Tag: Aid

What has 9/11 meant for international development?

The conclusion of a thoughtful reflection on what 9/11 has meant for international aid, security and development, from Andy Norton, ODI’s Director of Research. “Recognising the importance of ‘security’ in development (in a broad sense and with a focus on freedom from violence for poor people) has been a progressive and important change in the […]

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Advocacy v Service Delivery in Russia: FP2P flashback

Next up in this holiday week selection of largely unread posts from the early days of the blog, a story from Russia Contrasting case studies from Oxfam GB’s Russia programme, which has tried different ways of supporting Russia’s estimated 5.6 million disabled people. Traditionally, we have run a microfinance programme which has benefited a total […]

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How are China, Saudi Arabia and other non-traditional donors doing on aid?

Traditional aid donors share information and work together in the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD, known as the DAC. But what about non-DAC countries? Development Initiatives has a typically useful update on non-usual suspect aid donors like the Arab countries (led by Saudi Arabia) and rising powers like the BRICs, whose growing international clout […]

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The Duke of Wellington on the aid bureaucracy

Just read the much quoted paper from former USAID boss Andrew Natsios, ‘The Clash of the Counter-bureaucracy and Development’. The counter-bureaucracy is his term for the bean counters within USAID and the development sector in general, who are currently in the ascendant. Of it, he says simply. ‘The counter-bureaucracy ignores a central principle of development […]

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Why do we know so little about how poor people 'do' development?

I’ve just been reading the draft of a review by Charlotte Sterrett of climate change adaption experiences in South Asia. It’s great, and I’ll link to it when it’s published, but one conclusion set me thinking more widely: ‘While autonomous adaptation is likely to become more common and widespread than planned adaptation, most research and […]

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Is taxation better than aid for state-building? The case of Somaliland

Domestic taxation is one of those absolutely crucial development issues that too often drop through the cracks. It’s important not just because, at a time of huge pressure on aid budgets, it is a vital source of ‘financing for development’, but also because taxation has been at the heart of politics and state-building, ever since […]

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The trouble with targets: what would happen if we won all our campaigns?

For any campaign (aid, health, education, climate change, small farmers), persuading governments to sign up to a spending target on ‘your issue’ is often the crowning moment. But what happens when governments start signing up to several targets at once? In a recent briefing, Jessica Hagen-Zanker and Anna McCord at ODI ran the numbers for five countries […]

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Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding. Review of Charles Kenny's new book

Getting Better: Why Global Development Is Succeeding—And How We Can Improve the World Even More, published this month, is an exercise in ‘framing’ – trying to shift the way we feel, as well as think, about development and aid. It does it rather well. Two big frames: 1. Lives are getting better everywhere, including in […]

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So where have we got to on Value for Money, Results etc?

Great posts, great comments. My head is now spinning as I try and disentangle some of the different threads that have emerged over the last two days. First: horses for courses. Some aid work is akin to Ros’ bathroom problem – linear, measurable, and suitable for a logframe + results approach. Other areas are emergent […]

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If not results, then what? The risks of not having a results agenda

The ODI’s Claire Melamed replies to yesterday’s guest post from Ros Eyben: “Ros Eyben suggests that instead of a results agenda, we should rely on good relationships to deliver good aid.  And indeed, if all relationships were good, and all the people involved in making decisions about aid were thoroughly well-informed, open to new ideas, […]

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‘Stuff happens’: the risks of a results agenda. Guest post from Rosalind Eyben

A few months ago, I blogged about the risks associated with the aid industry’s current overriding obsession with audit/value for money/results (pick your term). Since then, that debate has been swirling around both on this blog and (more importantly), in aid and development circles in many countries. So to help it along a bit I’ve […]

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How not to run an aid programme: Afghanistan

  ‘The American marine captain [Patrick Lavoie – see pic] only has to step out of his base to be overwhelmed by turbaned men anxious to be his best friend. All along the main road they try to catch his eye and beg him for money to spruce up their shops. As part of his […]

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