World Bank Group

Reports, briefs, and media around the activities of the World Bank. You can also learn more about the Our Land Our Business campaign by clicking here.

Publications

Driving Dispossession report cover

Driving Dispossession

Driving Dispossession: The Global Push to “Unlock the Economic Potential of Land,” sounds the alarm on the unprecedented wave of privatization of natural resources that is underway around the world. Through six case studies—Ukraine, Zambia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, and Brazil—the report details the myriad ways by which governments—willingly or under the pressure of financial institutions and Western...

Highest Bidder report cover

The Highest Bidder Takes It All: The World Bank’s Scheme to Privatize the Commons

The Highest Bidder Takes It All: The World Bank’s Scheme to Privatize the Commons details how the Bank’s prescribes reforms, via a new land indicator in the Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA) project, promotes large-scale land acquisitions and the expansion of agribusinesses in the developing world. This new indicator is now a key element of the larger EBA project, which dictates pro-business reforms that governments should...

Report cover: Rainforest Action Network, CC BY-NC 2.0

Indonesia: The World Bank's Failed East Asian Miracle

Indonesia: The World Bank's Failed East Asian Miracle details how Bank-backed policy reforms have led to the displacement, criminalization, and even murder of smallholder farmers and indigenous defenders to make way for mega-agricultural projects. While Indonesia's rapidly expanding palm oil sector has been heralded as a boon for the economy, its price tag includes massive deforestation, widespread loss of indigenous land, rapidly increasing...

Report Cover, © Sapana Jaiswal, People's Archive of Rural India

The Great Ventriloquist Act: The World Bank's Bad Business in India

The Great Ventriloquist Act: The World Bank's Bad Business in India exposes how India's one-track focus on improving its DBR has allowed massive environmental, labor, and human rights abuses to take place. Most appalling is the case of Vedanta Resources Plc, a company that benefitted from the removal of environmental safeguards and was able to operate a damaging copper smelter within the city limits of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu--a mere 8.4 miles...

A Death Knell for the EBA, brief cover

A Death Knell for the EBA: Why the World Bank Must End its Ranking Programs Now

A new brief by the Oakland Institute urges member states to deliver the final blow to the Bank’s ranking programs—the Doing Business Report (DBR) and Enabling the Business of Agriculture (EBA). The DBR and EBA face a growing crisis of legitimacy and confidence. Since last year, two anchor donors have ceased funding the EBA; in January 2018, former World Bank Chief Economist Paul Romer resigned after exposing politically motivated...

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Blog

USAID project mapping and titling land in Petauke, Zambia in July 2018. Photo: Sandra Coburn

Land Unchained?

Wednesday, September 16, 2020 Andy Currier

Shifting land registries onto blockchain is a part of the broader move to "unlock the economic potential of land" in order to put more land and natural resources into exploitation by private interests.

Maungdaw, Myanmar - Farm laborers and livestock in a paddy field. Image: FAO / Hkun La

New Laws Threaten Family Farmers and Ethnic Communities in Myanmar

Tuesday, August 25, 2020 Katherine O'Neill

The VFV Law, the Farmland Act, and the LAAR Law are designed to encourage the legal takeover of lands that millions of farmers and Indigenous people rely on for their livelihoods. The three laws are a potent combination which ensure that the practice of land grabbing – widespread in Myanmar under its previous military dictatorship – can continue, now concealed by false promises of 'economic development.'

Sigiriya fortress in the northern Matale District. Photo: The Oakland Institute

Land Privatization: Why Sri Lanka Must Reject the MCC Compact

Monday, August 17, 2020 Janhavi Mittal

A recent report by the Oakland Institute examines the MCC compact with Sri Lanka and raises alarm over the irreversible consequences of embarking on land privatization – when most of the land is public in the country.

Kenyan tea farm. Photo: Samuel Phillips

World Bank's COVID-19 Assistance to Kenya Benefits Multinational Agribusiness and Agrochemical Firms

Thursday, July 2, 2020 Frederic Mousseau and Andy Currier

Despite the unprecedented nature of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Bank continues to drive "private sector solutions to development" under the faulty assumption that catering to multinational companies will trickle down and benefit all.

Community volunteers from Chllla Khadar. Image: Vikram Singh/ Basti Suraksha Manch

Conditional Loans, Uncontrolled Misery: Doing Business in India in the Times of Corona

Monday, June 22, 2020 Janhavi Mittal

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought up the specter of the Indian partition as the country continues to witness the misery of large–scale human migration on foot and in deathly trains . However, the divide that emerges is not of two nation states but a widening gulf between India’s elite and millions of its second-class citizens—poor, toiling migrant workers. In the midst of this crisis, at a press conference on May 17, 2020,...

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Documentation and Contracts