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World Bank report: Reducing inequality without strengthened labor rights?

In October the World Bank launched the first of what it says will be a series of annual reports on Poverty and Shared Prosperity, for tracking progress towards two key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): reducing extreme poverty and inequality. The theme of the first edition is “Taking on Inequality.” The report’s findings that “between 2008 … Continue reading »

Holes in the World Bank’s safety net

In August, the World Bank concluded a major policy review process to adopt a new Environmental and Social Framework to replace its suite of “safeguard” policies – the policies designed to ensure that development activities financed by the Bank do not cause harm to communities or the environment. The outcome of this four-year review can … Continue reading »

European Social Charter litigation: Setting limits to austerity measures

A fundamental distinction that has come to the foreground with the onset of the economic crisis has been between the European Union (EU) rules and those of the Council of Europe. Indeed, the study of human social rights at the European level must include this dual perspective. That is because the European Social Charter Treaty … Continue reading »

Infrastructure finance and sustainable development: Who is keeping their paths apart?

For several years the Group of 20 (G20) has been increasing the intensity of its focus on infrastructure investment, resulting since the beginning of 2014 in the launch of a Working Group on Investment in Infrastructure. Over those years, the G20 has tasked the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), whose membership comprises 34 … Continue reading »

World Bank: A successful case of human rights immunization

According to a recent human rights report, “in its operational policies, in particular, [the World Bank] treats human rights more like an infectious disease than universal values and obligations.” No, the recent report was not from a health agency, but from the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Mr. Philip Alston. In the … Continue reading »

Time for a power shift in Power Africa

This past week, government representatives from the U.S. and across Africa came together with public and private investors at the 2nd Annual Powering Africa Summit, in Washington D.C. The Summit coincided with the launch of a new Roadmap for Power Africa, a multi-stakeholder partnership that sits within the U.S. Agency for International Development and promises … Continue reading »

When development undermines livelihoods

Arriving in a Tajik village for families being resettled, Khorsheed, a mother of five, quickly realized that her lush vegetable garden and fruit orchard—her key food sources—were a thing of the past. Lacking land in the new village, she was also forced to sell her cattle. “Now my children beg me to give them fruit,” … Continue reading »

Unleashing the human rights potential of national development banks

One of the tools that States have in order to respect, protect and fulfill human rights is the creation of national development banks. Indeed, if the financial sector is left to autonomously determine where capital should be allocated it is likely that private rather than overall social returns will end up determining the allocation of … Continue reading »

The elephant in the classroom: the World Bank and private education providers

As the financial goalposts for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be agreed at the UN’s September summit, were established a few weeks ago at the Financing for Development conference, the elephant in the room remains the role of the private sector in education delivery. It seems that the World Bank and UN have increasingly different visions of … Continue reading »

A new development model for the BRICS New Development Bank

Earlier this month at the 7th BRICS Summit in Ufa, Russia, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) inaugurated a new multilateral financial institution. BRICS Heads of State pledged that the boldly named New Development Bank (NDB) will be a driving force for South-South cooperation – a development bank that can deliver … Continue reading »

March 2017
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