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By Robert Buckley

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Private investors will give even greater scrutiny to the country and institutional conditions that allow entry to global financial markets. That is why development effectiveness requires a perspective that goes beyond country-level concerns, especially for small countries. Particularly important for the external environment are donor efforts to bolster financial systems and to help restore the confidence that is needed for the capital flows vital to restart growth. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) now lead in the provision of information on regional and global trendscertain to be an important global public good.

Unlike the debt crisis of the 1980s, the present financial crisis started in countries with relatively strong fiscal situations, sound monetary policies, and outward-oriented trade regimes. When the crisis hit, government budgets in most crisis-affected countries were balanced or moving into surplus, inflation was contained, interest rates were going down, and recorded unemployment was low. Institutions matter The crisis showed just how costly weaknesses in institutions can be-especially in the financial and social sectors.

Quarante pour cent seulement des projets soutenus par la Banque ont un impact Page xi An analysis of 41 low-income countries shows that only one was rated satisfactory on institutional quality. Only 40 percent of Bank-supported projects have substantial impact on institutional development; civil service reforms undertaken as components of structural adjustment loans have mixed outcomes; and public sector management projects, while improving, have historically performed below the Bank average. An OED evaluation showed that Bank-supported financial sector projects had satisfactory and sustained outcomes in just 50 percent of countries.

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