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 »
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 »
Ants forming a bridge across a gap

Can aid agencies help systems fix themselves?

If economic development is a property of a complex adaptive system then what, if anything, can development agencies and NGOs do to accelerate it? Read the full post »

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 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 »

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 »

How did the G-8 do on financial secrecy and tax?

The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold. While the G-8 meeting did not agree everything that had been hoped, there was tangible progress in two out of the three main areas. Read the full post »
Side view of a Border collie eating from its bowl, isolated on white

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.) Read the full post »
Owen Barder at a podium in front of a Standard Chartered sign

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.

Read the full post »
DEAUVILLE, FRANCE - MAY 27, 2011 : British Prime Minister David Cameron in press conference during G8 - Deauville, France on May 27 2011

Tax, trade, transparency … & turf

In January, David Cameron nailed his colours to the mast with a speech in Davos that set out the three Ts agenda for the UK’s chairing of the June G8 meeting: taxes, trade and transparency. There have also been some raised eyebrows among the cognoscenti about a fourth T: turf.  Some worry that a Cameron-led G8 effort might step on the toes of the G20 and its existing working groups, perhaps stimulating production of “not invented here” antibodies that would make it hard for the initiative to gain global traction. Read the full post »
Justine Greening speaking at the DFID Omidyar Network Open Up! conference

DFID transparency policy is a game-changer

Christmas came early yesterday for campaigners for more effective and accountable aid, with an announcement from DFID which has raised the bar for aid transparency. Read the full post »
Big Data Storage Information World Map Concept

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.
Read the full post »
Marlborough House, home of the Commonwealth Secretariat

Three Lessons from Britain’s Multilateral Aid Review

Britain's National Audit Office (NAO) has published a glowing report on the British Multilateral Aid Review.  There are three lessons: the aid review increased aid effectiveness; was hampered by poor data; and will more effective if donors collaborate. Read the full post »