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, a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics, 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.

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No smoking gun - DFID and the surge in spending

No smoking gun - DFID and the surge in spending

Press reports about the NAO report on DFID budget management in 2013 are wholly misleading. DFID actually comes out of the report pretty well. There is a cautionary tale here for DFID, but it isn’t about the way it manages its budget. It is that the sharks are circling, and they do not seem to be v
Migration and Development: Small Tweaks for Big Benefits

Migration and Development: Small Tweaks for Big Benefits

With immigration policy potentially in flux, this might be a good time to think about how migration policies can make a more positive contribution to development.
Thirty years a vegetarian

Thirty years a vegetarian

Reflections on the thirtieth anniversary of becoming a vegetarian
The governance deficit

The governance deficit

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Development

Why "beyond aid" matters

Why "beyond aid" matters

In evidence for the House of Commons International Development Committee, we argue that "beyond aid" policies are likely to have a bigger impact than aid alone, address the underlying causes of poverty rather than the symptoms, and benefit rather than cost the UK.
A Global Carbon Tax or Cap-and-Trade? Part 1: The Economic Arguments

A Global Carbon Tax or Cap-and-Trade? Part 1: The Economic Arguments

If you could choose how to curb greenhouse gas emissions, would you choose a carbon tax or cap-and-trade? In this post, which first appeared on Views from the Center, we say the economic arguments are pretty finely balanced. (In the next post, we'll say that the political and practical consideratio

Technology

How to avoid high roaming charges in developing countries

How to avoid high roaming charges in developing countries

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

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]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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?

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?

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

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.