A crystal ball, with a line graph in it.

The development agency of the future

The International Development Committee of the British House of Commons has asked: Does a stand-alone Department for International Development have a long-term future? In a memorandum submitted to the Committee in evidence, Alex Evans and I argue that it should. 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 »
A CGI generated road sign saying "Emissions Trading"

A Global Carbon Tax or Cap-and-Trade? The Economic Arguments

If you could choose how to curb greenhouse gas emissions, would you choose a carbon tax or cap-and-trade? In this post, which first appeared on Views from the Center, we say the economic arguments are pretty finely balanced. (In the next post, we'll say that the political and practical considerations lean heavily towards cap-and-trade.) Read the full post »
A picture of Thomas Piketty in front of a bookcase

Why are taxes on capital income lower than taxes on labour income?

If we want to raise the share of national income going to labour, we could start by not taxing labour income more heavily than capital income. 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 »
Boy with smallpox on his face

Is aid a waste of money?

If you add up all the aid that all OECD countries have given since they started counting it in 1960, and then assume that the only thing that this aid has achieved was the eradication of smallpox, then the whole thing would still be a bargain, costing less than half what the UK National Health Service spends on average to save a life. 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 »
The cover of the book "Aid on the Edge of Chaos" by Ben Ramalingam

Is this the science of delivery?

Ben Ramalingam’s book, Aid on the Edge of Chaos, which is published this week, may be the clearest answer we have yet to Jim Kim’s call for a “science of delivery”. 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 »
Martin Luther King raises his right hand in a wave, with thousands of people on the Washington Mall behind him

“I have a dream …” [global edition]

I have a dream that we will one day take seriously the idea that we are all created equal, not just within countries but everywhere; and that we will recognize that it is intolerable that a person's future should be mainly determined by the place of his or her birth. 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »

Global wealth inequality

The 300 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the bottom 3 billion, according to this video. 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 »
A hand gun in front of a US flag

Guns & economics

Two interesting ideas from economists on gun control. First: require gun owners to take out liability insurance. Second, create a fund which for every dollar the NRA pays to a political candidate would pay $2 to the opponent. 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 »