|On December 17, 2007, the World Bank’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network and the Development Economics Vice Presidency (DEC) hosted a day of workshops at World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC. The event, “PREM-DEC Brainstorming Meeting on Improving the Delivery of Aid: Making Aid More Predictable” focused on improving the delivery of aid and making it more predictable. The objective was twofold: (1) to take stock of what is known about aid predictability, how predictability of aid flows affects country performance and policies, and country-level issues in managing uncertain aid flows and (2) to discuss how the Bank and other donors are contributing to the agenda to improve the reliability of aid resources and which new mechanisms are more promising for ensuring stability of aid.
Caroline Sergeant, Executive Director for the United Kingdom at the World Bank, highlighted the main points of the day’s workshop sessions, noting the importance of predictability and various positive and negative aspects of aid volatility. After her introduction, the panelists offered some final thoughts regarding the issue from the country side, the donor side, and the incentive side. Alan Gelb, Director in DEC at the World Bank, made four points, including the importance of looking further into delivery systems. Jeff Gutman, Vice President and Head of Network for the Office of the Vice President at the World Bank, explored where and why the Bank itself is coming up short in predictability. Sanjeev Gupta, Senior Advisor at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), made several suggestions, including relying more on international reserves and assisting countries in developing a medium-term framework. Kathie Krumm, Sector Manager in the Africa Region of the World Bank, emphasized among other things that the WB’s effectiveness comes from engagement with other partners, not the financial aid. She also noted the need for quantifiable data to guide clients who are addressing aid predictability questions.
A brief question-and-answer session covered countries’ attitudes to World Bank leverage and progress in moving toward different rules for different classifications of countries.