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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.


12 Principles for Payment by Results (PbR) in the Real World

Development agencies are increasingly interested in making aid more transparent, stakeholder-led, and effective by expanding the use of payment by results (PbR) — rewarding those implementing projects on the basis of results delivered instead of paying for inputs. For payment by results to work, you have to get a lot of things right. It has to be for the right kind of programme targeting the right results, properly measured and rewarded in the right way. These issues, and more, are laid out in Stefan Dercon and Paul Clist’s 12 principles for payment by results (PDF).

Development Is Toast

This week, Owen Barder gave an excellent presentation on Complexity and Development and asked whether development is an “emergent property of a complex adaptive system.” After listening to his talk, I fully agree with this definition. On further reflection, however, I decided that development is more like toast. Yes, white, wheat or rye, crisped up with heat. Don’t you agree? Let me explain.

Another Call for COD Aid Pilots

This is a joint post with William Savedoff and Ayah Mahgoub.

Shout-out to Duncan Green and Oxfam for commenting on our new book and calling, like Nicholas Kristof, for pilots of COD Aid. Best of all, Duncan noted (as have several others such as Owen Barder in this note among others) that many of the usual concerns about COD Aid (see our FAQs for some) apply as much or more to other forms of aid.

But on one big point we disagree: It’s not true that COD Aid has been tried before.