There is a significant and ongoing ramp-up in support for explicitly subsidized official development finance to the private sector around the world, but its role remains poorly defined. Lessons from the aid effectiveness literature as a whole and principles on effective use of aid suggest the need for approaches that do not merely finance the marginal private investment.
Marginal, Not Transformational: Development Finance Institutions and the Sustainable Development Goals
Development finance institutions have positioned themselves as key agencies to help the world meet the Sustainable Development Goals. It is doubtful that they can deliver. This paper outlines the challenges facing DFIs in achieving (anywhere near) such an expansion in their impact, particularly in infrastructure and particularly in the poorest countries.
To produce real systemic change, the aid system must move beyond technical and rhetorical approaches to accountability and begin reshaping the power and incentive structures that influence aid decision-making.
Following the launch of M-Pesa in 2007, Kenya has emerged as a global leader in the development of mobile money and in increasing rates of financial inclusion. This paper shows how M-Pesa’s success has led to a series of endogenous innovations that have shaped Kenya’s digital space, placing it ahead of other developing economies in the region in the deployment and use of digital technology.
“Contractors or Collectives?” Earmarked Funding of Multilaterals, Donor Needs and Institutional Integrity: The World Bank as a Case Study
This paper revisits earlier analyses of the pros and cons of so-called “Multi-bi” funding, or earmarked bilateral funding channelled through a multilateral development institution like the World Bank.
The UK has considerably increased the amount of aid it spends on research in recent years. We suggest reporting reforms that will increase transparency and allow greater scrutiny of the way UK research aid is spent. We also call for the UK to live up to its reporting to the OECD that all British aid is untied.
Interest in mobilizing private finance for SDG investments is surging in a world of stagnating aid, limited fiscal space, and rising LIC debt. But is more reliance on private finance realistic for LICs? This paper explores the performance since the global financial crisis of one source of private finance for LICs: cross-border private capital inflows.
Maximizing the Shared Benefits of Legal Migration Pathways: Lessons from Germany’s Skills Partnerships
Germany is one country piloting and implementing projects that can help alleviate such demographic pressures and maximize the potential mutual benefits of legal labor migration.
Fuel Subsidy Reform and Green Taxes: Can Digital Technologies Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?
Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions. The paper outlines how the use of digital technology can help accomplishing those reforms, drawing on four country cases. The technology is only a mechanism; it does not, in itself, create the political drive and constituency to push reform forward.
Steps Toward Forest Landscape Restoration in The Context of The Rohingya Influx: Creating Opportunities to Advance Environmental, Humanitarian, and Development Progress in Bangladesh
There are now one million Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, comprising about 30 percent of the population. This increase, coupled with immediate needs for fuelwood and shelter, has diminished livelihoods due to deforestation and loss of access to land; soil and slope erosion; fuelwood scarcity and associated risks to safety of people collecting fuelwood; increased encroachment and forest degradation; declining water quality, groundwater reserve depletion, and air pollution; decreasing soil quality; and climate vulnerability.
Transforming the Institutional Landscape in Sub-Saharan Africa: Considerations for Leveraging Africa’s Research Capacity to Achieve Socioeconomic Development
In order to achieve sustainable development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa, African institutions must be the leading experts on and primary providers of research solutions to local problems. We present for consideration three possible innovative models that can facilitate the emergence of strong Africa-based, Africa-led institutions: a multi-stakeholder funding platform, an integrator organization model, and a scale model.
US trade policy effectively discriminates against poorer countries. In addition, provisions in trade agreements that tilt the playing field in favor of business interests over those of American consumers and workers also often undermine development priorities in partner countries. American policymakers should rethink the substance and process of trade policy and negotiations to spread the benefits more broadly, at home and abroad.
The ability of digital payments to deliver better outcomes for governments, businesses, and individuals—including driving financial inclusion—has been one of the success stories of the digital age.
Imagining the Alternative Worlds of 2030: Policy Implications for the Future of Global Health Procurement
Drawing on a range of political, economic, and social trends, this paper envisions how the global landscape might change between now and 2030, with a focus on the implications for global health, particularly the procurement of health products.
Does the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Help or Hinder Financial Inclusion? A Study of FATF Mutual Evaluation Reports
As the organization responsible for setting international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has encouraged countries to design measures that protect the integrity of the financial system and support financial inclusion. But it has also received criticism that poor implementation of its standards can undermine financial access.
The Kunming-Vientiane Railway: The Economic, Procurement, Labor, and Safeguards Dimensions of a Chinese Belt and Road Project
The Kunming-Vientiane railway is an anchor investment of the Chinese government’s Belt and Road initiative. This case study will assess the rail project along four dimensions: economic implications; procurement arrangements; labor; and environmental and social safeguards. In each of these areas, evidence from the railway project suggests that Chinese policy and practice could be better aligned with the practices of other sources of multilateral and bilateral development finance.
The US Department of Defense (DOD) is not a development agency, but it does manage millions of dollars of development assistance.
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.