The recent constitution of a new Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) by the BRICS’ countries, the New Development Bank (NBD), is widely recognized as a landmark event that has the potential to alter the landscape of development finance. The coming into life of another MDB founded by a group of emerging powers, and not by the “West”, has spurred a laudable debate on what exactly constitutes the “new” and the “old” in the realm of development finance.
This new arrival has prompted an array of questions, such as: With the NDB as a player, what changes will occur in the modus operandi of the pre-existing web of development finance institutions and their norms? Will the NDB serve as a catalyst for a more democratic world financial order? If so, was the NDB designed in such a way that will make this aspiration possible?
This article by Laura Trajber Waisbich and Caio Borges, from Brazilian-based organization Conectas, tries to address these and related issues: will the NDB be an impediment or a catalyst for a more inclusive, human-centered and democratic development process? What are the possibilities of adopting a “rights-based” approach by the NDB or, less ambitiously, the mainstreaming of human rights into its policies and practices?