Making sense of ‘developmentspeak’

Macroprudential regulation is supposed to deal with two major issues: the procyclicality of the financial system, and systemic risk and moral hazard caused by systemically important financial institutions that are considered “too big to fail”. To address procyclicality, the Basel Committee has proposed, beginning with large and connected financial firms, building up additional countercyclical buffers through a combination of countercyclical capital charges, forward-looking provisioning and capital conservation measures. These buffers should be built up in good times and run down in bad, allowing the financial system to absorb emerging strains more easily and dampen amplification mechanisms.*

*An example of developmentspeak taken from UN Secretary General’s Report to the General Assembly on international financial system and development 2010

The language behind international development discussion and debate is notoriously full of jargon.  To assist the process, the BBC World Service Trust has compiled a brief clickable index of terms that appear frequently at all levels – local, national and international.

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The terms in Guide to Development Speak are listed alphabetically, so just click on any letter for an explanation.

There are also guides on climate change at and on migration at