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At the Crossroads: Which Way Now for the World Bank’s Transport strategy?

The Bretton Woods Project recently published a brief by Public World Director Brendan Martin likening the World Bank’s new transport strategy to a British train ‘running late with no public announcement as to the delay’.

The brief points to internal restructuring and the need for the Bank to reflect on the recent report by the Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) as key reasons behind the delay. It notes that the IEG report is hinting towards significant changes in the bank’s transport approach, for example a shift in emphasis towards the integration of transport services, a greater focus on safety, and the need for innovative multi-sectoral approaches.

Martin goes on to question how the Bank can reconcile this approach with its overarching commitment to re-shape transport to facilitate global trade and suggests that a robust appraisal of the relationships between trade, growth and poverty eradication would be appropriate in the context of the continued development of the new transport strategy.

Overall the brief is asking for better (i.e broader and more representative) public consultation for the new strategy and also makes a welcome call for civil society groups that are interested in the work of the Bank to pay more attention to the impact of transport on social and economic development.

For the full brief as a downloadable pdf click here:

For the full brief online click here:

The IEG Report:

The author welcomes enquiries to: bmartin[at]  


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