Tag: aid

 

0.7 Percent Is Stupid

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I’ve been sitting in lots of meetings and covering paper with lots of ink recently about the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development.  And when the topic of aid comes up I nod sagaciously along with others in the room when someone says “well, of course, there won’t be any more aid coming out of the Addis financing conference, it is all about redistributing the pot.” Sometimes I’m the one to write or say it, then have a brief chat about that redistribution before switching to other topics like private finance or trade.

What the 2015 QDDR Means for USAID

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The quick answer is: not too much. The longer answer is that the 2015 Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) could be meaningful for USAID if the recommendations are backed by a shift in operations and funding within the Agency. Let me explain.

After reaffirming the elevation of development and its rightful place as a powerful foreign policy tool, the QDDR lays out four strategic priorities for USAID and the State Department:

MCC’s CEO Shines a Light on the Way Forward for MCC

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Our celebration of MCC’s tenth birthday continued last week with a thought-provoking open conversation with MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde. The well-attended public event, co-hosted by CGD and the Brookings Institute, was a fantastic opportunity to hear, from MCC’s own leadership, a reflection on the agency’s first ten years and a vision for the agency’s future. (If you missed it, you can watch it here.)

Time for US to Ramp Up Efforts on Domestic Resource Mobilization

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At the World Bank and IMF’s Spring Meetings last week there was much discussion around 0.7 — that decades-old target whereby donors should provide aid equal to 0.7% of their GDP. But there’s a much more current and strategic conversation happening around 0.07% — the amount of assistance donors provide to improve domestic resource mobilization in developing countries. This rounding error goes toward high-impact efforts like improving revenue collection and customs capacity in developing countries.

The Evaluation Gap Is Closing, But Not Closed

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Recently, I sent out the final Evaluation Gap Update – a newsletter about impact evaluations and the institutions that fund them, implement them, or are supposed to be influenced by them. After 10 years, it seemed the right time to move on to other projects, particularly since numerous other resources have sprung up over this decade (many listed below!). Yet there is pushback on the growth of impact evaluations that sometimes worries me. I hear people say too many impact evaluations are being conducted (despite the need for the information they provide).

Funders Worry About “Double Counting” – but What About “Double Demanding”?

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In the world of international aid, performance payments are a hot topic. But when it comes to signing performance payment agreements, most funders have been reticent. One of the reasons is a fear of “Double Counting” – paying once for investments to achieve outcomes and a second time when the outcomes are delivered. This concern ignores the complexity of achieving development goals and the intangible assets invested by recipient countries. When funders do agree to performance agreements, they end up ignoring the burden on recipients of “Double Demanding” – disbursing when outcomes are achieved and then setting restrictions on the use of those funds. All this confusion gets in the way of designing effective aid programs.

MCC’s Next Decade: Claiming the Mantle of Development Leadership

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Here's my wish list for the future of the Millennium Challenge Corporation: Elevate the MCC’s leadership role in US development policy and practice and prove the MCC model’s relevance to the big development and foreign policy challenges of our time, including strategic and fragile states.  

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