MATT WARNER

NEWS + ANALYSIS

THE DIMINISHING ROLE OF THE WORLD BANK: HOW LOCAL THINK TANKS ARE LEADING THE POVERTY FIGHT

February 7, 2019 | by Matt Warner

News that the World Bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, is calling it quits to join the private sector has heightened the debate over what to do about foreign aid inefficacy. Kim made clear in an email to staff that, in his view, the “massive development finance gap” in low-income countries is best addressed by private investment. Kim’s likely successor, David Malpass, shares this view and has gone on record describing the World Bank’s financing approach as outdated due to increases in private capital available to developing countries.

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CAN THINK TANKS SUCCEED WHERE FOREIGN AID HAS FAILED?

January 25, 2019 | by Matt Warner

In Ruhiira, Uganda, an international aid project once offered villagers $300,000 to grow maize instead of matoke, a banana-like starch. Maize, the aid experts reasoned, was better to farm because it is nutritious, drought-resistant, and produces high yields. The experts were right. At harvest time, the villagers found themselves with a bumper crop of 3,840 tons of maize.

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CHOOSING A BIGGER POND: WHY NONPROFIT LEADERS NEED A GLOBAL NETWORK

August 10, 2018 | by Matt Warner

Without profit motive, can nonprofit leaders be as innovative and successful as their profit-seeking counterparts? As it turns out, there’s a type of motivation that transcends the drive for profit and it can influence the behavior of nonprofit leaders towards improving results as well. It’s called social comparison—and research shows it can be even more powerful than money.

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GETTING BEYOND THE NONPROFIT PLATEAU: START WITH A TEAM PERFORMANCE TUNE-UP

June 22, 2018 | by Matt Warner

Good teams can hit a wall. Despite talented people and no shortage of hard work, sometimes the rate at which results have been eclipsing previous benchmarks starts to slow down. Sound familiar? I’m talking about the puzzling plateau that frustrates not because anything is really going wrong. It’s because the level of success has remained stubbornly bounded by some imaginary wall.

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OVERCOMING THE OUTSIDER’S DILEMMA: CAN PHILANTHROPISTS HELP THE DEVELOPING WORLD?

September 6, 2017 | by Matt Warner

Today’s top-down, economic development aid model is unavoidably flawed. The nature of economic development requires idiosyncratic solutions that can’t be successfully designed or administered by outsiders. Instead, locally grown solutions aimed at transforming the institutional environment in favor of market growth, primarily through securing economic rights for the poor, represent the best chance for accelerating the pace of poverty alleviation throughout the world. For outsiders, this represents a serious dilemma. Is there a way to help without interfering? A new strategy offered by Atlas Network successfully combines the resources of philanthropy with the locally grown research and advocacy agenda of independent, market-oriented think tanks working to strengthen the institutions that foster growth for the world’s poor. Benchmarking their efforts to global indices like the “Doing Business” report published by the World Bank, those think tanks are making measurable progress. The results are significant.

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