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Here is what I liked about President Obama’s UN speech on development last week, what I liked less, and what to watch for next. I conclude with an epilogue on this week’s historic gathering of secretaries Clinton, Gates, and Geithner, USAID Administrator Shah, and Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Daniel Yohannes for the U.S.
To all those concerned about the future of foreign aid, please take the opportunity to read the works included in CGD’s new Innovations in Aid mini-series. The first paper in this series “The End of ODA” is by Jean-Michel Severino and Olivier Ray, and though it was started before the current global financial crisis reached its height, it is more relevant today than ever before. In this paper Severino and Ray describe shifts in the objectives of ODA (official development assistance) over time, and conclude that it is time to reform the concept and rename it “Global Policy Finance”.
We at CGD, inspired by queries and suggestions from our local partners in the NGO world, including especially David Beckman, President of Bread for the World, are beginning to consider how we might construct a measure of the quality (beyond the quantity) of the aid programs of the major donors.