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Independent think tank leaders issue call to action for MDB reform

Written by Suma Chakrabarti, Sara Pantuliano, Annalisa Prizzon

Image credit:World Bank / Simone D. McCourtie Image license:CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Last July, the Center for Global Development hosted a meeting with other think tanks to exchange perspectives on the multilateral development bank (MDB) system.

We shared a common diagnosis that MDBs must more aggressively address the global challenges that defy national borders and threaten human life as we know it. By virtue of its global reach, financial firepower and expertise, the World Bank is especially well positioned to be a major driver of progress on climate, pandemic preparedness, natural resource conservation and other global public goods. But the Bank is not meeting its full potential.

Participants at our meeting agreed to set out a shared ‘call to action’ where we lay out ideas to evolve the World Bank as the world has. The central ideas are to make climate mitigation and adaptation a core component of the World Bank’s mandate; greatly expand its financing capacity; create more incentives for countries to invest in climate and health preparedness; and reform the organizational structure of the institution. Together these could help lay the foundation for a modern World Bank that is meeting the defining challenges of our time head on.

Unless otherwise noted, we the undersigned support these ideas in our personal capacity. More information on related work underway in our organizations can be found at our respective websites.

Masood Ahmed, President, Center for Global Development

Amar Bhattacharya, Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution

Suma Chakrabarti, Chair, Board of Trustees, ODI

Amanda Glassman, Executive Vice President, Center for Global Development

Homi Kharas, Senior Fellow, Center for Sustainable Development, Brookings Institution

Clemence Landers, Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development

Hans Peter Lankes, Visiting Professor, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science

Nancy Lee, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development

John Lipsky, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies

Sara Pantuliano, Chief Executive, ODI

Annalisa Prizzon, Senior Research Fellow, Development and Public Finance Programme, ODI

Minouche Shafik, Director, London School of Economics and Political Science

Emily Slater, Executive Director, The Bretton Woods Committee

Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute

Lawrence H. Summers, Chair of the Board of Directors, Center for Global Development; Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus, Harvard University

Nick Vaughan, Special Advisor on Innovative Finance, The International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity

Andres Velasco, Dean of the School of Public Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science