Inter-American Development Bank

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27 days ago

Private Finance - Operations Senior Specialist

Inter-American Development Bank Washington, DC

RMG is seeking a talented and experienced professional to support the implementation of industry best practices in terms of corporate governance… CareerBuilder

Inter-American Development Bank Reviews

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57 Reviews
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Luis Alberto Moreno
25 Ratings
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    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC
    Current Employee - Consultant in Washington, DC

    I have been working at Inter-American Development Bank full-time (more than an year)


    -Opportunity to travel and get involved in projects
    - Many different sectors and divisions and opportunity to move around
    -Readily accessible funds to move projects forward
    - Great place to network within governments and private sector because of the access provided


    RACIAL DIVISION: The Bank is the only place that I have worked that goes out of it's way to recreate the very same inequality that it is supposedly trying to rectify. There is a racial and class hierarchy at the Bank and cronyism is a large issue- just like in Latin America and the Caribbean. Although LAC is one of the most diverse regions in the world, the Bank is staffed almost completely by Europeans and elite Latinos who can trace their lineage back to some small Spanish village (and will be happy to let you know which one). For example, although Brazil has the largest population of people of Afro-descent outside of Africa and the majority of Caribbean people of Afro-descent are English speakers, many jobs are only advertised in Spanish and its "diversity" initiative is superficial at best, making it difficult for non-white Latinos to get hired and stay. People of indigenous descent are practically nonexistent in the Bank, finishing off what Columbus couldn't do by erasing them from policy and project implementation that largely impact their communities. Furthermore, all the security guards are black men and the cleaning staff are mestizo women...just like Latin America!
    -Because the Bank doesn't abide by US labor laws and the Latinos are charged with policing themselves, reporting unfair treatment has very little impact; thus, creating a culture of impunity towards racism, machismo, and labor abuses.
    Even if a black or brown person gets a job at the Bank, it is often as a consultant. Additionally, non-Spanish speakers are made to feel uncomfortable and undervalued b/c many meetings are held in Spanish only and documents are printed in Spanish, even for Caribbean countries. As a non-Spanish speaker, your opportunities can be limited and the Bank makes no real effort to seek or retain talented minorities.
    CLASSISM: - The staff vs. consultant divide also creates a lot of tension in the Bank. In a previous review, the reviewer refers to "low-grade consultants", this should tell you all you need to know about the perception and treatment of consultants. In order to not have to give everyone full benefits (like sick leave), 80% of the people on the plantation-oops, I mean in the Bank- are consultants. As a consultant, you get treated like a second class citizen and often have your job threatened (especially if you are on a G4 visa) as a way to get more work out of you. Because there is an arbitrary ceiling on how many staff positions are available at the Bank, one can work for years as a consultant without the opportunity to advance to a staff position, making it necessary to simply leave the Bank and take all your knowledge with you if you seek meaningful growth in your career. Perhaps what is worse is the emphasis that is placed on dividing consultants from staff, even your ID color is different. an example: After I had been here almost a year, I had to give up desk in a shared office when a new staff person was hired b/c staff get priority seating. The "separate but equal" tactics of the IDB are likened back to pre-Civil rights America.
     CRONYISM: Rarely are jobs advertised, to get a job at the Bank, you need to know someone that can advocate for you and get you in front of the right people. Applying online is almost always a waste of your time.
    -PROJECT CYCLES: There is an overwhelming push to simply get money out of the door. Thus, many badly planned and badly managed projects get approved. The project cycle makes it more important to get a project approved than to successfully implement a development project with positive impacts on the people in developing countries. There is not a serious dedication to M&E at the Bank. Thus, this is the place where creative and innovative approaches to development go to die a slow, painful death.
    WORK LIFE BALANCE: WLB can be difficult with the amount of travel that you do.
    Overall, the IDB is a place that you build your resume and then leave if you care about treating people like equals an fairness in a work place, or about innovate approaches to sustainable development that engage and empower local communities to get out of poverty. If you are more concerned with maintaining a good salary even while millions get wasted on poorly designed "development" projects, this is a the place for you!

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