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Annual Report 2003
Critical voices on the World Bank and IMF Hamlyn House
MacDonald Road London N19 5PG, UK
Tel: 020 7561 7546 www.brettonwoodsproject.org

Contents

1. Introduction

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2. Strategic review

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3. UK advocacy

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o Social and environmental issues relating to Bank projects

o Participation in national policy processes

o Parliamentary scrutiny work

4. UK awareness raising

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5. Convening and networking

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o Strategy meeting organisation

o Information exchange

o Advice on requests

6. International meetings

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7. Publications

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o Bretton Woods Update

o Briefings

o Website

o BWI-UK listserve

o European monthly bulletin

8. Press coverage

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9. Conclusion and current challenges

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10. Financial summary

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Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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1. Introduction The Project has continued to improve its roles as a network hub and advocate on World Bank and IMF issues. In the UK, BWP has provided its own input to officials and MPs, and helped enable many other groups to do so. The quality of work performed by the Project in its multiple roles - briefing, motivating and advising other NGOs - was highly praised by the respondents to the independent strategic review carried out during this period. Its stature in international networks, in Europe and globally, has continued to increase, with the Project playing leading roles in coordinating strategy meetings. The Project’s information helps alert a wide range of organisations about what the Bank and Fund are doing and what opportunities exist to raise issues with decision-makers.

Focus •
• • • • •

issues during this year include:
Playing a leading role in convening major strategy meetings in Europe and the USA, resulting in new initiatives on safeguard policies, human rights and transparency; Advocacy, alerting and convening on World Bank/IMF governance reform; Pressing for action on the Coal India project Inspection Panel report; Monitoring the initial implementation of Poverty and Social Impact Analysis; Enhancing parliamentary scrutiny of the World Bank and IMF; Encouraging trade campaigners to examine the impacts of the World Bank and IMF in this policy area.

The Project has improved its major information outputs:
• the Bretton Woods Update now includes Comment and Inside the Institutions features;
• the Project website is easier to read and to browse or search by topic, institution and country.

The Project has introduced new outputs:
• At Issue two-side briefings on current key policy topics. Circulated with the Update six times a year;
• a monthly e-mail service on IFI-related activities by European NGOs; • more regular quarterly meetings of UK network members.

2. Strategic review During 2003 the Project decided to initiate a strategic review of its activities, the first since 1998. The purpose of the review was to allow independent reviewers to question the Project’s steering group, staff, network members and target officials to gauge perceptions of the Project and glean suggestions about changes to the ways it operates.
Following a tender process, the review was carried out by Tess Kingham and Jim Coe. They both have extensive experience with NGOs and the former was a Member of Parliament active on development issues. They analysed relevant documents and interviewed key informants in official agencies, NGOs and the media. They concluded that:
“BWP is highly respected. The extent and level of endorsement of BWP and its work that we heard is uniquely high in our experience as external assessors. We note that even BWP’s critics tend to stress the respect with which they regard the organisation. In particular, BWP seems to be effective in occupying a productive space where it can operate as both an alert to policy-makers whilst simultaneously informing and facilitating the advocacy of other NGOs.”
One of the many interesting findings was the contradictory responses of UK officials who interact with the Project. Some said they felt the Project had recently become more overtly critical of the institutions, while others hinted that it should be more hard-hitting in its positioning and more challenging to official positions. This was one among many findings which indicated that the Project is walking a tightrope – and needs to take some specific steps to ensure that it can maintain its high credibility and broad range of engagements with both civil society groups and officials.
A summary of the review findings and the Bretton Woods Project’s responses appear in Box 1 on the following page.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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Bretton Woods Project strategic review: recommendations and responses

