Chairperson of the WIDER Board writes on the future role of the World Bank

Ravi Kanbur, Chairperson of the WIDER board and Professor of Economics at Cornell University, argues that the World Bank needs to transform its role on the world stage in a new column. 

In the piece he acknowledges the large number of institutions, especially at the regional level, now providing funds to countries — a role first played by the World Bank that facilitated successful post-war recovery. To remain relevant, Kanbur states, the Bank must take on issues which are truly global in scope and address the suitability of its signature instrument, the sovereign loan. Moving forward thus means greatly expanding grant instruments. 

In addition to financing global public good mechanisms, Kanbur explains that the World Bank can play a crucial role in developing global consensus on how to define, monitor, and measure global objectives such as elimination of extreme poverty, part of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

At the same time, Kanbur makes note of significant challenges of our era. Some come from the need to have sufficient representation from around the globe as new economic powers emerge. Thus while the era of Trump poses special challenges for the World Bank, the long run challenge is to make the institution’s structures and instruments match the realities of the era in which we live.

Read the article in full here.