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.
This article appeared in The Guardian Development Professionals Network on Friday 10 July, 2015. Development economist Owen Barder gives an insight into what the coming five days of plenaries, roundtables and side events will be all about
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.
Let’s dump technology transfer from the Addis declaration and substitute technology development and sharing — they could be two of the most important components of post-2015 development success.
We are enthusiastic about the growing interest in supporting private investment in developing countries, but it matters a lot how this is done. The tools that donor countries usually use to “crowd in” the private sector — guarantees and cheap loans — distort firms’ incentives by reducing their risks or increasing their rewards irrespective of how well they do. Donors should not pick winners.