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 very interested in the facts.Continue reading
"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 Service spends on average to save a life."Continue reading
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 Jim Robinson, the public is (as usual) basically right.Continue reading
I'm in the latest edition of the Guardian Development Podcast, discussing the future of British aidContinue reading
The Guardian development blog is running a series of end of year reflections on development, including one by me. Many of the articles are upbeat about progress in developing countries, but pessimistic about the short term economic prospects for the industrialised world and for global cooperation to tackle shared global problems.
The series so far includes:
- Duncan Green from Oxfam, who contrasts progress in developing countries over the last year with the gloom of the ‘formerly rich’ countries of the G-8.
- Calestous Juma from Harvard, who identifies regional integration and better links with the diaspora as key drivers of Africa’s growth.
- Shanta Devarajan from the World Bank, who is cautiously optimistic, especially in the light of increased demand by Africans for their governments to be accountable.
- Linda Raftree from Plan, who also emphasizes progress towards more inclusive and open societies.
- Kevin Watkins from Brookings and UNESCO, calling for “a properly financed global fund for education like those that have delivered such striking results in the health sector“.
- Jonathan Glennie from ODI and the Guardian, who is pessimistic about the prospects for international cooperation in the face of rising protectionism and nationalism as a result of poor economic prospects in the US and Europe.
- and my contribution, reproduced below, which gives a positive account of progress in many countries in Africa over the past year, and emphasizes the importance for developing countries of better global decision-making.
Last week’s UN meetings in New York prompted a flurry of papers, speeches, documents, announcements and articles about development in general, and the Millennium Development Goals in particular. There seem to be three emerging development narratives which are not… Continue reading
Over on Huffington Post, Seth Berkley and Orin Levine make a plea for the United States to consider an Advance Market Commitment for an AIDS vaccine:
Traditionally it has taken up to 20 years for new vaccines to reach children… Continue reading
The UK Department for International Development is to be commended for encouraging some of its staff to maintain a blog to explain to the public what they do.
That is why the G20 should consider declaring a development emergency for 2009. They should urge aid agencies to take every step possible to accelerate the disbursement of already approved funds.… Continue reading
Here is a very interesting article by Minouche Shafik, the Permanent Secretary at the UK Department for International Development. (For our cousins elsewhere, a Permanent Secretary is the most senior civil servant in a government department, ranking somewhere just below… Continue reading
In a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Barack Obama has promised to double aid by 2012 if he is elected President:
For the last twenty years, U.S. foreign aid funding has done little more than keep… Continue reading