December 2010


Independent research & practical ideas for global prosperity

Cash on Delivery Aid

Seen and Heard

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair spoke at a CGD event about how the promotion of effective leadership can transform African countries and, in his speech, mentioned his support of COD Aid. Watch the speech here.

Reflecting its focus on results, DFID includes a commitment to pilot COD Aid contracts in its business plan. As Nancy and I discuss in this blog post, the agency is taking seriously the call for innovative aid and undergoing abilateral aid review based on results offers from country and regional staff.

In this speech on climate change, DFID International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced that, in Africa, DFID is “exploring a cash on delivery mechanism with a view to delivering enough electricity for over four million rural households, avoiding emissions of 900,000 tons a year.”

In comments posted on The Guardian and in this blog post, Nancy takes a closer look at what the development community means by “results”.

CGD visiting fellow Thomas Bollyky discusses how COD Aid could create incentives for more effective tobacco control strategies in this report published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Bollyky also published his proposals as an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

COD Aid in the Media

  • In this blog post, Richard Curtain analyzes the COD Aid approach as a way to make Australian aid more effective and suggests that COD Aid should be a part of AusAID’s programs, which are currently under review. The challenge for AusAID (like other aid agencies) is to “shift away from its close monitoring of inputs and outputs at the expense of outcomes,” while encouraging the responsibility of aid recipients and the sustainability of aid-funded initiatives.
  • In Result Based Aid: Can It Work? , Dixita Silwal reports on how COD Aid can help to make aid more effective and cites advantages of results-based aid based on Nancy’s blog post.
  • When Nancy asked and offered a reply about the definition of “results” as referred to by three world leaders, she emphasizes that results-based aid, including COD Aid, may be the best single approach to building capacity and strengthening institutions.

On the Horizon

  • CGD is exploring the application of COD Aid in the secondary education sector in Central America for a private foundation.
  • The African Development Bank is developing a proposal for how it can incorporate COD Aid in its operations in the water sector. An overview of the objectives and challenges of this application of COD Aid can be found in this CGD concept note.
  • Bill Savedoff continues to welcome feedback on this consultation draft of a concept note on applications of COD Aid in the health sector. Bill and colleagues are working to refine proposed outcome indicators for the application of COD Aid to maternal health, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.

COD Aid Update

Since the publication of Cash on Delivery: A new approach to foreign aid with an application to primary schooling in March 2010, the COD Aid team at CGD has been busy presenting the approach, discussing its advantages and challenges, and considering its wide range of applications. The governments of the UK, Sweden, and Germany have announced intentions to pilot it; we have begun technical discussion with the African Development Bank about an application in the water sector; and we still await the new operational guidelines on results-based aid from the World Bank.

As we look forward to seeing what COD Aid proposals will look like on the ground in the coming year, we hope that those outside of CGD – from donor agencies, recipient countries, NGOs, and the public – will continue to inform us about proposals for COD Aid that they conceive or come across. We are developing ideas for the assessment of COD Aid as a new and innovative approach to aid and hope that it will contribute to evidence-based policy-making in development.

On behalf of the COD Aid team, I wish you a happy holiday season and all the best in 2011!

Best wishes,

Rita Perakis
Program Coordinator to the President