The prime minister’s most influential advisor, Dominic Cummings, is a champion of “effective altruism”—the use of evidence and careful reasoning to work out how to maximize the good with a given unit of resources. With the UK government in the midst of a major “Integrated Review” of its foreign, development, and defence policy—and the recent the formation of a merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office confirming it isn’t afraid of change—now’s a good time to consider whether the effective altruism movement can or should find great traction in UK aid programmes.
This note lays out calculations of the UK’s net fiscal contribution to the EU budget between the years 2008 to 2018, and quantifies the support provided to other EU countries to promote their economic growth, regional convergence and rural development, but which is not classified as aid.
On 30th April, Ian Mitchell submitted written evidence on aid effectiveness to the UK's International Development Select Committee.
This note updates and builds on analysis from 2014 by Stefan Dercon, which projects carbon dioxide emissions by the poorest countries to understand their likely future contribution to global emissions. Whilst these countries’ emissions are currently very low, there is concern that rapid economic growth could alter this picture.
Finance for International Development (FID): A New Measure to Compare Traditional and Emerging Provider Countries’ Official Development Finance Efforts, and Some Provisional Results
In this working paper we present a new indicator—Finance for International Development (FID)—that attempts to fill this gap by measuring in a comparable way the flows of official, cross-border concessional finance provided by 40 major economies
On March 17, Ian Mitchell submitted evidence to the United Kingdom's House of Commons International Development Committee on the effectiveness of UK aid.
This paper revisits the concept of international development aid effectiveness and its measurement as part of a review of the Quality of ODA (QuODA) assessment published regularly since 2010.
EU agricultural support to member states is a barrier to development in Africa and elsewhere. Support levels vary by member, and remain high internationally, but neither the EU nor the OECD publish comparable figures on support levels in the 28 members. In this note, we publish the first estimates of agricultural support by EU members.
The arrival of a new leadership team in Brussels provides an opportunity for Europe to reinvigorate its role as a global development power and to build a true partnership with its continental neighbour, Africa. These tasks have never been more urgent. Read here for recommendations on trade.
The Quality of UK Aid Spending, 2011–2018: An Analysis of Evaluations by the Independent Commission on Aid Impact
This paper analyses the grades awarded in the 65 primary reviews undertaken by the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) over its first eight years of operation, from 2011 to 2018. It finds that ICAI has directly evaluated £28bn of UK aid over the period. Around four-fifths of spend assessed was graded as “satisfactory” (amber/green) or “strong” (green). The findings from ICAI reviews, and this report, should inform the UK Government’s aid allocations between departments at the forthcoming spending review.
This paper discusses the United Kingdom’s foreign aid quality based on an updated assessment of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) published by the Center for Global Development. We find UK aid quality has decreased from 2012 to 2016 and now ranks 15th out of the 27 countries assessed.
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. How did your country do this year?
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world's richest countries on policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. Because development is about more than foreign aid, the Index covers seven distinct policy areas: Aid, Finance, Technology, Environment, Trade, Security, and Migration.
This paper looks at how the UK can, after Brexit, develop a world-leading trade for development policy. It uses a systematic assessment of how rich country trade policies affect developing countries to identify the leading approaches used elsewhere. It then identifies and describes four key steps: i) eliminating or lowering tariffs; ii) improving preferential access for the very poorest countries; iii) cutting red tape at the border; and iv) enhancing the effectiveness of its aid for trade. These steps would enable the UK to improve substantially on the approach taken by the EU and other countries, benefit UK consumers and businesses, and set a new standard in trade policy for development.