Reviewer recommendations Establish monitoring and evaluation and improve prioritisation. Develop more formalised procedures to capture institutional learning. Consider taking a more proactive lead in enabling partner NGOs to assess their advocacy and influencing strategies on the Bank and Fund. Review ‘pragmatic insider’ stance and decide if a more critical tone would be appropriate.
Mobilising core constituencies more systematically and regularly, i.e. through periodic planning and update fora Continue to invest in European network strengthening and enhance role as a driving force for greater coordination, including of coalitions on select issues
Use knowledge of IFIs to assist European and Southern NGOs to exploit their parliamentary systems more effectively, and facilitate CSO involvement in global parliamentary oversight initiatives Devise and implement a parliamentary influencing strategy
Consider provision of expert specialist information relevant for lobbying national governments and support for larger NGOs engaged in advocacy programmes with partners in the South Develop a marketing plan for products that addresses the issue of audience
Products should contain statements on BWP’s credentials and funding sources. Explore options that make feasible the development of an expanded role in monitoring the EIB & EBRD
Examine funding arrangements to make them more secure Probe options for organisational status and governance

Staff responses Trip reports have been introduced and our contacts management system will be harnessed for improved reporting. More regular reviews of work priorities will be undertaken, clarifying BWP’s specific contribution on different issues. BWP will argue for this in network strategy meetings and may assist in joint funding proposals, but the work would be done by external evaluators.
The review gives mixed messages on this issue. BWP will maintain its insider/outsider approach to creating change, approaching engagement with caution and continuing to point out fundamental issues. The neutral and balanced tone of its written outputs will be maintained. The Project will organise quarterly UK network meetings to share information and encourage joint planning. Occasional thematic meetings on major issues will also be convened.
BWP will continue to play a role in convening regional and global strategy meetings. It will also continue with its monthly regional round-up of IFI-related activities in Europe but will be cautious about taking on overarching roles in European coordination on these issues, recognizing that many are or could be better handled by others. BWP has begun to explore options on this with key European and Southern groups. As well as sharing experiences, it plans to alert global NGOs to the possibility of submitting to UK parliamentary processes. It will also continue to try making the Parliamentarians Network on the World Bank more independent. BWP feels it cannot do more than at present on UK parliamentary influencing (working with the two key select committees, speaking at or organising occasional meetings, and alerting network members about parliamentary opportunities). BWP could, however work more with All Party Groups and with individual interested MPs. BWP dedicates a significant amount of time to responding to specific queries from NGOs and others in different countries, including on draft reports, advocacy plans, etc. Many larger NGOs do use our regular written outputs. More effort can, however, be made to encourage groups to adapt and circulate our material. In response to reader surveys BWP regularly improves the information it puts out. It is not practical to produce multiple versions of written outputs tailored by audience but greater outreach will be made to some key Southern constituencies. A short statement outlining BWP’s independence is now on the Update and website. More financial and reporting information will be made available on-line. BWP believes it is not possible to take on EIB and EBRD work beyond limited information sharing and meeting convening. This is because many of the issues are different from the ones BWP focuses on and because of the lack of existing interest from network members. BWP will review options for diversified and increased funding. BWP plans to continue under current arrangements for the next two years, while examining options for changing its organisational status.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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3. UK advocacy The Project has continued to organise and speak at a range of meetings with officials. It maintains regular contact with officials in the Department for International Development (DFID), the Treasury and the UK Delegation in Washington who develop the UK’s policy lines on World Bank and IMF issues and convenes meetings for civil society groups to air issues and concerns with them. The Project also organises NGO meetings with the Secretary of State for International Development before every Spring and Annual Meeting of the World Bank and IMF.
Social and environmental issues relating to Bank projects The Project has supported UK NGOs active on the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline campaign through organising and following up on meetings with relevant UK government departments, hosting an international strategy meeting, helping draft and edit briefings and letters. In June and October the Project convened meetings with officials from DFID, Foreign Office, Export Credit Guarantee Department and the Treasury to discuss the pipeline with representatives of NGOs from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia. These meetings have resulted in commitments from the UK officials to closely pursue the IFI due diligence on these projects and to undertake UK risk assessments. The Project has chased UK officials to help ensure follow-up.
