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Guest Post: Five Reasons I Am a Fan of Cash on Delivery, and Five Ways to Make It Sharper

Rakesh Rajani, is founder and head of Twaweza, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in Tanzania and other countries in East Africa. This post is based upon comments he made in response to Nancy Birdsall's presentation (see blog post and slides) at the UK Department for International Development on March 9, 2011.

Here are five reasons why I am a fan of Cash on Delivery (COD) Aid:

Cash on Delivery Counts on Counting

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis.

“But we want them to begin counting.” This is the key line in Tina Rosenberg’s column today on Cash on Delivery Aid, where she responds to comments on her initial column from readers worried that governments in poor countries don’t have the capability or the resources to measure things – not even births and deaths.

Cash on Delivery Aid: A Good Idea for America Too

“Experimentation on foreign aid is valuable – and rare.”  This is the single most important line in Tina Rosenberg’s excellent description of Cash on Delivery Aid in her recent NYTimes opinion piece.

Tina fleshes out an important point we have made but not emphasized enough:  COD Aid will make sense to Americans.  

More Demand for Cash on Delivery

This is a joint post with Nancy Birdsall.

Interest in Cash on Delivery Aid has been so strong that we’ve printed a second edition of the book which can be purchased or downloaded online. Here is our new preface:

Since Cash on Delivery: A New Approach to Foreign Aid was published in March 2010, the ideas we proposed have been embraced by presidents and ministers, by heads of public and private institutions, and by researchers and practitioners. The Education Ministry in Malawi sent us a letter asking for help creating a COD Aid program there, the British government has publicly committed to financing pilot experiences, and articles and essays have addressed COD Aid in a range of publications including The Economist, The New York Times, and Public Choice. In the debates that ensued, we have learned even more about the Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid) approach and how significant a departure it could be from current aid practices.

DFID Still Serious about Results: DfID's Aid Review

This is a joint post with Nancy Birdsall.

Last week UK Secretary of International Development Andrew Mitchell released the outcomes of DFID’s bilateral and multilateral aid reviews.

We were glad to see that the published documents on the bilateral aid review included country summaries that list the funds allocated to each of 27 countries and three regional programs where DFID plans to work in the next 4 years, and the key results these funds are expected to produce. These are likely the highlights of the “results offers” that country and regional teams submitted at the end of last year (as we discussed in this blog).

COD Aid Called Radical and Refreshing

In a refreshing discussion of COD Aid that’s what Andrew Rogerson calls our idea.  Rogerson is an experienced player in aid delivery, having been at DfID and the OECD/Development Assistance Committee.  His smart summary covers the latest news, including a pilot of COD Aid for Ethiopia being planned at DfID.  It is smartly presented (as in COD implies for the recipient “no free lunch”), with an eye on the practical questions sponsors of COD Aid face.

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