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Owen Barder is a Vice President at the Center for Global Development, Director for Europe and a senior fellow. He is also a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and a Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Commons International Development Committee. Barder was a British civil servant from 1988 to 2010, during which time he worked in No.10 Downing Street, as Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to the Prime Minister; in the UK Treasury, including as Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and in the Department for International Development, where he was variously Director of International Finance and Global Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications and Information, and head of Africa Policy & Economics Department. As a young Treasury economist, Barder set up the first UK government website, to put details of the 1994 budget online.
Nine thousand delegates gathered in Istanbul for the first World Humanitarian Summit. There was no shortage of great commentary in advance, all of which pointed to the pivotal role that the WHS could play in the future of humanitarian aid. Depending on who you ask, the humanitarian system is either broke or broken. How could the Summit have tackled the system's mounting problems?
Although the real value of global aid has grown 9% in the last five years, all of that increase has been eaten up by the rising costs of humanitarian aid and refugees. Instead of condemning more and more people to a long-term future as aid-dependent refugees, what if we turned the support they would receive from donors over many years into an endowment that would enable them to start a new life in a new country?
Companies that own property in the UK are going to have to publish the names of their owners, in a publicly-accessible registry. And they will also have to list their owners if they want to get a contract from the UK government.
“For too long there has been a taboo about tackling [corruption] head on. The summit will change that.” That, at least, is the optimistic pronouncement from the leader of Her Majesty’s Government ahead of the UK anti-corruption summit in London this week.
The roundtable event, to be held in Brussels, Belgium, and organised by ECDPM with the Center for Global Development in Europe, will bring together analysts, development finance practitioners, stakeholders from a spectrum of development finance institutions, and policymakers with a durable public and private finance experience for a series of brief, focused presentations and a constructive, curated discussion.
Millions of people face hazards like cyclones and drought every day. International aid to deal with disasters after they strike is generous, but it is unpredictable and fragmented, and it often fails to arrive when it would do the most good. We must stop treating disasters like surprises. Matching finance to planning today will save lives, money, and time tomorrow.
On the eve of the Social Impact Investment summit in London this Thursday, 6th June, I am excited that CGD and Social Finance are releasing a consultation draft of the report of the Working Group on Development Impact Bonds that we have convened over the past year.
The Financing for Development Conference, which drew to a close yesterday in Addis Ababa, was never going to solve all the world’s development problems. What it could do was establish a shared policy framework within which decisions for the rest of 2015 can be taken. The outcome document, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, actually does that pretty well. But the real test is still to come: what specifically will countries commit to which will make these ideas real?
The High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers
The Report of the High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers shows why giving aid directly in the form of cash is often a highly effective way to reduce suffering and to make limited humanitarian aid budgets go further. We urge the humanitarian community to give more aid as cash, and to make cash central to future emergency response planning.