Although the quest for growth remains as elusive as it was more than a decade ago, there is now much greater consensus on the policies and institutional changes that are needed to foster growth and economic development. But debate continues on the timing, sequencing, and local adaptation of these reforms. Furthermore, although the benefits of reform are well documented--the reasons as to why and when reforms occur still remain somewhat unclear. Many countries go through long periods of stagnation or even decline, without being able to create an environment for change, while others seem able to break the hold of vested interests and start following paths of reform.In October 2004, the Operations Evaluation Department (OED) of the World Bank held a conference on the Effectiveness of Policies and Reform. This event provided a forum at which participants--over 500 government officials, civil society representatives, and World Bank staff--could discuss how to improve the effectiveness of World Bank support for development policies and reform programs.Included in this volume are the contributions of distinguished development practitioners on issues such as: the links between good performance and policy change; how windows of opportunity can best be used to promote reform; how ownership of policies and reform programs can be encouraged; and how developed country policies can be improved to create a better global environment for development.