Cash on Delivery Aid

Jean Michel Severino likes the idea of “Cash on Delivery Aid“.

I think it could be the basis of a new consensus – linking a (broadly European) agenda of giving governments in developing countries more freedom to choose … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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A beach, with aquamarine water and blue skies; four boats

The Development Set

Ross Coggins wrote about The Development Set back in 1976 (poem below). More than thirty years later, his critique still feels very contemporary (though were he writing today, I am sure that white landcruisers, satellite phones and blackberries would feature … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Budget support and corruption

Why it makes sense to give aid to governments in countries that suffer from corruption. Read the full post »

Development assistance as permanent global redistribution

Jean Michel Severino says something you don’t often hear:

What is at stake with the MDGs is the creation on a global scale of the same sort of public redistribution mechanisms that were progressively established in the world’s richest societies

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De-escalating the paperwork in development

Alanna Shaikk writes about the good and bad of working in international development.  Here is a big part of the bad:

… You’re a bureaucrat. An awful lot of every expat’s job involves paperwork. Most people picture international work as

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The Daily Mail, to which donkeys are more important than Africans

So help me I’ve read some rubbish in the Daily Mail over the years – and I know it to be a potent brew of prejudice and lies.  But this article must rank in the top-ten for stupidity.

The headline … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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Do we need a shock-fund for developing countries?

Ray Fisman writing in Slate asks whether falling commodities prices cause civil wars in commodity-rich countries:

To reduce violence in Colombia and other commodities-rich countries, care has to be taken to recognize how fluctuating prices actually affect the situation on the

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Modernising US foreign assistance

The Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network has a new website. This is a coalition of American thinkers who are campaigning for change in the way that US foreign assistance is provided. They are asking for the following changes:

Core Principles

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The cult of sustainability

Alanna Shaikh complains about the use and abuse of “sustainability” in development:

I also hate this word because it so many things to so many different people.

I am also uncomfortable about the notion of sustainability, but for slightly different … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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If you think evaluation is expensive, try ignorance

The PSD Blog, citing Chris Blattman, wonders if randomized evaluation is too expensive:

In some circumstances, simple monitoring and evaluation without randomization might be enough, even if it leaves us with less certainty about the outcomes. Perhaps it’s

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Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

I’ve written about last week’s Accra meeting on the aidinfo blog and discussed it with Simon Maxwell in this week’s Development Drums.… Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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International Aid Transparency Initiative to be launched in Accra

The Guardian reports that the UK is pushing for greater transparency of aid in an initiative to be launched tomorrow:

The UK wants donor countries to provide full and detailed information of all the financial assistance provided to each country;

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Incentives for Global Health

Incentives for Global Health have published a new report:”The Health Impact Fund: Making New Medicines Accessible for All”

The Health Impact Fund, our flagship proposal, is a new way of stimulating research and development of life-saving pharmaceuticals. To provide wide

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Why don’t we apply NICE-style CBA to development?

The ever-excellent Chris Dillow asks:

2. The National Gallery of Scotland wants the tax-payer to buy some paintings from the Duke of Sutherland. Why don’t we apply Nice-style cost-benefit analysis here? Would £100m spent on art really produce £100m worth

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Riding a dead horse: Buzkashi wisdom

A friend in a donor agency (thanks CK!) passes on the following:

The wisdom of Buzkashi riders, passed on from generation to generation in Afghanistan, says that ‘when you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy

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A little less conversation … a little more action please

Nancy Birdsall and Kate Vyborny at the Center for Global Development suggest six concrete steps for the Accra meeting on aid effectiveness:

  • Untie all aid, including technical assistance, and publish information on which providers get contracts in practice.
  • Tell recipients
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What causes uncertainty in vaccine demand?

Scientific American discusses the need for better forecasting of need for drugs and vaccines:

Unpredictable demand creates a three-way catch-22 problem, as pointed out in a 2002 study commissioned by the GAVI Alliance, formerly the Global Alliance for Vaccines and

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Linking aid to progress

This paper, by me and Nancy Birdsall, recommends that donors should consider linking aid to the progress that recipient countries make towards a small number of high-level goals (eg the number of children in school). The payments would be guaranteed, … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

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