Published on Let's Talk Development

Knowledge Partnership on Global Issues: Letter from Seoul

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Last week I had the privilege—and pleasure—of delivering a lecture series at the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. The KDI School is an educational arm of the Korea Development Institute, Korea’s leading and highly regarded economic policy think tank. I was much impressed by the KDI School’s program, which aims to foster leadership in economic development and public policy. Course participants are drawn from a variety of public institutions in emerging and developing economies. The School’s philosophy places a strong emphasis on the sharing of development experience among participants, peer learning, and dissemination of best practice. Korea’s own development history is rich in lessons for public policy, which the program seeks to share with participants drawn from across the globe. The School has positioned itself as an international hub for sharing knowledge on development among policymakers and practitioners, and its mission receives generous support from the Korean Government.

Korea placed the promotion of development at the center of the G20 agenda during its presidency of the G20 in 2010. This effort culminated in the adoption of the Seoul Development Consensus for Shared Growth at the G20 Summit in Seoul. As part of its commitment to the Seoul Development Consensus, the Korean Government has supported new courses at the KDI School on the global growth and development agenda, targeted to policymakers from G20 and other countries. The lectures I gave were part of the KDI School’s G20 Global Leadership Program and the G20 Global Issues Course. The topic of my lectures was the G20 growth agenda, with a focus on the G20 Framework for Strong, Sustainable, and Balanced Growth (click here for lecture slides). Participants included officials from a broad mix of countries, who enriched the discussion with their fascinating diversity of perspectives and experiences.

The KDI School’s emphasis on knowledge sharing and fostering a community of learning has much in common with the current knowledge and change agenda at the World Bank Group (WBG). The commonality of objectives and approaches creates a natural opportunity for collaboration between the two institutions. In my discussions at the KDI School, interest was expressed in developing a stronger partnership with the WBG to share knowledge and best practice on development and the evolving global agenda. There has been collaboration in the past, for example, with the World Bank Institute. The WBG will soon be opening a new office in Korea, which creates opportunities for furthering the knowledge partnership.


Zia Qureshi

Director of Strategy and Operations

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