In January 1999, World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn
circulated a proposal for a "Comprehensive Development Framework"
(CDF) to World Bank personnel. Building upon Wolfensohn's previous
policy statements, as well as consultative meetings held worldwide
with various international development actors, the CDF calls for a new
"holistic approach to development."
It seeks a better balance in policymaking by highlighting the
interdependence of all elements of development-social,
structural, human, governance, environmental, economic, and
financial. It emphasizes partnerships among governments,
donors, civil society, the private sector, and other development
actors. Perhaps most important, [it puts] the country.., in the
lead, both "owning" and directing the development agenda, with
the Bank and other partners each defining their support for
their respective plans.
This New Development examines the CDF and its implications for
international development. Specifically, using microdevelopment
theory, including micro-law and development theory, it analyzes the
CDF and compares it to the Bank's previous approaches to
development. On its face, the CDF appears to give the poorest of the
poor more of a voice in formulating their countries' development
policies. Examination of the implementation of the CDF in several pilot
countries, however, reveals that it is most often being used as a tool to
improve relationships between those countries' governments and
international development donors; the voices of those countries' citizens
in poverty, as well as other elements of civil society, are largely being
ignored. According to micro-law and development theory, unless
countries pay attention to civil society, especially the poorest of the
poor, development policy is doomed to fail. To that end, this New
Development encourages civil society, and especially non-governmental
organizations that represent the poor, to use the CDF as a means of
getting to the table and assuming their appropriate place as full
participants in the formulation of development policy.
Richard C. Blake,
The World Bank's Draft Comprehensive Development Framework and the Micro-Paradigm of Law and Development,
Yale Hum. Rts. & Dev. L.J.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yhrdlj/vol3/iss1/4