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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.

 

CGD’s Panel at the #HLM2 in Nairobi: Can Insurance Fix Emergency and Humanitarian Aid?

Can insurance really make emergency aid better, faster, and fairer? That was the question we posed to the impressive panel that we convened last week in Nairobi at the second high level meetings of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. The panel brought together two critical skills to improving emergency aid: development expertise and risk management nous, and we left with four strong takeaways.

Head and Heart: Are More Generous Donors Less Effective?

When it comes to development aid, you might think that there is a trade-off between head and heart: that more generous donors would be less serious about making sure that their aid is used properly. But in a new CGD working paper, we find that In general, more generous donors tend also to be the most effective. One possible explanation of this correlation is that much of what we consider to be effective aid involves donors putting the interests of the intended beneficiaries of aid ahead of the interests of the donor country.

Do Middle-Income Countries Get More Aid than Low-Income Countries?

In a recent TV documentary, Professor Hans Rosling suggested that middle-income countries (MICs) get three times as much aid per person in poverty as countries which are further back in their development. Is aid being spent disproportionately in MICs? As you would expect, countries are diverse, and so too is the amount of aid they each receive. We show that the apparent under-allocation of aid to low-income countries (LICs) calculated by ODI, which is cited by Rosling, depends heavily on the choice of averages.

Aid Isn’t Reaching the Very Poorest Countries

The good news is that international aid reached a record high, in real terms, in 2014. The bad news is that aid to the very poorest countries fell sharply in 2014, reversing the welcome trend over the last decade of allocating more aid to the poorest countries. This is a problem because low-income countries need aid the most.