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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.

 

A Critical Moment for COD Aid or “The Trouble with Targets”

As mentioned in our last post, aid agencies are experimenting with programs that incorporate the main features of COD Aid: paying for outputs and outcomes, giving the recipient greater discretion to spend as they see fit, independent verification, and transparency. Once these results-based programs are up and running, they face a critical test when the first results are reported. In particular, most programs create expectations by setting annual targets and are then judged relative to those targets rather than to their baseline. And this means that even successful programs will be viewed as failures (a point also made in an earlier blog). By refusing to set targets, a results-based program can avoid this pitfall. How is it that targets can create such a problem?

Absolute(ly Not) Zero

Last week saw the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Agenda meeting in Liberia.  Apparently various panel members used the occasion to lay out their vision for goals and targets for 2030.  And according to Save the Children’s Brendan Cox, there was a lot of discussion around the “fact that we can get to zero on so many issues.”  Save the Children’s very interesting report on post-2015 is heavy on