India’s village schools improved as the country booms, with the country now boasting a literacy rate of over 70%, up from 48% in 1991. But Shanti Bhavan’s boosters say it’s of an entirely different caliber. That’s because the school doesn’t just teach arithmetic and the alphabet, but also life skills ranging from eating with a spoon and fork and to using an indoor toilet. “There’s a lot of people involved in bringing these kids up,” says Roth. “They spend a lot of time focusing on building the whole person, teaching them to be good people to themselves and each other.”
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has enjoyed considerable success in its young life. The challenge going forward is to translate this resounding political success into operational effectiveness and sound strategy. Given the political dimensions of this new institution, it is also worth considering what it will mean for other MDBs like the World Bank and the ADB. There are large questions of political leadership in the multilateral “system” but also an array of issues on which the AIIB could help shape a new system-wide approach, whether defined by some division of labor among the MDBs or by introducing institutional innovations.