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.
Using publicly available information, we describe all seven DIBs, and evaluate the three “health DIBs” in more detail, comparing their stakeholders, implementation, and outcome structures. We offer three recommendations to improve evaluation and inform development of DIBs in the future.
Should Developing Countries Sign the OECD Multilateral Instrument to Address Treaty-Related Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Measures?
The Multilateral Instrument (MLI) is a groundbreaking mechanism to update the network of thousands of bilateral tax treaties that make up the international tax system. This paper argues that developing countries should sign up to the MLI, but that they can afford to take a wait-and-see approach to selecting and finalizing options, while reviewing the options selected by other countries and building capacity for implementation. Developing countries should also be cautious about entering into new tax treaties to be sure that provisions are in their favour.
The UK’s recently launched GOV.UK Verify service relies on a novel federated approach for digital identity verification that offers insights that will become more valuable with the spread of digital societies and economies.
Bolivia, like many other fuel producers, subsidizes the domestic consumption of energy heavily, particularly oil and natural gas. This paper estimates the magnitude of the subsidies and offers an approximate picture of their incidence by income decile.
Demand for and supply of “sustainable” coffee (and other commodities) have grown markedly for two decades, as has the literature analyzing the effects of voluntary sustainability standards for coffee. The evidence for assessing the impacts for smallholder producers and the environment remains relatively weak, however.
What Mining Can Learn from Oil: A Study of Special Transfer Pricing Practices in the Oil Sector, and their Potential Application to Hard Rock Minerals
Governments of mining countries are vulnerable to investors manipulating transfer prices as a means of avoiding paying taxes. This paper looks at whether special practices in the oil sector that provide materially greater protection against transfer pricing risk could be applied to hard rock minerals. These are (1) administrative pricing, where government, rather than the taxpayer sets the price for crude oil; and (2) the no-profit rule, which prevents joint venture partners from charging a profit mark-up on the cost of providing goods and services to the group.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: Proposed Governance Arrangements for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
This paper outlines the proposed governance arrangements for the TFFF. The performance payments would be allocated as part of a global offer, available to all countries with extensive tropical forests that meet the performance standards.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: A Proposal for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
The Tropical Forest Finance Facility is an attempt to generate significant new finance to fund pay-for-performance incentives for tropical forest conservation. The TFFF proposal includes two key innovations: 1) the way it will raise funds, by converting low-cost sovereign credit from mission-driven investor countries and companies into cash that can be used to drive change in developing countries, through an instrument similar to a sovereign wealth fund; and 2) the way it will distribute funds, using the Cash-On-Delivery aid approach that supports country ownership and only pays for results as they are achieved and verified.
Creating a Multilateral Wealth Fund for a Global Public Good: Proposed Financing Strategy for a Tropical Forest Finance Facility
This paper outlines the proposed financing strategy for the pay-for-performance financing facility. The performance payments would be distributed as part of a global offer, available to all countries with extensive tropical forests.
This paper explores the feasibility of commercial nuclear power in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in light of advanced nuclear technologies and their potential to overcome some of the challenges to deployment.
Illicit Financial Flows, Trade Misinvoicing, and Multinational Tax Avoidance: The Same or Different?
Illicit financial flows (IFFs) connected with corruption, crime, and tax evasion are an issue of increasing concern. However, there is not yet a clear consensus on how to define illicit financial flows, and even less on how to measure them.
Perspective in Economic Evaluations of Healthcare Interventions in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: One Size Does Not Fit All
As developing nations are increasingly adopting economic evaluation as a means of informing their own investment decisions, new questions emerge. The right answer to the question “which perspective?” is the one tailored to these local specifics. We conclude that there is no one-size-fits-all and that the one who pays must set or have a major say in setting the perspective.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative hopes to deliver trillions of dollars in infrastructure financing to Asia, Europe, and Africa. This paper assesses the likelihood of debt problems in the 68 countries identified as potential BRI borrowers. We conclude that eight countries are at particular risk of debt distress based on an identified pipeline of project lending associated with BRI.
What Can We Learn about Energy Access and Demand from Mobile-Phone Surveys? Nine Findings from Twelve African Countries
We conducted phone-based surveys on energy access and demand in twelve African countries. From these findings, we draw several potential policy implications. First, both grid electricity and off-grid solutions currently are inadequate to meet many African consumers’ modern energy demands. Second, grid and off-grid electricity are viewed by consumers as complementary, rather than competing, solutions to meet energy demand. Third, a market exists for off-grid solutions even among connected, urban Africans.
In response to the recent migrant and refugee crisis, rich countries have redoubled policy efforts to deter future immigration from poor countries by addressing the “root causes” of migration. We review existing evidence on the extent and effectiveness of such efforts.
This paper looks at estimates of the potential gains from taxing across borders, alongside largely domestic measures such as property tax, personal income tax, VAT, and tobacco taxes. It finds that while action on cross-border taxation could yield additional tax take in the region of one percent of GDP, in many countries measures targeting the domestic tax base might deliver something in the region of nine percent. The main enabler is political commitment.
Despite the considerable interest in Development Impact Bonds, only a few have reached the implementation phase. We use information from stakeholder interviews to describe the design of one DIB in-depth and use lessons from a range of impact bonds to develop recommendations for potential partners to future DIBs. Lessons from the set of impact bonds reveal a need to reset expectations, particularly around the time and effort needed to develop and market a DIB.