In his turn at the presentations organised at CGD, José Antonio Ocampo expressed his view on the Bank, being quite critical of the issues in which, according to him, the institution has not performed well, like country ownership and cooperation with other international organisations. He also expressed the need to change the culture of the Bank in order for it to become a clients-based organisation, and criticised the US for not increasing capital or allowing other countries to do so.
On country ownership he said: Continue reading
Ngozi gave a speech and took part in a question and answer session at CGD recently. She was her usual effusive and passionate self, although often a little vague when it came to policy positions. The mainstream press has picked up on her campaign motifs: she put a large emphasis on job creation (although her actual record on job creation is called into question here), and on the Bank delivering finance/results/technical assistance faster. The Washington Post covers some more things here, including her insistence that US capital contriutions will not be threatened by a non-US candidate.
On some issues she seemed to demand significant changes at the Bank. She said the Bank should look at the African Development Bank for lessons on selecting leaders, seemingly endorsing double-majority voting, and said there needs to be a serious conversation about increasing capital contributions and voting shares for MICs.
There were however some other interesting points I think should be brought to light. These seem to indicate that on many issues she is sticking to already well-developed Bank approaches, and reaffirm her status as the ‘establishment choice’. Reformers and revolutionaries beware. On other issues she raised various red flags for campaigners: Continue reading
CGD President Nancy Birdsall announced on Monday that the Center for Global Development and the Washington Post would co-host “a forum where the candidates could explain their vision for the bank’s future and be questioned by the media and members of the international development community.”
This confirms that “this time is different”
For the first time the candidates offer a Continue reading
In a CGD “wonkcast”, Nancy Birdsall sets out some excellent criteria for the next World Bank president.
Ability to “corral” the World Bank’s resident, 25-person board onto a new agenda, including perhaps letting loose their grip on how the Bank runs, day-to-day, will be key. This will involve personal and persuasive skills that the Bank has not seen much in evidence since Jim Wolfensohn’s departure nearly seven years ago. Admittedly, Wolfensohn had a rocky start, and a stormy relationship with the Executive Directors at times, but once he realized that “what’s good for the Bank is good for Jim Wolfensohn, and vice versa” he moved the Bank to a new level of respect and effectiveness, with a Board that was fully behind him. Continue reading
Inside sources in Washington are abuzz. It seems this will be the week according to people in the know, and Zoellick will imminently be announcing his attention to not seek a second term. They didn’t have an exact date for the announcement – could be Tuesday or as late as Friday. But now is really the time to start thinking about the processes – after all a well designed process would have started 6 weeks ago.
So the post yesterday by Nancy Birdsall over at CGD provides a timely look into the US political constraints. She asks:
Can the Obama White House in an election year, facing a Congress suspicious of a globally honored president, eschew pushing through its own American candidate? …