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.
February 15th, 2014
If there is value in the process of iteration and adaptation that people and organisations go through, then might development cooperation which tries to bypass that struggle do more harm than good?
February 6th, 2014
Is DFID suffering from a resource curse?
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:
December 26th, 2013
A service from O2 looks ideal for frequent overseas travellers from the UK.
Other recent blog posts
November 19th, 2013
This joint post with Petra Krylová first appeared on the Center for Global Development blog, Views from the Center. It announces the publication of the 2013 Commitment to Development Index, which is CGD's annual exercise to score affluent countries according to whether they have development-friendly
November 16th, 2013
There is an article in the Washington Post about humanitarian relief in the Philippines by Vij Ramachandran and me. We argue that the aid effort could be significantly improved by the use of technology and transparency.
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.
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.)
August 29th, 2013
Here are some suggestions for podcasts for people interested in development (and/or economics).
June 1st, 2013
One thing that the public knows, which many development experts apparently do not, is that poor countries are poor because they are badly governed and have institutions which prevent growth and permit a small elite to capture the nation's wealth. According to Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and
Popular blog posts
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.