Jim Adams delivered the 2013 Harold Mitchell Development Policy Lecture on November 14, 2013. The Harold Mitchell Development Policy Lecture Series, of which this is the second, has been created to provide a new forum at which the most pressing development issues can be addressed by the best minds and most influential practitioners of our time. The 2012 Harold Mitchell Development Policy Lecture was delivered by Emilia Pires and is available as Devpolicy Discussion Paper 26.
Jim Adams retired in 2012 after 37 years at the World Bank. His last assignment was as the Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific from 2007 – 2012, where he worked on and travelled extensively in the Pacific island region. He spent almost half of his career working on Africa, leading the Bank’s program as the Regional Director in Kenya in the late 1980s and as Country Director in Tanzania and Uganda from 1995-2002. From 2002 to 2007 he served as the head of operational policy in the Bank, overseeing a program directed at making the Bank more responsive to its clients’ needs. In his lecture Jim focuses on how effective economic reform emerged in Africa and related institutional and capacity issues. Drawing on this and his Pacific experience, he puts forward a number of proposals that could be taken up by governments and aid donors in the Pacific to accelerate economic reform and support the emergence of improved government institutions and policy making capacity.