A masterclass on cash transfers and how to use High Level Panels to influence Policy

Duncan Green - March 10, 2017

One of the things I do in my day-a-week role at LSE is bring in guest lecturers from different aid and development organizations to add a whiff of real life to the student diet of theory and academia. One of the best is Owen Barder, who recently delivered a mesmerizing talk on cash transfers and the theory of change used by his organization, the Center …

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Payment by Results hasn’t produced much in the way of results, but aid donors are doing it anyway. Why?

Duncan Green - March 23, 2016

I recently attended (yet another) seminar on the future of aid, where we were all sworn to secrecy to allow everyone (academics, officials etc) to bare their bosoms with confidence. So I can’t quote anyone (even unattributed – this was ‘Chatham House plus’). But that’s OK, because I want to talk about Payment by Results, which was the subject for my 10 minutes of fame. …

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Why is migration a Cinderella issue in Development?

admin - July 11, 2012

Last week I had to speak on ‘Why is migration not a bigger development issue?’ at an IPPR/CGD seminar. The seminar (and the question) really got me thinking. The main speaker was Michael Clemens, CGD’s migration guru (as well as part-time bête noire of the Millennium Villages Project). He was brilliant – going well beyond the standard arguments (migrants contribute more to an economy than …

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What to do about Syria? How about declaring its oil and arms contracts illegitimate? Neat idea from CGD

admin - March 20, 2012

What to do about Syria? The inventive wonks at CGD think they have a neat answer: “The main financial and legal centres of the world should declare that any contracts signed after today by a regime which has been designated illegitimate will be regarded as odious, and will not be enforceable in their jurisdictions.” CGD’s proposal uses the location in US and UK of international …

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An American thinktank in London – development BS (blue-sky) session with the new CGD Europe

admin - October 10, 2011

I attended the informal unveiling of Owen Barder (right) as CGD’s new Mr Europe last week. The Center for Global Development is a top US thinktank (plus some occasionally unhinged health people), and its boss and ubernetworker Nancy Birdsall flew in to cut the ribbon. It was all very pleasant – top notch sandwiches in a swanky old building that used to belong to MI6’s ‘Section …

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How to use research for influence on climate change and Arab meltdown; why aid donors are losing the plot; green growth v degrowth; Darth Vader on youtube: links I liked

admin - February 25, 2011

The Washington-based Center for Global Development is great at spotting opportunities for influence, not least by dusting off and recycling previous work in response to events – a key, and often under-used, way of getting research into policy (academics are often too caught up with their next project, and NGOs with their next campaign, to spot opportunities in this way). The Korean government wants an …

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Cash on Delivery – worth a try?

admin - May 18, 2010

You’ve got to hand it to the policy entrepreneurs at the Center for Global Development – they sure know how to get new ideas onto the tables and into the minds of decision makers. One of their biggest and most interesting new(ish) ideas is ‘Cash on Delivery’ (CoD), and I’ve just been reading their new book on it. The concept’s been around for a while, …

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Cash on Delivery: a big new aid idea? Actually, the EC’s been doing it for years!

admin - August 6, 2009

One of the more exciting proposals in the UK Conservative’s recent Green Paper on development (see previous post here) is the idea of making aid ‘Cash on Delivery’ (CoD). ‘We will commit to pay a certain amount to a recipient government for a specific measure of progress – for example £100 for every extra child who attends school, or for every extra mother who gives …

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I’ll see your trillion and raise you another one: how big a bailout does the developing world need?

admin - March 5, 2009

Talk of mere billions is for wimps these days. I’ve just read two proposals for ‘big numbers’ on bailouts to help developing countries get through the global economic crisis, one from the World Bank’s chief economist, Justin Lin, and the other from Washington thinktank CGD’s Nancy Birdsall. Nancy’s paper,  entitled ‘How to Unlock the $1 Trillion’, reckons ‘as much as $1 trillion would make sense’, …

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