Owen Barder is Senior Fellow & Director for Europe at the Center for Global Development. His professional interests are the political economy of development policies and aid, transparency and accountability, innovative finance, public financial management, information, knowledge, technology, new media, Africa, health economics. Owen is also an Associate of the British Institute for Government.
From 2007-2011 Owen was based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In this time he was the Director of aidinfo – a programme of Development Initiatives which aims to make information about aid more easily accessible. He was also a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development.
Before that, Owen was a British civil servant in a career spanning more than 20 years. He worked worked at the UK Department for International Development, as Director of International Finance and Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications, Information and Knowledge, and as Head of Africa Policy Department.
Before working on international development, Owen was the Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Private Secretary, in 10 Downing Street. In this role, he coordinated Government policy and delivery on microeconomic policy, including trade and industry, the knowledge economy, environment, transport, regional policy, education, employment, science, and modernizing government. From 1988 to 1997, Owen was an official at H M Treasury. His roles included being Private Secretary to two successive Chancellors of the Exchequer, coordinating the public spending system, forecasting the world economy, forecasting and analysis of domestic labour markets, and medium term macroeconomic policy analysis.
Owen took various breaks from the civil service to work in the South African Treasury, where he helped to develop a medium term budget process, the Center for Global Development where he helped to develop the Advance Market Commitment for vaccines, and as a Visiting Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley.
In 1993, Owen set up the UK Government’s first website, for H M Treasury.
Since 2009 Owen has been a member of the Board of Twaweza, which promotes opportunities for citizens in East Africa to hold government authorities to account. From 2000 to 2004, Owen was a non-executive director of OneWorld, a not-for-profit whose mission is to promote the use of the internet and media for the benefit of the world’s poor.