Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

What Does the UK Election Result Mean for Development?

A BBC headline summed it up: ‘UK Conservatives in shock election victory’. Every opinion poll beforehand assured us of another five years of coalition government, with forecasters split on who would be Prime Minister. No-one expected the final result: that the incumbent David Cameron would lead his Conservative party to an outright win, securing a majority of seats in Parliament and a mandate in his own right.  

As the UK settles into this unexpected reality, what does a new Conservative-only government promise for development?

A Development Policy for the 21st Century

It drives me crazy that so many people equate development policy with foreign aid.

That’s why I welcome this week’s landmark report from the British parliament’s Select Committee on International Development. As the UK nears the end of a five-year parliament, this well-respected cross-party committee has delivered its legacy report, which argues that development is about much more than aid.

In Defence of Britain’s Foreign Aid

Britain's Department for International Development has for decades been a leader within the British government on ensuring value for taxpayer money. Over the years it has pioneered cost-benefit analysis; rigorous impact evaluations; and transparency of spending—innovations that were subsequently taken up by the rest of government.  In the 1990s, the most senior civil servant in the department, Sir Tim Lankester, blew the whistle on a project to finance a dam in Malaysia because it was not a good use of development aid.