The World Bank: Unmatched at “Delivering” BS

People this is almost self parody by Jim Kim and his bank. Filling the investment gap didn’t work, getting the prices right didn’t work, increasing school enrollment rates didn’t work, fighting corruption didn’t work, so now the Bank wants to practice “the science of delivery”.

Deep in the West Village, in an obscure hipster coffee shop, Bill Easterly’s head must be exploding.

Deliverology seems to be a fancy way of saying “just do it”. Here’s the Head Deliverologist, Sir Michael Barber:

“It is a very simple process, but if you go through things rigorously you will make progress. What are the priorities for the World Bank Group as a whole? Kim has been clear: ending poverty and achieving shared prosperity.  What does that mean in a particular country? . . . At the moment there is insufficient connection between the World Bank headquarters and aspirations and what happens country by country. That is the delivery chain. How do you need to change the delivery chain — the line of sight between the front line and here [Washington]? Kim is aware of that as a major issue.” 

Can I get an LOL? What a steaming pile of jibberish.

And what exactly is Jim Kim doing to enact change at the Bank?

Kim also has tried to tame the bureaucracy by first creating more of it. He’s set up the Office of Change Management, created a new vice president’s post to run it and appointed 30-year bank veteran Pamela Cox to the job. She is now coordinating the work of perhaps a dozen task forces.

Ah yes, the office of change management. Good move. Nothing creates change in a hidebound bureaucracy like more bureaucracy.

The plain truth is that the World Bank has been a colossal failure when it comes to development or even poverty alleviation (Grandpa Deng’s market reforms in China have done more for poverty reduction than all the WB programs over the same time period combined).

Embracing pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo will neither change or hide that fact.