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 »
Peacekeepers with the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara

Are rich country policies for development getting better?

If we were measuring rhetoric, all our indicators would be in good shape. But rhetoric is not the same as reality. We have added up the scores for the 21 OECD countries which have been in the CDI since it began in 2003, suitably weighted, to see whether they have collectively lived up to their promises to improve their policies. 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 »
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 »

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 »
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 »
Daron Acemoglu, Jim Robinson, Owen Barder

It’s the politics, stupid

One thing that the public knows, which many development experts apparently do not, is that poor countries are poor because they are badly governed and have institutions which prevent growth and permit a small elite to capture the nation's wealth. According to Why Nations Fail, by Daron Acemoğlu and Jim Robinson, the public is (as usual) basically right. Read the full post »
Jim Kim

For the first time ever (World Bank edition)

The President of the World Bank says, "For the first time ever, we have a real opportunity to end extreme poverty within a generation."  We have said this many times before. Read the full post »
Richard Manning at a lectern

Are rich countries ‘getting away with murder’ by massaging aid figures?

This blog post first appeared on Views from the Center.

Richard Manning was a highly respected chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – the development committee of the OECD, the rich countries’ think-tank. So we should pay attention … Go to www.owen.org to read the rest

Read the full post »
Colourful Recycling Bins

Waste not, want not

In which I am sceptical about a proposed new public-private partnership to tackle hunger. Read the full post »
Headline on Globe and Mail article by Owen Barder and Lucas Robinson

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

I'm quoted in a couple of Canadian newspapers today about the demise of CIDA. Read the full post »
Graph showing UK aid as a share of national income

Britain joins the G-0.7

Britain overtakes Germany to become the world's second largest aid donor, and the first G-8 member of the 0.7% club. Read the full post »
Duncan Green against a white background

From poverty to power – Duncan Green on Development Drums

In the second of a series of three Development Drums podcasts about the relationship between citizens, states and development, Duncan Green talks about effective states and active citizens. Duncan is widely known for his terrific development blog; he is also the author of an ambitious book, From Poverty to Power, which is now out in its second edition. Read the full post »
Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development

Did Andrew Mitchell have a rubber stamp?

Splendid letter in the Financial Times today from the most senior civil servant in the British Department for International Development on the rumour that Andrew Mitchell used to stamp the word 'bollocks' on advice that did not meet his standards. Read the full post »
European countries 3d illustration - european continent marked with flags

How committed is Europe to development really?

Europe’s approach to development could be characterized as energetically tackling the symptoms of poor economic opportunities for developing countries by providing substantial and effective aid, while doing relatively little to tackle the underlying structural causes of poverty. 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 »