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.

 

Close up of a hand using a test tube and pipette. Photo from Adobe Stock.

This Is the Perfect Moment to Redesign UK Aid Spend on Research

A new ICAI report issued this week suggests that large parts of UK aid spending on research and development remain hampered by a design that favors British researcher interests over urgent research topics and capacity prioritized by the world’s poorest countries. The next few months are a perfect opportunity to fix that problem, because the two most problematic funds are up for renewal.

A screenshot of the top of the country report for China in the 2020 CDI.

CDI 2020: China’s Commitment to Development

China’s policy commitment to development ranks 35th of the 40 countries in the CDI. Some of the results may seem counterintuitive: Most people know that China provides major levels of finance to Africa, and that it’s a big producer of greenhouse gases. However, after we take account of country size to enable comparisons between countries, our index ranks China last on development finance but well above the US and in the top ten on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

A woman raises her hand to speak at a community meeting in Aurangabad, India. Photo by Simone D. McCourtie, World Bank

Money Can’t Buy You “Country Ownership”

Efforts to make aid more effective in the last two decades have given prominence to "country ownership." With true country ownership, aid is supposed to follow the priorities of recipient countries, rather than those of the funders. Yet funders have their priorities too. So recipients and funders have sought to resolve this potential conflict through policy dialogue and alignment of priorities. My new paper, "What is 'Country Ownership'?" explores this basic problem using a formal model to unravel three interrelated factors affecting country ownership.

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