Strings attached

The Economist considers the implications of the UK's new aid strategy. Read the full post »
Red cat lying on the sofa.

Fat cats

By the end of today, the average Chief Executive of a FTSE 100 company will have been paid more than the average employee earns all year.  The same average employee will have been paid more than the average Ethiopian earns all year. Read the full post »

Supporting our overseas workers (student loans edition)

It is time to change the British government rule which make the children of aid workers ineligible for student finance. Read the full post »
UK PM David Cameron visits a 'UK AID' facility in Wiltshire. He stands in a warehouse with boxes marked UK AID.

Is the UK putting its own interests ahead of the poor in its new aid strategy?

Britain’s new aid strategy has important implications, not only for DFID but for international organisations who will either need to adapt or face losing some of their core funding. Here’s why. Read the full post »

Vague about the Constitution

There was nothing unconstitutional about yesterday's decision by the House of Lords. Read the full post »
Health worker administrates polio-vaccine drops to a child during anti-polio immunization campaign at Pak-Afghan Border on April 08, 2015

XKCD on World Polio Day

XKCD teases the innovation fetish in international development. Read the full post »
Four men on their way to work at sunrise. One is on a bicycle.

We are the first generation in human history … again

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, says that the world is moving closer to the historic goal of ending poverty by 2030:

This is the best story in the world today — these projections show us that we

Go to www.owen.org to read the rest Read the full post »

Humanitarian Cash Transfers

The Free Exchange column in this week's Economist discusses the work of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers. Read the full post »

Transforming Humanitarian Aid with Cash Transfers: High Level Panel Report

A High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers, which I chaired, has concluded that much more humanitarian aid should be provided as cash, rather than as vouchers or in-kind; and that this change should be used to bring about broader reforms of humanitarian aid. Read the full post »
A screenshot of the cover of the magazine, Great Insights, published by ECDPM

Innovative financing for development: as if social returns, incentives, and value for money really mattered

There is an article by Theo Talbot and me in the latest edition of ECDPM’s Great Insights Private Sector Matters.

We argue that rather than subsidising inputs or reducing risk to leverage private finance for development, it would be … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

Read the full post »

Here’s a simple way to help refugees: give them cash

Rather than giving refugees food, shelter, water and medical care, it is often better to give them cash. Read the full post »

On World Humanitarian Day: Could We Do Better with Cash?

World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate the courage of humanitarian workers, but also to think about how to improve the system. I am chairing a High Level Panel looking at the role of cash transfers in humanitarian aid.

Read the full post »
Rows of people in suits, many looking at blackberries or laptops, in the UN Conference Centre

Addis: A Good First Step, but a Terrible Last Word, for 2015

The Financing for Development Conference in July 2015 in Addis Ababa was never going to solve all the world’s development problems. The policy framework is pretty good, but will only be important if government, companies and organisations now take specific actions. Read the full post »
Ethiopian orthodox church with sunrays in Addis Ababa at dawn

What to expect from the Addis Ababa Financing for Development conference

This article appeared in The Guardian Development Professionals Network on Friday 10 July, 2015.  Development economist Owen Barder gives an insight into what the coming five days of plenaries, roundtables and side events will be all about

Read the full post »
Headshot photo of Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

“we can be the first generation that ends poverty…”

Ban Ki-Moon says that we can be the first generation that ends poverty. An update of the list of occasions on which this claim has been made. Read the full post »
An old wooden chest on a beach

Financing for development – where the treasure is buried

We won’t get development from global and domestic “tax and spend” alone. We should be focusing more on the huge untapped wealth locked up by policies and behaviour which distort the global economy, creating massive economic, environmental, and welfare losses for most of the world’s population. Read the full post »
A pair of headphones wrapped around the globe

Podcasts are “back” – so what are you listening to?

Podcasts are back in fashion - here is why, and a list of what I am listening to. Read the full post »
A globe in front of screens and binary code

Let’s Dump Technology Transfer from the Addis Agenda

Let’s dump technology transfer from the Addis declaration and substitute technology development and sharing — they could be two of the most important components of post-2015 development success. Read the full post »