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Jim Yong Kim, Tony Blair and Michael Barber discuss the role of government in creating change

On Wednesday, 10 April: World Bank President Jim Yong Kim joined Tony Blair and Michael Barber, the former head of the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit, to discuss the importance of governments' capacity to implement programs for the delivery of real change for people in the developing world.

Jim Yong Kim emphasised how the science of delivery needs to be at the heart of the World Bank’s approach to development while Tony Blair talked about delivering reforms in often challenging bureaucratic environments.

When looking at how to achieve real, sustainable change both Tony Blair and Michael Barber cited their experiences in the UK, focussing on the crucial importance of prioritisation and the need to ensure adequate mechanisms are in place to make change happen even in the unpredictable world of government.

Jim Yong Kim went on to talk of the need for the World Bank to find ways of speeding up their projects and impact and how systemetising delivery can help achieve this. Tony Blair also argued that the World Bank could play a crucial and unique role in supporting innovation and capacity building in the developing world, especially in areas like education and healthcare.

On the challenge of delivery in government globally Tony Blair noted that today the lessons of governance are both well-known and also transferable. The good news for leaders, he said, was that successful models of delivery can be applied just about everywhere.


In a follow-up event with World Bank staff AGI Director of Strategy and Development Andy Ratcliffe spoke about the specific role the Africa Governance Initiative plays in supporting several African leaders in delivering change. Speaking at the event he underlined the fact that AGI isn’t just 'doing delivery' it is supporting government to do it themselves. Speaking of AGI's role he went on to say that "we think it’s important to ask the right questions.  To have good diagnostics that prompt the right kind of discussions and decisions, but we don’t have all the answers."

 Watch USA Today’s Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page interviewing Tony Blair at the World Bank after the event where he is asked about delivery and government in the developing world.