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CGD in the News

Is Cash on Delivery the Future for Aid? (The Guardian)

May 13, 2011

CGD was mentioned in an article on COD aid in the Guardian's Poverty Matters blog.

From the Article

I have just come back from a conference on payment for performance (P4P) and results based aid (RBA). "Results" is the word of the moment in many donor agencies, spurred on by a skeptical public wondering why money is being spent overseas and not on their local hospitals. And there has been plenty of debate about the opportunities and possible dangers of putting results at the centre of the development agenda.

But results-based aid is a particular subset of the more general results agenda. Rather than just taking results into account and promoting a "culture of results", RBA pays for the results themselves. It is basically an iteration of the recent fashion in rich countries to place targets on everything from hospital waiting lists to grades in secondary school. Achieve the target, and you get paid a bonus; fail to achieve it, and you don't.

The big vertical health funds, such as the Global Alliance on Vaccinations and Immunisations (Gavi) and the Global Fund, have been innovating in this area for almost a decade, but now everyone from the World Bank to DfID wants a piece of the action. And developing countries such as Rwanda and Burundi are adopting P4P with some success in their domestic health systems.

Researchers at the US thinktank the Centre for Global Development have developed the purest form of RBA so far. They have called it cash on delivery (COD) aid, after a type of mail service you can get in the US in which you pay for the package only when it arrives.

Read the Article