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February 2006

Environmental and social standards: what to require?

Rachel Kyte's picture

How much can be required of the private sector? We have asked ourselves this question during the two years we worked on revising and strengthening the environmental and social standards of the IFC. The current safeguards require our client companies to fulfill certain environmental and social conditions, many of which exceed the national legal requirements of the host country. How much more can we ask them for in the new standards?

The West can’t save Africa

According to Bill Easterly in today’s Washington Post.

Economic development in Africa will depend -- as it has elsewhere and throughout the history of the modern world -- on the success of private-sector entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs and African political reformers. It will not depend on the activities of patronizing, bureaucratic, unaccountable and poorly informed outsiders… Development everywhere is homegrown.

Risk, uncertainty and (under)development

Uncertainty refers to events about which knowledge is imprecise, whereas risk relates to events that can be assessed with some degree of certainty. Transforming uncertainty into risk is how countries grow rich. Lack of institutions that make managing risk possible is the root cause of the disparity in economic performance between developed and developing countries.