Twenty Years of Trial and Error
This book explains why the World Bank has not achieved substantive efficiency or effectiveness in delivering economic assistance.
In the many studies of the World Bank a critical issue has been missed. While writers have looked at the bank's political economy, lending, conditions, advice, ownership and accounting for issues such as the environment, this study looks at the bank as an organization - whether it is set up to do the job it is supposed to do and, if not, what should be done about it. The book is about the problems of organization and reorganization as much as it is about the problems of assisting third-world development, and it is a case study in flawed organizational reform as much as a critique of the way development assistance is managed. It covers the period from the first major reorganization, in 1987 under President Barber Conable, and ends with the resignation of Paul Wolfowitz, in 2007, but it focuses especially on what happened during the tenure of James Wolfensohn.
Part I. Origins and Evolution: 1. What does the World Bank do and how does it do it?; 2. The emerging critique; Part II. The Search for Effectiveness: 3. Fifty years of bank reforms; 4. The 1990s - reengineering the organization; 5. Changing culture and changing people; 6. Reforming the bank's assistance product; 7. Changing the quality of development assistance; 8. Financing the reorganization; 9. Why did the reforms fail; Part III. Towards Real Reform: the Governance Agenda: 10. The governors and the directors; 11. The leadership; 12. Looking back and looking forward: what is to be done?