The World Bank: Serving ambitious goals, but in need of reform

21-04-2016

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, nowadays known as the World Bank, was conceived to help rebuild European countries devastated by the Second World War. Since then, through various reforms, its mission has evolved and its scope and staff increased significantly. Nowadays, the World Bank Group consists of five institutions (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA and ICSID), each with a particular mode of organisation and a specific scope and mission. The institution and its role have evolved significantly since its inception in 1944, most recently with its 2013 strategy, although the main reasons behind its existence remain. The five institutions that form the World Bank Group have slightly different memberships, along with boards of governors and boards of directors. Commentators have presented arguments in favour of the Bank, as well as many criticisms and concerns with regard to its work. In particular, criticisms concerns issues such as smaller countries being inadequately represented, and some of the Bank's models being too conservative and in need of updating to take into consideration the evolution of today's world economy. Furthermore, critics say the Bank should engage meaningfully with the international human rights framework and assist its member countries in complying with their own human-rights obligations; and despite positive results from some of the Bank's programmes, these have also had negative spill-overs in the countries concerned.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, nowadays known as the World Bank, was conceived to help rebuild European countries devastated by the Second World War. Since then, through various reforms, its mission has evolved and its scope and staff increased significantly. Nowadays, the World Bank Group consists of five institutions (IBRD, IDA, IFC, MIGA and ICSID), each with a particular mode of organisation and a specific scope and mission. The institution and its role have evolved significantly since its inception in 1944, most recently with its 2013 strategy, although the main reasons behind its existence remain. The five institutions that form the World Bank Group have slightly different memberships, along with boards of governors and boards of directors. Commentators have presented arguments in favour of the Bank, as well as many criticisms and concerns with regard to its work. In particular, criticisms concerns issues such as smaller countries being inadequately represented, and some of the Bank's models being too conservative and in need of updating to take into consideration the evolution of today's world economy. Furthermore, critics say the Bank should engage meaningfully with the international human rights framework and assist its member countries in complying with their own human-rights obligations; and despite positive results from some of the Bank's programmes, these have also had negative spill-overs in the countries concerned.