chapter  17
16 Pages

The World Bank in the post-structural adjustment era

WithMatthew S. Winters, Shyam Kulkarni

This chapter focuses on the World Bank as a lender of international development funds and provides a historical overview of major changes in the structure of lending at the World Bank. It describes some of the major transformations that the Bank underwent through the mid-1990s in order to set up an extended discussion of the incorporation of the 'governance and anticorruption' (GAC) agenda into the World Bank's lending operations. The chapter shows how the GAC agenda emerged as the product of crises of legitimacy and effectiveness linked to the failures of structural adjustment lending during the 1980s and early 1990s. It argues that the GAC agenda remains ill defined almost 20 years after its emergence, for three fundamental reasons: the challenges of creating better governing institutions in the developing world; the disbursement culture that drives bureaucratic decisions within the Bank; and the question of to which constituencies the Bank should be responsive.