The Project followed up its work since 1996 on the Coal India project. This involved alerting groups that the Inspection Panel report was about to be produced, working with colleagues to obtain it, and sending to the local NGO Chotanagpur Adivasi Sewa Samiti. The Project worked with a colleague in Minewatch to digest the report’s key findings and establish an advocacy strategy for it to be taken seriously by the Bank’s management and Board. This included a letter signed by 120 groups or individuals from 31 countries, as well as meetings with UK and World Bank officials to advocate for a proper follow-up to the Panel report.
The Project organised a meeting with two officials from the Compliance Adviser Ombudsman of the IFC and MIGA. This was attended by eight groups, who were provided a 6 page brief from the Project in advance setting out the key elements in the recent CAO review of IFC social and environmental policies. NGO representatives raised the following issues: IFC safeguard policies, equator principles, and IFC and MIGA projects including Yanacocha (Peru) and Bulyanhulu (Tanzania).
A staff member assisted US NGO Pacific Environment with an advocacy meeting at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development organised for visitors from a Russian NGO with concerns about a proposed EBRD project in the Russian Far East.
Participation in national policy processes The Project followed up on its 2002 briefing (Blinding with Science or Encouraging Debate? How World Bank analysis determines PRSP policies) with continued advocacy with UK decision-makers on Poverty and Social Impact Analysis, a process which is intended to provide citizens with assessments of the likely outcomes of different national policy reforms. The Project produced a joint short briefing with Oxfam GB, Water Aid, EURODAD, World Vision and Save the Children which was presented to decision-makers in the UK Treasury, DFID as well as the Bank and Fund. This pointed out flaws in implementation and urged more complete coverage of planned reforms. Project staff spoke at three meetings with UK officials about PSIA. This is important as the UK is playing a leading role on this issue, including by funding the pilot studies. Attended, as one of five civil society representatives, a high-level two day conference in the Hague co-organised by the Dutch and British governments. The Project also assisted meeting organisers with suggestions about focus issues and follow-up.
Following the meeting organised in late 2002 on the World Development Report 2004 on services the Project continued to work closely with report team members to encourage them to maintain openness in report drafting. The Project helped bring together response by partner organisations on the report’s failure to address the implications of the GATS agreement for services.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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The Project was invited to make a presentation at a public meeting on international policy processes organised by Overseas Development Institute with seventy senior officials and NGOs present. This focussed in particular on the lessons of the World Commission on Dams and Poverty World Development Report and the World Bank’s failure to implement proper guarantees for civil society in processes such as the Extractive Industries Review.
The Project also attended and spoke at meetings with DFID on services for the poor, a new strategic approach to multilateral aid, trade capacity building, and the drafting of an Institutional Strategy paper for working with the World Bank.
Parliamentary scrutiny work The Project has continued to improve the process of parliamentary scrutiny of government interventions in the Bank and Fund. The Project has continued to file submissions to relevant committees, i.e. on current World Bank issues, current IMF issues and on Bank/Fund roles in trade. For the November 2002 annual evidence session on the World Bank the Project encouraged and supported 15 other organisations, including three from outside the UK, to file submissions. Many of the suggested questions from the Bretton Woods Project and other network members were used by MPs. The Project also made a submission to the International Development Select Committee on ‘Trade and Development at the WTO’ on the important role played by the Bank and Fund in the trade arena. This material was reflected in MPs’ questions and in the final report, which contained strong conclusions which the government has to react to. The Project is regularly asked for advice, contacts and information by Committee researchers.
4. UK awareness raising One of the Project’s roles is to tell or remind groups how the World Bank and IMF affect and relate to their work areas. The Project proactively looks for opportunities to brief NGOs, produce articles for their newsletters, etc. During this year such activities have included:
• Contributing material for a One World Trust focus issue on the World Bank of their Global Focus publication;
• Writing an editorial on trade/finance coherence for BOND’s The Networker; • Writing an article for People and Planet’s Your Future ethical careers magazine; • Speaking at event hosted by The Guardian on transparency and IFIs; • Convening a meeting at LSE with Desmond McNeill, Robert Wade and Alex Wilks
speaking on the World Bank’s knowledge roles; • Speaking to BOND staff and trustees on big picture challenges at their 2003 strategy
away day; • Briefing the editorial team of The Ecologist on current World Bank and IMF issues,
including the extractive industries review; • Speaking and circulating information at UK Trade Network meetings; • Convening a meeting on trade-finance coherence for the US coordinator of the trade-
fin coherence working group • Feeding into early stages of Institute for Development Studies research on pro-poor
trade policy formulation; • Feeding into IDS research on poverty monitoring and policy processes and
participated actively in conference with their research teams from Uganda and Nigeria before final outputs; • Convening a working group of leading academics and NGO policy researchers to look at World Bank and IMF roles in post-conflict reconstruction.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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5. Convening and networking
