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 »
The Port of Gabreville, Gabon

Why “beyond aid” matters

In evidence for the House of Commons International Development Committee, we argue that "beyond aid" policies are likely to have a bigger impact than aid alone, address the underlying causes of poverty rather than the symptoms, and benefit rather than cost the UK. Read the full post »
A graphic showing a rising arrow, with a person-shaped figure hanging off it

Evidence and scaling up

I spoke at a dinner of the Board of the Childrens' Investment Fund Foundation on Friday. I touched on the role of evidence in scaling up, and the role of foundations such as CIFF. Here are my remarks. Read the full post »
The roots of the Banyan Forest

Is ‘the struggle’ the baby or the bathwater?

If there is value in the process of iteration and adaptation that people and organisations go through, then might development cooperation which tries to bypass that struggle do more harm than good? Read the full post »
Details of an oil painting showing brushstrokes

Ten broad brushstrokes about development cooperation

I am discussing the the future of development cooperation, and the role of Northern NGOs,, with the policy, advocacy and campaigns team at ActionAid UK this morning.  Powerpoint is forbidden.  I'm going to paint ten broad brushstrokes about the future of development cooperation: Read the full post »
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Let’s help the Philippines — but not like we helped Haiti

There is an article in the Washington Post about humanitarian relief in the Philippines by Vij Ramachandran and me. We argue that the aid effort could be significantly improved by the use of technology and transparency. Read the full post »
Photo of representatives at the Central African Republic Development Partners Round Table

Coordination doesn’t happen by magic

letter in today's Financial Times by Caroline FiennesDavid Hall MatthewsFran PerrinVij Ramachandran and me argues that relief efforts could be more effective if humanitarian aid agencies published details of what they are doing Read the full post »
A measuring tape superimposed on the English countryside

Learning By Measuring in Practice

How NGOs and service delivery organisations can be empowered by better use of data to improve public service delivery. Read the full post »
A still from a video showing Jim Kim in a white leather jacket, dancing

Science to Deliver, but no ‘Science of Delivery’

Delivery requires iteration and adaptation rather than a "science". Perhaps the time has come for a Manifesto for Agile Development? Read the full post »
A computer generated graphic with calculator, pie chart, bar chart

Show your working (international aid edition)

Proposals for how DFID should improve the Bilateral Aid Review (BAR) by adopting the principle of 'show your working'. Read the full post »
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Should the UK set up a development bank?

Here is the evidence I gave (audio, plus part video) to the House of Commons International Development Committee. I argue for greater use of multilateral aid and against setting up a new UK development bank. Read the full post »
Road between Fort Portal and Rebisengo

Development Impact Bonds – a new business model for development?

The New York Times covers Development Impact Bonds and early results from the Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bonds suggest that this is a business model worth trying in development. Read the full post »
Screenshot of Development Tracker

Dogfood and disruption

The new "Development Tracker" website launched in beta by DFID is disruptive in two important ways: one which will appeal especially to open data geeks, and one which will appeal to development geeks. (I am proud to call myself both.)

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Development Impact Bonds: what do YOU think?

The Center for Global Development and our partner Social Finance has just published a big new report on Development Impact Bonds. The Working Group invites comments on the draft report over the next six weeks.

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Will CIDA’s demise hurt the world’s poor?

I'm quoted in a couple of Canadian newspapers today about the demise of CIDA.

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Next steps in aid transparency a game changer?

I'm quoted in a blog post at the Economist today about aid transparency:

Ms Greening’s strategy is the requirement that any organisation receiving DfID funds publish clear information about where the money is going. This far-reaching transparency initiative is potentially a “game-changer”, says Owen Barder, a senior fellow and director for Europe at the Center for Global Development, a Washington, DC-based think tank.

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Indian schoolchildren

Development policy at the fin de siècle

In an article for the Guardian's (new) Global Development Professionals Network I argue that development policy in the 21st century needs be about more than administering aid.

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malaria

Malaria vaccine setback: what can we learn?

There has been bad news about the effectiveness of the leading candidate for a malaria vaccine. Has the time has come for donors to make an Advance Market Commitment?

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Results cube

If development is complex, is the results agenda bunk?

Owen Barder and Ben Ramalingam look at the implications of complexity for the trend towards results-based management in development cooperation. They argue that complexity provides a powerful reason for pursuing the results agenda, but it has to be done in ways which reflect the context.

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