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MDB Insights: 2024 Spring Meetings previewed


Written by Annalisa Prizzon, Tom Alwyn

Hero image description: Word Bank Group Headquarters, Washington. Photo: World Bank / Simone D. McCourtie (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Image credit:World Bank / Simone D. McCourtie Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Hello and welcome back to MDB Insights – the newsletter which rounds up ODI’s latest ideas and analysis about multilateral development bank (MDB) reform, and other related pressing development finance issues.

Next week’s World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings are taking place at a time when the world continues to grapple with the impacts of the poly-crisis.

Against this concerning backdrop, what can MDBs do to better support countries most in need? From an ambitious IDA replenishment and making the best use of callable capital to the role of MDBs in supporting just energy transitions and in fragile situations, read on for new ODI research, resources and events on the big talking points set to shape discussions in Washington, D.C.

ODI on the Spring Meetings

Browse our latest evidence, ideas and events on how MDBs can more effectively tackle today's biggest global challenges.

Resources hub

World Bank Washington DC Shutterstock


  • Join us on 17 April, in Washington, D.C. or online, for ODI Day at the Spring Meetings – a series of events on some of today's biggest development finance challenges.

  • Donors must step up to the World Bank’s call to replenish IDA – a fund for the world’s poorest countries. ODI’s latest Think Change podcast examines why this is so urgent, and how IDA can more effectively support countries navigating today’s poly-crisis.

  • New ODI research reveals how major MDBs can make the best use of $891 billion in callable capital – an unusual financial guarantee – to tackle today’s biggest global challenges.

  • MDBs can fulfil their promise of more and better climate-related ‘country platforms’, and must navigate challenges to put the "just" at the heart of Just Energy Transition Partnerships.

  • MDBs must embrace an agenda for reform – set out in a new ODI study – if they are to catalyse transformative change in fragile and conflict-affected states, and contribute to sustainable peace and development globally.

Join ODI Day at the Spring Meetings

World Bank, Washington D.C.
Image credit:World Bank, Washington D.C. ~ Image license:Alexandru Smut Calin/Shutterstock

The world’s major MDBs collectively hold US$891 billion in callable capital – a unique type of guarantee provided by shareholder governments. This event explores how MDBs can make better use of it to underpin more development lending.

The poly-crisis has spurred a growing sentiment, particularly in the Global South, that the tools development finance institutions (DFIs) have been offering are not alleviating poverty. This event examines how MDBs and DFIs must change their approach to increase lending to underserved markets.

With much hype and scrutiny around the potential of climate-related ‘country platforms’ to tackle the climate crisis, experts dissect the role MDBs can play in those with the ambition of Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs).

Tackling debt, transforming economies: why is the IDA replenishment so urgent?

As the world grapples to address the impact of today's poly-crisis, economic growth is in sharp retreat in many countries in the Global South. That’s why the World Bank is pushing for a record replenishment of IDA, its fund for the world’s poorest countries.

A new episode of ODI’s Think Change podcast examines what is driving this call, and how IDA can become more effective and efficient at a time of escalating needs.

It was fascinating to join the discussion with Seynabou Sakho (World Bank) and Gregory Chen (BRAC International), hosted by ODI Chief Executive Sara Pantuliano.

$891 billion in MDB callable capital: what’s it worth and what can we do with it?

Image credit:Photo by Serhii Tyaglovsky on Unsplash

A team of researchers led by ODI’s Chris Humphrey have spent the past year exploring how MDBs can make the best use this unusual financial guarantee, in line with the recommendation of the G20 capital adequacy review.

The research – five background papers and a summary of findings and policy options – is based on extensive discussions with senior MDB management, shareholders and credit rating agencies to ensure the results directly inform policy discussions on the agenda at the Spring Meetings.

Could 'country platforms' accelerate the energy transition?

Thermo-solar Power Plant
Image credit:Thermo-solar power plant. Dana Smillie / World Bank ~ Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETPs) are arrangements whereby wealthy countries support low and middle-income countries to help advance both their national development priorities and international climate goals.

But new ODI analysis suggests that the JETPs are not living up to (perhaps unreasonably high) expectations. To this end, we are rolling out a series of papers exploring how to improve their design and implementation.

A new toolkit examines how MDBs can help put the “just” into just transitions, given their charters preclude them from political activity.

An MDB agenda for reform in fragility, conflict and violence

Yemeni house destroyed because of the Yemen war, Taiz.
Image credit:Yemeni house destroyed because of the Yemen war, Taiz. ~ Image license:akramalrasny/Shutterstock

The urgency to address the root causes of conflict and fragility underscores the imperative for reform within MDBs. Better financing mechanisms, which align with the priorities and needs of borrowing countries, are required.

A new ODI briefing highlights three critical areas of reform for MDBs: make fragility an institution-wide priority, build more diverse and flexible partnerships, and adapt operational models.

To hear more about how MDBs can better reach underserved borrowers, sign up to our event.

More recommended reads

A new appointment

A warm welcome to Josué Tanaka, who has joined ODI as a Visiting Senior Fellow! Josué has over 40 years of experience working on development, environmental and urban finance, including at the World Bank and EBRD, and we're so delighted to have him on board.

Connect with ODI’s team at the Spring Meetings

If you are interested in any of the topics raised in this newsletter, please do drop me an email – I would love to hear from you.

You can also reach out to my colleagues who will be joining me at the Spring Meetings:

Stay up to date

You can stay up-to-date with our latest analysis on MDB reform by visiting our dedicated webpage.