Strategy meeting organisation The Project played a leading role in organising two strategy meetings in Europe and one in the USA for NGOs to step back from our work and forge innovative plans. The European meeting was planned in collaboration with Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale and BothENDS. The US one was in collaboration with Campagna, Bank Information Center and Third World Network. Both were much appreciated by their participants, who commented that they would like more such opportunities for collaborative reflecting and planning.
The plans produced at the US meeting included work on World Bank high risk/high reward infrastructure projects, the World Bank’s new safeguard policy framework, its approach to human rights, and the World Bank presidential succession.
At the European meetings it was agreed that further work needed to be done to resolve possible tensions between groups advocating clearer and better-implemented safeguard policies and those calling for an end to conditionality. Groups in Germany, for example, decided that they needed to sit down together to consider whether they might sometimes convey conflicting messages to decision-makers and the public. Interest was expressed about the current and potential future roles of European governments might be able to coordinate their inputs into the IFIs. This has been studied in a consultancy commissioned by BWP and the Italian Reform the World Bank campaign.
In February BWP convened an innovative meeting of freedom of information activists with those working on International Financial Institutions. This was co-organised with Bank Information Center (BIC), National Security Archive and Article IXX. The meeting led to an excellent cross-fertilisation of experiences and a range of ideas for the future. These included collaborations between national-level freedom of information activists and IFI activists to file requests for government documents relating to the IFIs (including Board documents). Also to:
• Develop a series of studies illustrating how transparency, or lack of it, has contributed to positive and negative outcomes in specific cases;
• Develop a "Statement of Principles" or "Charter" to anchor international campaigning on IFI transparency;
• Carry out coordinated advocacy around upcoming disclosure policy reviews and related processes.
The Project has also played a major role in follow-up to this meeting, i.e. discussing communications approaches and division of labour among groups and providing material to circulate in the monthly bulletin being produced by BIC.
The Project organised (in collaboration with the British Overseas NGOs for Development network) a successful meeting of 70 UK-based NGO representatives on PRSPs. This was partly a skillshare and partly to exchange ideas for future work. It was heavily oversubscribed and considered to be very valuable in increasing understanding of this important process.
The Project has played an active supporting role with Center of Concern in initiating and taking forward a trade finance coherence working group. This group was formed at the 2002 Annual Meetings to look at the implications of improved ‘coherence’ between the WB, IMF and WTO. The Project co-drafted a paper summarising the group’s analysis of these issues which was presented to the WTO working group on trade, debt and finance; presentations were made to the ECOSOC-BWI hearings; and a response to the high-level meeting of the agencies was well received by developing country trade representatives in Geneva. BWP is an active participant in UK Trade Network meetings and exchanges. A number of groups in the UK, mainland Europe and the US are now increasingly taking an interest in these coherence questions.
Organised a meeting for an activist from Ekta Parishad, an Indian social movement concerned about the impacts of World Bank-backed forestry projects in Madhya Pradesh. The group wanted to brief relevant UK-based campaigners to interest them in providing political support when the World Bank moves forward with further forest sector loans.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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Information exchange The Project is continuously engaged in information exchange and strategising on current Bank/Fund issues. This is through attending meetings, through active participation in e-mail lists, through replying to targeted requests, through distributing e-mails to people who have identified an interest in an aspect of the Bank and Fund’s work. Producing and distributing action alerts – such as the one on likely human rights impacts of the Andhra Pradesh structural adjustment loan circulated in December – is a major task.
This work is done in close coordination with other information clearinghouses such as Bank Information Center and EURODAD. Based on discussions since 2000 with colleagues in other such groups and a consultancy funded by the Mott Foundation in 2001 the Project has secured additional funding from the Ford Foundation to pilot new approaches to coordinated information-sharing by NGOs on these issues. This is the IFIwatchnet initiative which over 50 groups have currently signed up to. Multiple groups are posting information to a joint calendar which is featured on the IFIwN website and also on the sites of participating organisations and others, such as ELDIS, an academic information gateway on development. The IFIwN initiative is also helping groups discuss among themselves the best ways to improve their sites in ways which will lead to enhanced collaboration. This is already yielding time savings for the Bretton Woods Project and other network members in presenting and circulating information, for example about forthcoming events, and is expected to do so more in the future.
Advice on request The Project receives a large number of requests for contacts, information, documents and strategic advice. These are too many to list, but an indication of their scope is given by the following set of issues and requesters:
