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Bretton Woods Update No.57 September/October 2007

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Programme conditions, project safeguards: Quo vadis World Bank?

by Jeff Powell and Lucy Baker

At Issue|8 October 2007

This briefing clarifies the landscape of programme conditions and project safeguards and what it implies for a move towards responsible lending standards. read article...

Deforestation and double standards

News|5 October 2007

Illustration by Robin Heighway-Bury/Thorogood.net

As the Bank prepares to launch its Forest Carbon Partnership Facility forestry experts fear that this framework will benefit industrial scale logging. read article...

Questioning the IFC's impact "without embarrassment"

News|5 October 2007

In August, the World Bank's Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) released its evaluation of the development results of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), finding that of the 627 projects surveyed, 59 per cent are claimed to have achieved a high development rating. read article...

IFC: ‘badges of excellence’, dubious practice

News|5 October 2007

The IFC is scaling up its investment in high risk and low-income countries "as part of its development mission", and is now on track to double financing for mining in Africa this year. However its attempts to position itself as an environmental and human rights 'expert' in these sectors lacks credibility. read article...

The World Bank and the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project

by Michael Karipko

Comment|5 October 2007

A critical analysis of the the World Bank-supported West Africa Gas pipeline, by Michael Karipko of Environmental Rights Action, Port Harcourt, Nigeria read article...

Competing to ‘light up’ Africa

News|5 October 2007

The Bank's latest carbon reduction credentials are offset against the institution's continued funding for large-scale, grid-based energy sector loans. read article...

New IMF head, same legitimacy problem

News|5 October 2007

French socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been selected to take over as the managing director of the IMF, but he comes in on a wave of displeasure with both the undemocratic system that selected him and the strategic direction of the Fund. read article...

Yet another European for senior post at IMF Italian takes position as chair of IMFC

News|5 October 2007

In early October Italian Economy Minister Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa was selected to be the next chair of the powerful International Monetary and Finance Committee (IMFC), marking the second European in a week to be chosen for a important position at the IMF. read article...

The World Bank and financial sector reform

Inside the inst|5 October 2007

Financial sector reform constitutes a major area of work for the World Bank. read article...

IMF surveillance role: fundamentally misaligned?

News|5 October 2007

Shortly after IMF members agreed to a new bilateral surveillance framework on exchange rates in June it was undermined by the US and criticised by civil society. Now the US wants the Fund to start regulating sovereign wealth funds. read article...

Fund loosens the aid noose … but just a little

News|10 August 2007

After reviews of its engagement with low-income members the IMF is in the process of redesigning its programmes, but its recent changes on dealing with aid inflows have not satisfied critics of the Fund's inflexibility in allowing the scaling up of social spending. read article...

World Bank breaks silence on odious debt

News|5 October 2007

The World Bank released a paper on 'odious debt' in September following months of silence, adding to a growing number of initiatives examining the concept. read article...

Gender practice fails to live up to commitments

News|5 October 2007

US NGO Gender Action has published three papers illustrating the gulf between the IFIs' stated commitment to gender equality and the actual gender dimension of their investments. read article...

What will Zoellick's World Bank look like?

News|5 October 2007

With an increasing number of commentators asking whether and how the World Bank can remain relevant, chief economist Francois Bourguignon unveiled a draft overview of a 'long-term strategic exercise', and the IEG released an evaluation of the Bank's work in middle-income countries. read article...

What steps will the World Bank take to combat corruption?

News|5 October 2007

With the release of an action plan for tackling corruption and an independent review of the anti-corruption unit, the issue remains high on the World Bank's agenda. read article...

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