Tag: Aid

Bad aid to agriculture: lessons from West Africa

After decades of decline, aid to agriculture has started to rise in the last few years in response to a renewed understanding of the role of agriculture in triggering growth and reducing poverty (see previous blog). But some recent research from 3 countries in West Africa (Niger, Burkina Faso and Ghana) suggests that quality is […]

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What comes after the MDGs?

Gave a presentation on this last week. I’ve blogged before on the strengths and weaknesses of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but if you want more,  ‘Promoting Pro-poor Policy after the MDGs’ a recent conference organized by EADI, ActionAid, IDS and others has dozens of background papers (prize for most world-weary title goes to Pietro Garau […]

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What happened at the Pittsburgh G20?

I didn’t attend the G20 summit in Pittsburgh last week, but I’ve been poring over the communiqué. Here are some initial thoughts on what it all means (numbers in square brackets refer to paragraphs in the original), incorporating analysis and intel from the Oxfam team at the event. Headline: Pittsburgh formally enshrined the rise of […]

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Do poorer countries have less capacity for redistribution? A new paper

When can a country end poverty by redistributing wealth from its rich people, and when must it instead rely on aid or growth? That’s a question Martin Ravallion, head of the World Bank’s research department seeks to answer in a new paper. Essentially he is trying to put precise numbers on the relatively obvious point […]

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Cash for Climate: how the financing numbers break down

Cash will be king in the next few months as the crescendo of climate change negotiations builds to the big December summit in Copenhagen. In the words of Alf Wills, a South African negotiator, ‘no money, no deal’ (although European Commission President José Manuel Barroso is also credited with the soundbite). If developing countries are […]

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Update on US aid reform

These are exciting times for anyone who wants to reform the US aid system, as years of preparation and lobbying start to bear fruit (see my previous blog and click here for an excellent introduction to US aid from Oxfam America). Congress has taken an early lead on reform – with three pieces of legislation currently […]

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How has DFID's thinking evolved since 1997? Four White Papers provide a rough guide.

Last month, the UK’s Department for International Development, (DFID), published its fourth White Paper since it was created as a fully fledged ministry by the incoming Labour Government in 1997. So what?  Well, it sets out the thinking for one of the more cutting edge bilateral aid organizations, so it’s at least worth a skim. […]

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

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 […]

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Poverty scorecards – a cheap way to identify who's poor?

Finding out which people in any given community live below the poverty line is actually quite hard. Why do it? To target services like microfinance  (let’s not get into the targetting v universal provision argument here); comparing poverty rates in different regions and countries, and tracking changes over time. But both income and consumption poverty […]

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What does the British Conservative Party think about development?

This week I attended the launch of ‘One World Conservatism’, a ‘Green Paper’ (i.e. discussion document) in which the Conservative Party (who if you believe the opinion polls, are highly likely to take over from Gordon Brown’s Labour at the next election, due before next June) set out its thinking on international development. The Green […]

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WOCA load of rubbish – fiddling aid numbers at the G8

As expected, some of the more aid sceptic governments will be seeking ways to wriggle out of their commitments at the G8 summit, which opens in Italy today. But rather than just say ‘we’re breaking our promises – tough’, they are floating various kinds of creative accounting to allow them to meet their commitments without […]

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Does aid work? Ask Nepalese women.

Ok I’m getting tired of picking holes in the arguments of aid sceptics, so here’s something positive – a specific example of what aid can achieve in a country like Nepal, which is recovering from a decade of conflict with devastating consequences for the delivery of basic services. One third of its population lives below […]

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