The world’s finance ministers serve as the governors of the World Bank and meet this weekend to review the Bank’s activities over the last year and set policy for the coming one. The annual meeting is the first since the OECD released a remarkable document, one that subtly but unmistakably damns the development community for failing to curb corruption in the projects it finances. In skillfully-crafted prose that points the finger at no one miscreant while charging all with dereliction of duty, the OECD’s Council for Development identifies weaknesses large and small in the corruption prevention efforts of both bilateral and multilateral development organizations and urges major reforms. Corruption in development projects not only defeats the reason development aid is provided but, as the council stresses, many times leaves the recipient worse off than had no aid been extended in the first place.
The Bank’s Board of Governors should make the report and its recommendations the focus of their meeting. For two reasons. Continue reading