Two of the three chairs of the Working Group

Could ‘Development Impact Bonds’ work?

Discussing the work of the CGD and Social Finance Development Impact Bonds Working Group.

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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.

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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.

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The Bexco Conference Centre in Busan

What happened in Busan?

"In years to come, I expect that we will look back on the Busan agreement as a reflection of changing realities, including the growing range of different kinds of donors and shifting geopolitical power.  I think it less likely that we will look back on Busan as having done much to shape those realities."

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Warming to the Open Government Partnership

This joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz first appeared on the Views from the Center blog at the Center for Global Development

“The defining division these days is increasingly: open or closed? Are we open to the changing world? Or do

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The open data revolution comes to aid

This blog post first appeared on the aidinfo site.

More than two thousand delegates have gathered today in Busan, South Korea, for the fourth installment of a succession of meetings aimed at making aid more effective.

There has been … Go to to read the rest

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Liberian children hold Chinese flags before the arrival of China's President Hu Jintao

Will donors hide behind China?

Will the largest aid donors hide behind China to excuse their inability to make substantial improvements in foreign aid?  How can Busan balance the desire to be more universal with the pressing need for real changes in the way aid Go to to read the rest

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QuODA ranking

Effective and transparent donors

In two weeks there will be a huge international meeting on aid effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.  Ban Ki-moon and Hillary Clinton will be among the two thousand delegates who gather together to discuss improvements in how aid is delivered.  … Go to to read the rest

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What happens when donors fail to meet their commitments?

This joint post with Rita Perakis first appeared on the CGD blog.

Has the aid industry introduced the reforms it agreed in 2005 to make aid more effective? No, according to the survey published last week by the OECD Go to to read the rest

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An 1876 Posse

Form a posse?

On Friday the World Bank London office had a meeting on ‘the Future of Aid’.   The meeting was, according to the tortuous language of the invitation, “conducted in an informal manner with interested stakeholders from governments, civil society, private Go to to read the rest

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Measuring Aid Effectiveness Effectively: Being clear about objectives

This blog post was first published on the CGAP Microfinance blog.

It seems extraordinary that after 50 years of international aid, there is still no consensus on whether it works. Zambian economist Dambisa Moyo (Dead Aid) has … Go to to read the rest

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Primary school close to our house in Addis Ababa

Can aid work?

Primary school close to our house in Addis Ababa

Living in Ethiopia for the last three years, I saw aid working every day. I saw children going to school, health workers in rural villages, and food or cash preventing hunger … Go to to read the rest

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Do economists have better tools?

The interesting question in development is not whether aid works or does not work.  Not surprisingly, the answer is that some aid works and some doesn’t.  A more interesting question is: what kind of aid works best?

Nick Kristof has … Go to to read the rest

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Google has a policy that it should eat its own dogfood

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.

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King Charles I was executed because he refused to accept Parliament's right to control tax and spending

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.

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Election Poster for Bingu wa Mutharika

Malawi success and donor fallibility

On the Oxfam blog, Max Lawson has an excellent guest post telling the story of how Malawi has used an extensive programme of fertilizer subsidies to generate seven years of economic growth, reduductions in poverty and child deaths.

Max cites … Go to to read the rest

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Shanta Devarajan asks if we have found Development 3.0

Development 3.0: is social accountability the answer?

Shanta Devarajan asks if we have found Development 3.0

Shanta Devarajan, the World Bank Chief Economist for Africa, describes in an important new blog post the evolution of development policy in terms of changing ideas about market failures and government … Go to to read the rest

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Could donor proliferation lead to better aid?

Tim Harford had an interesting article in the FT in August arguing that we are better off in most walks of life if there is experimentation and a multiplicity of approaches.

But how do we value diversity in the aid … Go to to read the rest

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Reducing bureaucracy cartoon

Incentives, results and bureaucracy in aid

If better measurement of results is used by aid agencies to simplify the way they manage aid programmes, rather than just adding new reporting, it creates the opportunity to reduce bureaucracy, decentralise decision-making, increase country ownership, increase the focus on outcomes that really matter, step away from linear, deterministic thinking about how results are achieved, focus more on relationships and institutions, and really liberate development workers to work on what really motivates them - delivering change on the ground - and less on managing the bureaucracy at home.

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