6 thoughts on ““Who do you think should win?”

  1. Over the years, development has been driven by donors and this has led to less result due to the limited inputs from the beneficiaries. There is an opportunity to have the beneficiary knowledge and representation at the helms of the Brettonwood institution. With an insider and outsider like Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, she will be a good choice.

  2. Guardian readers seem to be quite similar in view to the readers of this site. The worldbankpresident.org poll – currently puts Jose Antonio Ocampo in the clear lead with 61%. Vote on the home page of the blog!

    Guardian readers seem a bit more evenly divided between Ocampo at 46% and Okonjo-Iweala at 41%. Could reflect the readership: Guardian readers are generally left of centre UK citizens (thought with a significant minority of left of centre urban elites in the US).

    Regular Worldbankpresident.org’s readers seem to have a few consituencies: World Bank staff, NGO staff, and academics probably being highest among them. (I’m discounting the large number of Indonesians that visited in the first few weeks to show support for Sri Mulyani Indrawati – they seem to have largely dissappeared.) Might be worth considering that Bank staff, NGO staff and academics as a group seem to have common wisdom in favour of Ocampo…

    • I doubt that any of the subsets are particularly representative of opinion, each starting from different levels of information about the candidates (first-hand, paper CV, publication list, public record, word-of-mouth, press buzz, internet opinion, etc.). As for any international job, there are different perspectives on what the job is and how it is done well.

      What is interesting is that, in all the fractious disagreement and impugning going on, there is agreement that the Bank needs a new direction, in a new world. Doing what the Bank does, but better; doing what comes next in a new way; ‘rebalancing’ both products and governance to reflect a world that’s changed enormously since 1944, since 1989, and since 2001.

      What is surprising is that the arguments over process have not focused on what we expect to go on behind closed doors. Does ‘consensus’ mean among the 25 board members? Does it mean among the owners? Are there leaders in the board who can be expected behind closed doors to behave with the Bank’s interest in mind, while others will vote purely their own constituency’s (whatever that is)? Will precedent, habit, sentimentalism or political correctness rule?

      And what are we to gather from the comportment of the candidates? Ngozi has run a fairly public and attention-grabbing campaign, catapulted into everyone’s Google searches by the European press. Kim has played it as if he were making the rounds before a US confirmation hearing (including private meetings with some World Bank executive directors), with his access to the press forbidden by Treasury, even though for the Bank the pre-appointment process ends not in a public hearing with press, a transcript and C-SPAN, but in a private interview behind closed doors. Many economists’ choice, Ocampo has been largely silent, except to say that Ngozi would be better than Kim. She has returned his compliment.

      Everyone also agrees that this should be the last time for nominations only from governments, and that five years from now the Bank needs to do what anyone hiring a CEO does: define the job and what’s needed, invite applications, and hire a headhunter to help evaluate a more understood selection process map the candidates against the needs of the organization at that time. A CEO appointment is not a political office, but the formal public exposure before selection needs to reach at least the level of information and transparency the IMF has already sanctioned.

      Whoever is appointed, the new World Bank president has to work with the owners to define how the successor is picked, or how a potential second term is authorized. University and corporate reappointment protocol and practice need to be looked at, if only to avoid the hurly-burly now going on at EBRD, where a well-performing president is competing for reappointment on what now appear to be largely passport- and spoils-driven exercise that certainly isn’t open, transparent, or merit-based by any stretch of the imagination.

      At the World Bank, that needs to be part of a larger governance conversation about shareholding, and whether a 25-person, full-time resident board serves the needs of the Bank, its owners, its stakeholders, and the broader global development agenda.

      The appointment is not the end, but beginning of a journey to bring the World Bank into a new Century. Beyond three well-qualified candidates’ resumes and opinions, the Bank’s owners must find someone who will know what role to play in that process, with the temperament to pull it off.

    • Just remember that online polls are NOT credible at all. You can wage a campaign to vote for your country’s candidate as we saw in the case of Sri Mulyani by Indonesians and now Ocampo by Latin Americans.

      • I hate to point the obvious but I must. Latin America is not a country and Professor Ocampo is not the candidate of Colombia. He is receiving the support of many countries, developped and emerging, expressed via letters with amazing signatories from all over the world. To some online polls are not completely credible but the fact that he is winning both, is an indication of how people see the candidates, and I doubt that you can coordinate a whole region to vote for one candidate. Let’s not take merit away as by far, Ocampo is the most prepared of the candidates to lead the World Bank. The support behind him shows it.

  3. Jose Antonio Ocampo has by far more policy making, technical and diplomatic experience and skills than the other two candidates. As many observers and serious economists have commented, if the decision is based on true merits and capabilities due the demands and challenges of the job, Jose Antonio Ocampo should be the next president of the World Bank.

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