SEVENTY CIVIL SOCIETY organisations and individuals from around the world are calling on the World Bank to commission an external review of its effectiveness, and put the public at the core of its efforts to support the global south. 

As part of the consultation on the World Bank Group’s Evolution Roadmap, organisations including the Bretton Woods Project, Eurodad and Christian Aid, have produced a comprehensive briefing which contains recommendations that would transform the current problematic proposals.

The briefing calls for the World Bank to #RerouteTheRoadmap, as discussions on World Bank reform continue, including at the upcoming Annual Meetings in Marrakech in October.

It makes six key recommendations:

  • Commission an external and independent review of the World Bank Group’s development effectiveness.
  • Invert the Cascade, putting the public at the core of the World Bank’s efforts to support global public goods;
  • Develop and fund a human rights policy.
  • Mainstream climate justice into the Bank’s operations.
  • Mainstream a gender lens into the Bank’s operations, extending the mandate of the upcoming Gender Strategy.
  • Develop Better metrics for measuring, and policies to tackle, inequality.

Christian Aid’s Chief of UK Policy and Advocacy, Sophie Powell, said: “We call on the World Bank leadership, including UK minister for development Andrew Mitchell, to reroute the World Bank roadmap to ensure it delivers for the world’s poorest people. Its current course looks set to deliver little in the way of additional finance and even less for the countries and communities that need it most, because of an unrealistic expectation about the role of private finance that has been disproven time and again.  The World Bank and its rich country member governments such as the UK must find ways to mobilise public finance, for example through taxing polluters, in ways that put human rights and the mission to tackle poverty front and centre.”

Luiz Vieira, Bretton Woods Project coordinator, highlighted: “World Bank shareholders, who will doubtlessly stress the importance and significance of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in December, have an obligation to match their rhetoric with action and require that the Evolution Roadmap results in the development of a World Bank human rights policy. They must likewise ensure that the ‘roadmap’ is informed by a robust independent assessment of the human rights-centred development impact to date of its centre-piece policy, the Cascade. Given the ‘roadmap’ and the proposed deepening of the Cascade are justified by the need to respond to the ‘crisis of development’, it is unbelievable that World Bank shareholders and management continue to ignore both of these essential steps.”

Bhumika Muchhala, Political Economist and Senior Advisor at Third World Network noted: “The derisking approach assumes that there will never be trade-offs between commercial goals and the public interest. It also ignores the developmental dilemma posed by prioritising private risk over that of distributive social equity and state sovereignty in legal and normative affairs. It is yet to be seen if the WBG will incorporate sufficient provisions within its plans to escort private capital that ensure the recipient state’s right to regulate in the public interest, for a rights-based economy that upholds economic, climate, feminist justice.”

* Read the briefing here.

More about World Bank Cascades here.

* Source: Christian Aid