The World Bank discovers power in the power sector - Policy Brief 14


The World Bank’s 2019 report on Rethinking Power Sector Reform recognises that many of the key challenges in power sector reform result from the political economy of the sector.

Barnett and McCulloch state that the report is weak in four areas:

  1. On corruption – which it treats as a local problem rather than as a systemic issue linked to countries’ political settlement;
  2. On the political economy of donors – and how this can sometimes make reform more difficult;
  3. On the impact of new technology – and how disruptive technologies can change local political incentives;
  4. On how to Think and Work Politically in the power sector – the report gives little guidance on how to move beyond the focus on supply-side reforms.

This Policy Brief makes recommendation to the World Bank and other development partners on how these could be tackled.