The International Finance Facility for Education: The Wrong Answer to the Right Question?

Donors are considering a proposal for a new “innovative finance mechanism” to increase funding for education, based on recommendations from Gordon Brown’s Education Commission. We agree that we need to finance an expansion of education in the developing world. But sadly, the International Finance Facility for Education (IFFEd) proposal is too good to be true. Read the full post »
UK PM David Cameron visits a 'UK AID' facility in Wiltshire. He stands in a warehouse with boxes marked UK AID.

Is the UK putting its own interests ahead of the poor in its new aid strategy?

Britain’s new aid strategy has important implications, not only for DFID but for international organisations who will either need to adapt or face losing some of their core funding. Here’s why. Read the full post »

On World Humanitarian Day: Could We Do Better with Cash?

World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to celebrate the courage of humanitarian workers, but also to think about how to improve the system. I am chairing a High Level Panel looking at the role of cash transfers in humanitarian aid.

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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 »

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 »
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 »
Owen Barder at the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Warsaw

Nineteenth time lucky?

A report from the 19th climate change meeting in Warsaw. Read the full post »
A stethescope and some 100 euro notes

More health for the money

Here is a nice video by my CGD colleagues about our new report on value for money at the Global Fund. 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 »
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 »
The World Bank Headquarters in Washington DC

Is multilateral aid better?

I recently tried to explain to a parliamentary committee why I believe multilateral aid is likely to be more cost-effective than bilateral aid. This post sets out the arguments in a bit more detail. 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 »
Logo of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Your hustings for the EBRD President

On Friday the Governors of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will decide who will be the Bank’s next President.  I've interviewed four of the candidates and the interviews are now online for you to listen to, and you can read the transcript here. Read the full post »