Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Building a Foundation for DIBs: Why Philanthropists Should Get Involved

Foundations are not primarily interested in what they can “give” to contribute to development, but how they can make targeted investments and form effective partnerships with other development actors, as CGD in Europe colleagues and I heard last week at the meetings of the OECD Global Network of Foundations Working for Development, or netFWD.  

Who Has First DIBs?

The Development Impact Bond Working Group convened by CGD and Social Finance UK recently launched its final report, Investing in Social Outcomes: Development Impact Bonds, which has been well received by the diverse groups of actors who could make DIBs happen, including donor agencies, impact investors, foundations, and civil society organizations. 

Science to Deliver, but No 'Science of Delivery'

The World Bank President Jim Kim has said that the next frontier for the World Bank is to 'help to advance a science of delivery'.  But the problem is not that we are ignoring politics, as Kevin Watkins suggests: the problem is that we are ignoring complexity.

Development Impact Bonds: Comments Welcome

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.

Why Development Impact Bonds?

Development Impact Bonds come at a price: private investors provide upfront funding for social interventions and expect a return, including some compensation for the risk they are taking, if outcomes are delivered.  Is that price worth paying?  The second meeting of the CGD and Social Finance Development Impact Bonds Working Group recently considered this question in some detail.

Doing Well While Doing Good?

Would you invest in a project that looks to reduce the incidence of ‘Rhodesian’ sleeping sickness in cattle in Uganda? What if you could make a return on that investment?

You can’t do it yet but if CGD and Social Finance’s Development Impact Bonds Working Group keeps charging ahead, you just might be able to someday.

Complexity, Adaptation, and Results

In the last of a series of three blog posts looking at the implications of complexity theory for development, Owen Barder and Ben Ramalingam look at the implications of complexity for the trend towards results-based management in development cooperation. They argue that is a common mistake to see a contradiction between recognising complexity and focusing on results: on the contrary, complexity provides a powerful reason for pursuing the results agenda, but it has to be done in ways which reflect the context. In the 2012 Kapuscinski lecture Owen argued that economic and political systems can best be thought of as complex adaptive systems, and that development should be understood as an emergent property of those systems. As explained in detail in Ben’s forthcoming book, these interactive systems are made up of adaptive actors, whose actions are a self-organised search for fitness on a shifting landscape. Systems like this undergo change in dynamic, non-linear ways; characterised by explosive surprises and tipping points as well as periods of relative stability. If development arises from the interactions of a dynamic and unpredictable system, you might draw the conclusion that it makes no sense to try to assess or measure the results of particular development interventions. That would be the wrong conclusion to reach. While the complexity of development implies a different way of thinking about evaluation, accountability and results, it also means that the ‘results agenda’ is more important than ever.

Pages