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March 12 , 2009

Conditionality Revisited


"Why revisit conditionality? The tension between country ownership and conditionality emerged as a central issue in the debates about policy-based lending. Over the past quarter century, the development community has learned from the experience with policy-based lending around the world. Among the most important lessons are that conditionality cannot substitute ownership. The approach to conditionality has shifted away from the old model of the 1980s, but has not yet settled on a new one. While there is now generally more recognition of the importance of ownership, a stronger focus on development results and greater selectivity based on country performance, there are still different views and approaches among the international financial institutions, bilateral development partners, recipient governments, and critical observers. Conditionality Revisited takes stock of recent experience with these new approaches to conditionality over the last few years, and discusses a number of key questions. Is there still a useful role for conditionality? What is the right balance between ownership and conditionality? How has conditionality changed with the streamlining efforts of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund? How has the content and focus of conditionality evolved? What has been the experience with different types of conditionality, and do they matter-be it ex-ante, programmatic, process-oriented, or outcome-based conditionality? How can we make partnerships in conditionality more effective? This volume of contributions by authors from a wide variety of backgrounds aims to make a contribution to the ongoing debate on development effectiveness and the future shape of conditionality. "
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