent World Bank decision to discontinue the Doing Business Index. These discussions will invariably include the implications for data management and integrity at the Bank as well as spillovers questions regarding the leadership at both institutions.

A graphic showing money and stocks

If the World Bank Wants to Move On from the Doing Business Scandal, It Should Take a Look at AidData

Today’s release of a new dataset of over 13,000 Chinese-financed projects in developing countries marks a major contribution to our understanding of China’s role as a lender to the developing world, as well as the ways in which these projects are increasingly structured to avoid accounting for direct liabilities on public balance sheets. At a moment of high debt vulnerability in the developing world, both contributions ought to prove valuable to policymakers in rich and poor countries alike as they seek to work through these problems.  

A gas power plant

The DFC, World Bank, and How a Nuanced Compromise on Gas Financing for Poor Countries Could Quietly Become a Blanket Ban (Hint: Ask the Kosovars)

The debate over whether development finance should be allowed for downstream gas projects appears to be settling toward a compromise that makes such investments rare but not impossible. But will it be so in practice? Lessons from a previous (eerily similar) compromise suggest that any flexibility is probably fleeting. A flexible policy is probably not flexible if not a single project can ever get through.

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