Skip to main content

International Development

Volume 699: debated on Friday 14 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will encourage the World Bank to implement civil society priorities in International Development Association projects such as decreasing conditionality and mainstreaming the use of impact assessment. [HL2363]

The World Bank follows a country-led approach to development whereby projects and programmes implemented by the International Development Association (IDA) are identified as priorities for bank funding by the governments in the countries themselves. The UK and the Bank continue to support efforts to strengthen dialogue between civil society and governments in developing countries.

In our discussions with civil society groups last year, they made clear to us that they saw a need for the bank to improve its practice on conditionality further and extend its use of poverty and social impact assessments. The bank has made significant improvements in its practice in these areas. This is reflected in, for example, the reduction in the average number of conditions from around 35 in 1999 to around 10 in 2007. Nevertheless, we used last year's IDA replenishment negotiations successfully to press the bank to make further improvements, including applying the good practice principles on conditionality effectively. These commit the bank to ensuring that conditions are not imposed. We will continue to work to ensure more progress on both issues.