What’s the campaign about and why you should join us!
Suspension of the publication of the Doing Business Report (DBR) in August 2020 for data irregularities has revived criticisms to the instrument. Publication is expected to resume in 2021 but a new external panel has been tasked with reviewing the methodology once again (final report expected mid-June 2021). After 17 years driving economic policy and regulatory reforms including corporate income tax cuts and the reduction of worker rights and social protection benefits, the World Bank finally suspended its harmful business climate ranking due to “a number of irregularities.”
For too long, the Doing Business Report has encouraged policies that have worsened inequalities, including deregulations which exacerbated the global gender and racial division of labour, eroded labour protections and domestic resource mobilisation capacity, suppressed domestic aggregate demand and economic diversification and thus strained the legitimacy of state institutions. As the African continent struggles to respond to and recover from the health and economic crises triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the consequences of the deregulatory race-to-the-bottom incentivised by the Doing Business Report and its world rankings have become painfully evident.
As UNCTAD’s latest Trade and Development Report stresses, a just recovery will require that the world addresses a key weak aspect of the development paradigm: “Mainstream economic analysis has contributed to the lack of preparedness of policymakers by promoting the wrong notion of resilience – one focused on doing business and foreign investors, rather than good jobs and income security – with an attendant narrowing of the aims and objectives of economic policy.”
What are we doing to make this happen?
To influence the World Bank, we will be adopting an insider/outsider approach: on one side we will continue to gather evidence to ‘name and shame’ the DBR and its harmful impact, trying to leverage the reputational risk that comes with adopting it as flagship product; on the other side we will engage in a policy conversation with the World Bank in demonstrating that better alternatives exist.