Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Visualizing Uncertainties, or how Albert Hirschman and the World Bank disagreed on project appraisal and development approaches

Contents:

Author Info

  • Alacevich, Michele
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    Since its birth in 1944, the World Bank has had a strong focus on development projects. Yet, it did not have a project evaluation unit until the early 1970s. An early attempt to conceptualize project appraisal had been made in the 1960s by Albert Hirschman, whose undertaking raised high expectations at the Bank. Hirschman's conclusions -- published first in internal Bank reports and then, as a book in 1967 -- disappointed many at the Bank, primarily because they found it impractical. Hirschman wanted to offer the Bank a new vision by transforming the Bank's approach to project design, project management and project appraisal. What the Bank expected from Hirschman, HOWEVER, was not a revolution but an examination of the Bank's projects and advice on how to make project design and management more measurable, controllable, and suitable for replication. The history of this failed collaboration provides useful insights on the unstable equilibrium between operations and evaluation within the Bank. In addition, it shows that the Bank actively participated in the development economics debates of the 1960s. This should be of interest for development economists today who reflect on the future of their discipline emphasizing the need for a non-dogmatic approach to development. It should also be of interest for the Bank itself, which is stressing the importance of evaluation for effective development policies. The history of the practice of development economics, using archival material, can bring new perspectives and help better understand the evolution of this discipline.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2012/11/06/000158349_20121106104205/Rendered/PDF/wps6260.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6260.

    as in new window
    Length:
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6260

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords: Banks&Banking Reform; Public Sector Corruption&Anticorruption Measures; Corporate Law; Development Economics&Aid Effectiveness; Economic Theory&Research;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6260. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.