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CESR calls on the World Bank Group to shift its Cascade approach to a human rights and climate model

CESR submitted its commentaries to the World Bank Group (WBG) Evolution Roadmap consultation. The process to shape a new mission for the Bretton Woods institutions started in response to a 2022 G20's independent assessment of the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) on capital adequacy frameworks' fitness to mobilize resources according to the climate and development challenges. Several members of the G7, including the US, Australia, Germany and France, endorsed a call to revamp the WBG missions and align its goals, operations and policy measures to tackle climate change impacts, poverty eradication drawbacks, and the erosion of resilience and sustainable capabilities to face shocks.    

In January and March 2023, the World Bank management presented an initial and updated version of its Evolution Roadmap, respectively. These vouch for strengthening its twin mission approach -extreme poverty eradication and boosting shared prosperity- emphasizing the delivery of global public goods by better expanding and mobilizing financial resources. However, the document uncritically continues to put at the core of the WBG's rationale for the Cascade Approach, leaving unaddressed the problematic consequences of herding private capital on public sectors' capabilities and resources, human rights protection, and the reproduction of economic and geopolitical inequalities between the North and the South.    

CESR submission points to these omissions, calling to attention the vast analysis that civil society, the UN and academia have offered on the WBG's role in the multiple crises we are living. We highlight: 

  • The effect that austerity, debt crises, de-risking, and privatization have had on the public sectors' resources and capabilities to implement their development direction and protect human rights.  

  • The absence of a human rights explicit and detailed policy at the core of the WBG's approach and model that identifies, preempts and corrects the impacts of the Bank and sister institutions' policies on the realization of rights and gender inequality. 

  • The lack of ambitious climate-aligned policies that should entail more concessional finance, grant-making, debt relief and cancellation. 

  • A reformulation of its poverty metrics to incorporate tenets such as hybrid indicators and rights-based lines.