As many of those gathered here in Busan, I feel very excited about the chance we have to collectively shape the way in which development is practiced.
I have some good and some not so good news about aid. First, the good news. The aid landscape has seen three important changes during the last decade that have had a transformative, positive effect on the very nature of aid.
One of these changes has been the increased focus on the quality of aid—especially on the results being achieved on the ground. The World Bank and IDA, the Bank’s fund for the poorest, have placed a premium on having a real impact in the work we support, and the results show.
An old black and white photograph taken in 1944 at the Conference in Bretton Woods that gave birth to the World Bank and the IMF shows a roundtable of men in grey suits meeting to design the future multilateral system.
Today, the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) will open in Busan, Korea. The HLF-4 is an opportunity for the global development community to come together and showcase the results that our partner countries have been producing, and to shape the future course of the aid effectiveness agenda in a dramatically changing global development landscape.
Even skeptics admit it: effective aid works. In the last 25 years, the share of poor people in developing countries has been cut by half, and the last decade has witnessed impressive development successes in countries once thought beyond help. read more...
Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2011.
Last Friday - together with the European Union and the Government of Japan - the World Bank/Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery hosted some of our major humanitarian and development partners in an effort to identify and overcome barriers for coordination and work together in the planning and financing of disaster risk reduction and resilience strategies in critical disaster hotspots around the world.
- annual meetings
The World Bank- IMF Annual Meetings wrapped Sunday, following the release of a Development Committee communiqué that endorsed the Bank’s emphasis on jobs and growth, gender equality, and recent reforms that have made the Bank more open and transparent.
Countries like South Korea and Thailand have seen similar demographic formulas work to their advantage in recent decades: falling fertility rates lead to burgeoning adult working populations lead to greater economic productivity.
How did they harness these changes to create engines of growth? According to speakers at a World Bank panel on “Realizing the Demographic Dividend,” greater investments in health, family planning, and gender equality paved the way, followed by further investments in education, youth development, and job creation.
The old Bank: hub and spoke….the new Bank: just one node in a vast network.
But in this network the Bank is still a “super-node,” as Martine Haas, Associate Professor of Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School describes it. In an information-based, totally connected world, the Bank brings a lot of material to the table.
World Bank Chief Economist Justin Lin convened an open roundtable this week—the first of its kind—made up of all the Bank’s regional chief economists to discuss global economic prospects. There has been rising uncertainty in emerging economies, which until recently had not only remained somewhat insulated from the financial crisis in the developed world, but enjoyed continued growth.