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Global Development Network Goes Independent

July 30, 2001 The now fully independent Global Development Network (GDN) was launched last week at an opening ceremony attended by World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn.

The GDN started out as a World Bank initiative in 1999 with the primary objectives of supporting the generation and sharing of knowledge for development and helping to bridge the gap between the development of ideas and their practical implementation. The premise of the GDN is that their achievement requires strengthening the capacity of research and policy institutions to undertake high-quality, policy-relevant research and to move research results into the policy debates, at both national and global levels.

During GDN's second annual conference in Tokyo last year, an internationally elected governing body voted to establish GDN as a fully independent non-profit organization. Wolfensohn and others pledged support for GDN as it moved towards independence. Immediately after the Tokyo meeting, the Bank's GDN secretariat began the implementation process. Last March, GDN became a legally independent entity, and this month the move outside of the World Bank took place.

"The research community in the developing world will truly commend the World Bank for its courage and vision in encouraging GDN's move to independence while simultaneously continuing its financial support," said GDN Director Lyn Squire.

In a letter to the newly independent organization, Lal Jayawardena, a former advisor to the President of Sri Lanka and the Chairman of GDN's governing body, expressed that group's commitment to the newly independent organization. He expressed confidence over GDN's future role in engaging research institutes: "It is not an easy road, but the initial steps are promising. GDN's foundations are well laid, not only in their physical manifestation that you are celebrating today but, more importantly, in their human dimension throughout the research community of the developing world."

Useful links: For more on the Global Development Network (GDN), go to

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