Owen Barder on Newsnight
This is the website of Owen Barder, a development economist. Owen is Senior Fellow and Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development, and an Associate of the Institute for Government. Owen was a civil servant for a quarter of a century, working in Number 10, the Treasury and the Department for International Development. Owen hosts the Development Drums podcast, and is the author Running for Fitness, the book and website. Owen was a London 2012 Gamesmaker.

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More "Mother of Parliaments" pedantry

July 8th, 2014

More pedantry on "the mother of Parliaments"

The rules of the road

The rules of the road

June 20th, 2014

General rant about the ignorance of car drivers.

Why are taxes on capital income lower than taxes on labour income?

Why are taxes on capital income lower than taxes on labour income?

June 15th, 2014

If we want to raise the share of national income going to labour, we could start by not taxing labour income more heavily than capital income.

The mother of Parliaments

The mother of Parliaments

June 13th, 2014

I'm sorry to see The Economist make the lazy mistake of thinking that the phrase "mother of Parliaments" refers to the British Parliament.

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Development

Ten broad brushstrokes about development cooperation

Ten broad brushstrokes about development cooperation

January 14th, 2014

I am discussing the the future of development cooperation, and the role of Northern NGOs,, with the policy, advocacy and campaigns team at ActionAid UK this morning.  Powerpoint is forbidden.  I'm going to paint ten broad brushstrokes about the future of development cooperation:

Is aid a waste of money?

Is aid a waste of money?

December 6th, 2013

"If you add up all the aid that all OECD countries have given since they started counting it in 1960, and then assume that the only thing that this aid has achieved was the eradication of smallpox, then the whole thing would still be a bargain, costing less than half what the UK National Health Serv

Technology

How to avoid high roaming charges in developing countries

How to avoid high roaming charges in developing countries

August 21st, 2013

In which I bring news of a disruptive new app from O2 which will get rid of roaming charges, as long as you can get onto the internet.

Dogfood and disruption

Dogfood and disruption

June 12th, 2013

The new "Development Tracker" website launched in beta by DFID is disruptive in two important ways: one which will appeal especially to open data geeks, and one which will appeal to development geeks. (I am proud to call myself both.)

Development Drums

"The Idealist" - Nina Munk on Jeff Sachs [podcast]

March 21st, 2014

In the latest episode of Development Drums, I talk to the journalist and author Nina Munk about Jeff Sachs and the Millennium Villages Project, and the lessons for development cooperation more broadly.

Podcasts for development

Podcasts for development

August 29th, 2013

Here are some suggestions for podcasts for people interested in development (and/or economics).

Popular blog posts

All that glisters: the golden thread and complexity

All that glisters: the golden thread and complexity

August 27th, 2012

This second of three blog posts looking at development policy through the lens of complexity thinking considers whether David Cameron's 'golden thread' is good development policy.

Seven worries about focusing on results, and how to manage them

Seven worries about focusing on results, and how to manage them

April 12th, 2012

This post sets out seven worries about the results agenda; four reasons why the results agenda is vital; and a series of measures aimed at balancing these concerns.

Famine and drought

Famine and drought

July 27th, 2011

Two things to keep in mind about famine and drought. First, famine is not caused by drought or overpopulation or insufficient food production. Second, development aid works.

Complexity and development [presentation and podcast]

Complexity and development

August 16th, 2012

My 2012 Kapuściński Lecture considered the implications of complexity thinking for development economics and development policy. This post presents an updated version as a narrated online presentation which lasts about 45 minutes.

If development is complex, is the results agenda bunk?

If development is complex, is the results agenda bunk?

September 7th, 2012

Owen Barder and Ben Ramalingam look at the implications of complexity for the trend towards results-based management in development cooperation. They argue that complexity provides a powerful reason for pursuing the results agenda, but it has to be done in ways which reflect the context.

Eight lessons from three years working on transparency

Eight lessons from three years working on transparency

February 22nd, 2011

I’ve spent the last three years working on aid transparency. As I’m moving on to an exciting new role this seems a good time to reflect on what I’ve learned in the last three years.  Busy readers may want to read just the 8-point summary.

What is development?

What is development?

August 24th, 2012

This the first of three blog posts exploring the implications of complexity for development. In my lecture on complexity I argue that development is an emergent property of the economic and social system. This blog post explains what that means.

What are the results agenda?

What are the results agenda?

February 10th, 2012

People who talk about 'the results agenda' in aid mean at least four different things. The differences might be important.

Ten steps for meaningful aid transparency

Ten steps for meaningful aid transparency

April 7th, 2011

The second of a pair of posts on aid transparency: this one looking at proposed next steps, particularly focusing on how we can provide meaningful transparency for citizens in developing countries.