Praise and criticism for the World Bank

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Carnegie Mellon professor Adam Lerrick has released a note criticizing the World Bank’s self-evaluation mechanisms and calls for an independent performance audit. (He does it in Spanish too). See the Independent Evaluation Group’s reports and evaluations and judge for yourself. No project of mine has ever been audited so I can't talk about the process with any expertise, but I have found their reports incredibly useful when doing research. I think he will be very interested in the IFC’s first Development Effectiveness Report when it comes out next year.

Meanwhile the Center for Global Development’s Todd Moss praises the World Bank for disclosing our Country Policy and Institutional Assessment rankings:

Now all the CPIA scores, including the 16 component scores, are available for scrutiny. This is great news for researchers that want to run the CPIA against other measures and use them to get a better idea of how the Bank thinks and acts. It is also likely to be helpful for the Bank itself since the added analysis will undoubtedly make for a better CPIA in the future. Just as importantly, it sends a positive message about transparency: if it’s good for recipient countries, it must be good for the donors too.

For more on the performance of aid agencies, see this note of ours:

We know that some donors give much more than others relative to income. We also know that donors are focusing aid less on poor countries and more on countries with strong institutions or good policies. And we know that there appears to be no tradeoff here: the countries that give the most aid also target poor countries and those with good policies. Yet we are still in the dark about which donors, or which projects, are achieving the best results.

Update: this post originally, and mistakenly, indicated that Adam Lerrick is affiliated with the Cato Institute. Cato published the note but is otherwise unrelated to Lerrick.

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