This paper reviews the development experience since the 1980's and finds room for guarded optimism about what we can learn from it. Firstly, a global consensus is emerging on the need for macro-economic stability through prudent fiscal, monetary and foreign exchange policies. However, at the micro or structural level, while governments need to decentralize their decision-making authority more fully than they have thus far, in reaction to the recent reappraisal of the East Asian model there is some danger that development policy will swing too far in rejecting liberalization and returning to government intervention. Secondly, the paper points out that, while there exists a well-recognized causal nexus between exports and growth, the reverse causation also holds, i.e. domestic growth patterns conditioned by education and R&D expenditures and policies determine whether or not a country can take full advantage of existing export opportunities. Finally, although fast-disbursing policy-based loans have not been as successful as they could be, largely because of the World Bank's chosen modus operandi, they represent potentially highly effective instruments that should not be abandoned. Rather, the Bank should help render such loans more fully "owned" by recipients, replace country-specific lending quotas by aid ballooning related to carefully worked out reform packages, and develop a better division of labor with other multilateral and bilateral donors.