Transparency for accountability: civil-society monitoring of Multilateral Development Bank anti-poverty projects

It is noted that while multilateral development banks (MDBs) have significantly increased their lending for 'targeted' anti-poverty projects since the early 1990s, there are few systematic, independent, field-based assessments of their effectiveness; as such monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is necessary to provide feedback to development decision-makers and stakeholders regarding what kinds of anti-poverty programme work and why. Pro-accountability actors in civil society in both donor countries and developing countries share a common interest in greater transparency as a path towards greater accountability and more effective MDB anti-poverty investments. Issues discussed are: bringing in civil society; learning from below; building networks; producing reliable generalizations; building credibility both above and below; making findings public; institution building; and cost effectiveness. This article is freely available as a chapter in Development and Social Action.