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Selectivity at Work: Country Policy and Institutional Assessments at the World Bank

Van Waeyenberge, Elisa (2009) 'Selectivity at Work: Country Policy and Institutional Assessments at the World Bank.' European Journal of Development Research, 21 (5). pp. 792-810.

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Abstract

The World Bank has been at the forefront of a redefinition of conditionality in the late 1990s, away from finance in return for the promise of policy reform, as was typical under structural adjustment, towards the disbursement of funds conditional on what has already been achieved. Under ‘selectivity’ or performance-based aid, aid allocations are rationed on the basis of deviation from an ideal country model, captured in the Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA). This article seeks to situate the emergence of the selectivity practice and undertakes a close review of the CPIA, the mechanism at the heart of performance-based aid. This is put against the backdrop of the transition from Washington to post-Washington Consensus. The CPIA emerges as a prism through which we can observe crucial features of how the World Bank’s relationship with poor countries is regulated. This reveals the persistence of a set of imperatives in World Bank operational practices, often at variance with the World Bank rhetoric that has sought to move beyond the neo-liberal bias characteristic of World Bank conditionality of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Item Type: Articles
Keywords: aid, selectivity, CPIA, World Bank, Washington Consensus, post-Washington Consensus
SOAS Departments & Centres: Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
Depositing User: Elisa Van Waeyenberge
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2009 09:32
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/7737

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