• Strategies for monitoring Bank projects at the start of a 15 year WB project on pastoralism (Pastoralism Communications Project, Ethiopia);
• Strategies around the PRSP and Consultative Group processes (Action Aid Bangladesh); • Northern NGO attitudes towards PRSPs (Forum on African Alternatives, Senegal); • European NGO attitudes towards the boycott and ethical investment (World Bank bonds
boycott campaign); • Relevance to private sector of lessons from campaigning on public banks such as IFC (Friends
of the Earth UK). • The IFC and human rights (Just Pensions); • How to advocate on WB re water privatisation (Water Aid); • How to campaign on IMF conditionality (World Development Movement); • IMF/WB trade lobbying opportunities (UK Trade Network); • How the WB and IMF might be targeted by campaigners working to make oil company revenue
payments more transparent. Produced 15 page briefing and spoke at planning meeting (Publish What You Pay campaign); • Organising side meetings for indigenous peoples’ delegates to the Extractive Industries Review meeting in Oxford, April 2000 (Forest Peoples Programme); • How to use country case studies on negative impacts of World Bank nutrition projects. Spoke at planning meeting and gave launch suggestions (Save the Children UK); • Contributed BWI perspective to CCIC paper on trade-related technical assistance;
• UK and other European positions on governance debates (G24 Secretariat) • Topic and speaker ideas for EURODAD annual conference. • Information on trade-finance coherence for meeting in Cancun (Environmental Defense).
The Project frequently gives information or leads to UK officials at their request. Examples include the Treasury on IMF transparency, DFID on voice/governance, the IDA mid-term review and the extractive industries review. BWP also provided official and NGO contacts for Treasury Committee and International Development Committee official trips to Washington.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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6. International meetings The Project is frequently asked to attend international meetings to make presentations, facilitate or participate. The Project decides whether to accept on the basis of what specific contribution we feel we can make which cannot come from others. The audiences vary from Southern government officials, to Northern parliamentarians and worldwide civil society groups. Significant involvement in international meetings includes:
• Two presentations – on World Bank/IMF governance and on PRSPs - at a two day training session for Southern government officials on the World Bank and IMF, organised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research in Geneva, May;
• A presentation – on the IMF in low-income countries - at a joint workshop on Bank/Fund issues at the World Social Forum, Brazil
• Attending and presenting on IFI issues at the European Social Forum, Paris, November;
• At the request of Forum Syd, a Swedish network of development NGOs a Project staff member attended a meeting of Swedish MPs to present options for increasing their scrutiny of their government’s participation in the IFIs, based on other countries’ experiences, Stockholm, June;
• Attending and speaking at UN Financing for Development Roundtable, New York, October;
• Attended and speaking on IMF reform at Global Progressive Forum, Brussels, November;
• Attending, speaking at plenary and organised a workshop at EURODAD annual conference, December, Prague;
• Attending and helping facilitate Extractive Industries Review NGO strategy meeting, Amsterdam, May;
• Facilitating meeting of trade finance coherence working group, Washington DC, April; • Playing an active part in Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline strategy meeting, Washington
DC, April; • Attending and speaking at meeting on UN reform and the role of civil society,
Geneva, June.
Other international work A Project staff member visited Argentina in January 2003 to see the impact of IMF policies and discuss IMF strategies with a representative of the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (Centre for Social and Legal Studies). Follow-up included working with CELS to publicise and gain support for their complaint to the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office concerning IMF pressure to raise utility prices, including a Comment in the Update. The Project was involved in a number of strategy discussions with colleagues at the World Social Forum, including Rede Brasil, the Brazilian network on the Multilateral Development Banks, which is interested in taking forward some joint work on parliamentary scrutiny.
The Project has done leading work to try to build momentum to challenge and reform the governance of the World Bank and IMF. This work has included speaking at a meeting of Bank campaigners in Washington DC to raise the issues and exchange views on possibilities, and close liaison with the G24 secretariat in Washington and with the UK government. Produced, in consultation with NGOs from different regions, a joint statement on World Bank, IMF governance. This attracted 100 signatories from 24 countries. When it obtained two leaked documents (from the US Executive Director and Bank management) the Project also issued a press release on the attempted breakdown of talks on this governance agenda and attracted press coverage. This release was picked up by major newspapers and wires, including the Financial Times and The Guardian and was translated and/or re-issued by five other groups (in Germany, France, The Netherlands, Canada and Uruguay). The Project coordinator spoke alongside a minister in the House of Commons at a meeting on IFI governance at a meeting organised by 2 All Party parliamentary groups.
The Project has also provided close support to Agir Ici, the French NGO which takes the lead in IFI campaigning, in their research on European parliamentary scrutiny of the World Bank and IMF, including by writing a five page analysis of BWP experience with this since 1995, and helping edit the final report.

