The sun shines on Ardbeg distillery warehouse

Why taxing global companies is hard

Should the profits on scotch whisky be taxed in Scotland, where it is made, or China where it is sold? And what about Google? Read the full post »
Hillary Clinton attends the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting at The Shertaon New York Hotel on September 25, 2013 in New York City.

When the US Secretary of State reads your blog posts

One of my blog posts (written with Kim Elliott) ended up on Hillary Clinton's desk according to the latest batch of released emails. 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 »

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 »

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 »
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 »
The Ajaokuta steel factory in 1994

How should donors work with the private sector?

We are enthusiastic about the growing interest in supporting private investment in developing countries, but it matters a lot how this is done. The tools that donor countries usually use to “crowd in” the private sector — guarantees and cheap loans — distort firms’ incentives by reducing their risks or increasing their rewards irrespective of how well they do. Donors should not pick winners. Read the full post »
An all male panel at the Global Summit for Women

The Pledge

I have resolved not to participate in a panel that does not contain at least one woman (not including the chair of the panel). Read the full post »
A picture of the National Audit Office

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 very interested in the facts. Read the full post »
A guard tower by a fence

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. Read the full post »