As the world pulls out of an unprecedented financial crisis and given the wrap up just last week of the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York, the work of the development community is far from over. In this context, the need for concerted, pragmatic research is more urgent than ever. Among the questions we need to ask is why many past efforts to get low-income countries on a path to sustainable growth have fallen short. Also, as we search for solutions, we need to adapt to the emergence of a multi-polar growth world and seek lessons from developing countries.
With this in mind, it’s my pleasure to introduce this new blog aimed at sharing ideas and sparking innovation.
|Field visit to Nigeria|
Lively debate via this blog could potentially lead to break through solutions for development, or, at the very least, steer research and analysis in new directions.
As host of this new blog, I’m seeking a cross section of views, opinions and ideas. We may hear about new data mash-ups, innovative macro-simulations in the wake of the crisis, joint initiatives to build statistical capacity in poor countries, or programs to study African industrialization.
I come at this from a unique perspective. I am the first World Bank Chief Economist from a developing country and I arrived to my new job at a remarkable time. I’ve been both lucky and challenged. Lucky because I have been able to work directly in developing countries with policymakers, economists, academics and researchers on the front lines of the financial crisis. I’ve been challenged because that very crisis forced us at the World Bank to rethink our prescriptions.
“Let’s talk Development” is kicking off just two days before a September 29 speech by World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick on ‘Democratizing Development Economics”. That speech is sure to spark lively debate, but I will say no more, so as not to ruin the surprise.
The group of economists, macro-forecasters, statisticians and other researchers who I lead at the World Bank are talented and diverse, so hearing from many of them via this blog will be exciting indeed. Even more importantly, my expert colleagues will be reaching out to their research partners, funders and clients in developing countries and seeking their views and blog contributions.
So let’s let the conversation begin!