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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7. Publications

Bretton Woods Update

The Project has initiated a revised format for its Bretton Woods Update bi-monthly newsletter. Based on feedback from the summer 2002 review, we improved the lay-out and varied the content. Many more articles now have boxes with pull-out quotes or further information, making it more visually attractive and easier to retain key information. We have also introduced three new features for each issue. These are:
• Inside the institutions; • Comment pieces from Southern partners; • At Issue 2 page briefings on a current topic.

The ‘Inside the institutions’ pieces provide basic details of how the World Bank or IMF deal with a particular issue. Coverage so far has included the World Bank and trade, the Bank and gender, the IMF and poverty and citizen complaint mechanisms for the World Bank Group. This aims to distil introductory information which is often assumed by core IFI campaigners but not necessarily well-known to the many civil society groups concerned about the IFIs but who do not specialise in them. Where possible statistics, contact information and other useful tips are produced in charts, tables or other visual means.

The Comment pieces are commissioned from contacts in Southern NGOs. They are asked to write 800 words on an important topic. This serves both to highlight work being done by Southern groups and to allow them to put across arguments directly. Comments have been filed so far from Rede Brasil (on the IMF threatening Brazilian democracy), from the Catholic Centre for Justice, Development and Peace, Zambia (on privatisation), from the Centre for Environment and Development, Cameroon (on the Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline), Center for Legal and Social Studies, Argentina (on IMF pressure to raise utility prices).

Comment articles from Southern organisations, 2003

Topic Privatisation, the IMF and accountability
Argentinian groups challenge IMF pressure on utility prices
IMF views on capital account liberalisation
The myths and dangers of PRSPs
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline: who is responsible?

Contributor Mulima Kufekisa Akapelwa, Catholic Centre for Justice, Development and Peace, Zambia Jimena Garrote, CELS, and Ezequiel Nino, legal adviser to the consumer representative, Argentina Men Sta Ana, Action for Economic Reforms, The Philippines Demba Moussa Dembele, Forum des alternatives africaines, Senegal Manana Kochladze, Regional Coordinator for Caucasus CEE Bankwatch Network

The ‘At Issue’ pieces are 2,000 word analyses of a key current topic. As some debates cannot be neatly captured in a standard article this format gives the Project the space to develop arguments more effectively and provide more evidence and justification for our criticisms. As they are distributed with the Update they also reach a broad audience and do not need special attention to distribution. Topics covered so far include:
• the IMF and conditionality; • the World Bank/IMF move to dominate reporting on countries’ development ‘results’; • IMF/World Bank transparency reforms; • IMF/World Bank roles in trade/finance coherence; • World Bank safeguard policies and; • appropriate roles for the IMF in low-income countries.
All of the Comment and At Issue pieces are available at: www.brettonwoodsproject.org/update/

Activity Report 2003, Bretton Woods Project

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Bretton Woods Project funders report