Published on Let's Talk Development

The World Bank, the Catholic Church, and the Global Future of Development

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This blog post originally appeared on the Berkeley Center for Religion, Peace, & World Affairs at Georgetown University.

The World Bank and the Catholic Church are the two most influential anti-poverty institutions in the world. One works primarily with governments and the international community; the other through a global network encompassing more than a billion adherents.

Contact between the two institutions has been sporadic. The Bank’s focus is projects with governments to address economic development, while the Church works mainly through social channels. Recently, however, the leaders of both institutions have articulated convergent approaches to human development that link economics with health, education, and the environment. As World Bank President Jim Yong Kim put it after his meeting with Pope Francis in October 2013, “We share a vision of a world with greater compassion for all people in need.”

This spring Georgetown’s new Global Futures Initiative is inviting faculty and students to explore that common vision and how to realize it in practice. A series of lectures by President Kim and his colleague Chief Economist Kaushik Basu are catalyzing conversations on campus and on the web, including one with 20 participants from Catholic and Jesuit colleges and universities around the world.

Read the complete blog post.


Thomas Banchoff

Vice President for Global Engagement at Georgetown University

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