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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.

 

ICAI grades for spending directly evaluated (Depts reviewed and >1% UK aid)

How Effective Is UK Aid? Assessing the Last 8 Years of Spending

In our new policy paper, we take advantage of the fact that the impact of UK aid is independently assessed by the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI). Looking back over 8 years and 65 graded assessments, even with a focus on riskier projects, we find that almost 80 percent of UK aid assessed was well spent. With a spending review on the horizon, HM Treasury will be looking closely at departmental performance and should use ICAI’s findings to shape their allocations. 

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.