Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Extracting The Michael

I was grabbed by another of those "we commissioned an independent report on ourselves and it says we're great" releases today. This one's from the International Finance Corporation, the arm of the World Bank dedicated to the use of private finance in development. Just that little mission statement gives you an idea of the amount of hating that the NGOs get in against it. It also provides a useful home for talented graduates, or retired businessmen/pols, from less-developed countries.

So, the IFC realises that its standard argument - that private capital, and big infrastructure projects, improve lives - has not convinced many people. So, instead of just saying "everyone that hates development go and live in the scrub for eternity without the internet" (which is tempting, if rather symplistic), it decides to commission a report about how well it is doing in financing oil and gas a mining projects. The report is written by a former Indonesian Mining minister. Riiiiiiiiight....

Look, time to realise that these reports rarely improve an organisation's culture, and have little PR value. The only reports that I've seen that are hugely savage about the subject/client have been ones about grave crimes that happened decades ago. rather like Bertlelsmann's holocaust report. Fifty years seems to be the earliest these things become useful.

Also, check the newest Seal Blog out. Gringcorp has set it up to counter lies about seals in the media.


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