From the forces shaping climate finance to the leading lights in philanthropy

As China’s Belt and Road Initiative faces growing international scrutiny as observers and economists question both China’s motivations and the terms they’re offering, attention is turning to the World Bank’s role in the Initiative since the organisation signed on as a partner 18 months ago.

Related: Africa cancels a Belt and Road Initiative project for the first time


Reports from the Green Climate Fund Board Meeting in Bahrain last month suggest the Fund has recovered from turmoil of the summer which saw the last board meeting to breakdown over funding casting doubt over the Fund’s long-term viability. The meeting saw the fund kick-start a process to replenish its finances and approve over USD $1 Billion worth of projects.


The first Chinese bid for finance from the Green Climate Fund was vetoed by the fund’s US Board Member Mathew Haarsager, a US treasury official. He and Japan’s Board Member Hiroshi Matsuura raised concerns about accountability over China’s request for a USD $100 Million loan for Green Development in Shandong Province. Some observers view the US’s veto of China’s bid as an extension of the ongoing Trade War between the two countries.


Yongping Zhai, chief of the Asian Development Bank’s Energy Sector Group, has written an editorial outlining the Bank’s commitment to investing in clean energy while defending the Bank’s investments in fossil fuel based power sources as necessary to help countries bridge the power generation gap as they convert their energy infrastructure to clean sources.


The African Development Bank has approved the Africa Disaster Risks Financing (ADRiFi) Programme, its first climate risk management programme to assist regional member countries ‘to evaluate climate-related risks and costs, respond to disasters and review adaptation measures at both national and sub-national levels’. Nine countries have already expressed interest in participating in the programme.

Related: Development Bank Southern Africa Starts Climate Finance Facility


Germany has published a new strategy paper outlining plans to tighten up aid conditions for developing countries in an attempt to combat corruption and safeguard human rights. Critics of the plan have called it ‘neo-colonialist’ and questioned the approach Development Minister Gerd Müller has outlined.

Related: Donors agree to new rules on untied aid and eligibility


Tana Johnson, an Assistant Professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, outlines three changes that are driving the conditions international development institutions face today: proliferation, pressure for performance, and a need for partnerships.


Richtopia, a London-based publication with a focus on humanitarian goals, has published a list of the 100 Most Influential Philanthropists in the World.


As 29 of the world’s largest philanthropic institutions commit to spending USD $4 Billion over the next five years to combat climate change, Morten Wendelbo, a Research Fellow at American University, assesses the options available to these foundations to make the best use of these funds.

Related: We Have to Save the Planet. So I’m Donating $1 Billion.


An interview with Rockefeller Foundation President Rajiv Shah on the foundation’s ‘new areas of focus, its increased emphasis on data and collaboration, and ways to draw more commercial investment to international development priorities.’


A look at some of the ways data science is being used in the global development sector.


Global Wildlife Populations have fallen by 60% since 1970 according to a new report published by the World Wildlife Fund. The group is calling on world leaders to come together to draft an international treaty, modeled on the Paris Climate Agreement, to protect wildlife and reverse human impacts on nature warning that current efforts to protect the natural world are not keeping up with the speed of manmade destruction.

Related: Wait, Have We Really Wiped Out 60 Percent of Animals?