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.
Two out of five low-income countries were in the grips of, or moving rapidly toward, unsustainable debt levels before the global pandemic. But the economic, financial, and fiscal effects of the pandemic have brought the day of reckoning for many countries much closer. The global financial community is likely entering another period of messy, prolonged, costly, and contentious debt defaults and restructurings. It does so with no more—and in some ways less—consensus on the principles that should govern collective action by public and private creditors, debtor governments, and the IFIs.
Being a force for good in the world is more than about branding, or even good intentions: it requires impact and an organisation capable of it. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s vision offers a good starting point for being a values-driven force for good in the world, but within that vision there are potential tensions that need to be managed, rather than left to seethe.
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.
Development finance institutions (DFIs) suggest that transparency is important to their development impact, and many aim to be in a leadership position on reporting about their work, but actual practice on transparency varies significantly between DFIs.
In this note, we review Colombia's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The first line of policy response slowed down the pace of contagion and avoided excess deaths, providing additional time to strengthen the health system and increase ICU capacity. However, the challenges that remain are significant. We provide some policy recommendations for the next stages of the pandemic.
Globalization is under attack.US isolationism is part of a worldwide phenomenon: anti-globalizers have risen to power in countries from Brazil and Hungary to the UK. And they led efforts to build walls real and virtual against trade and exchange. From the intellectual right, globalization is blamed for cultural decay. From the left it is attacked as a source of inequality and repression.
Harder Times, Softer Terms: Assessing the World Bank’s New Sustainable Development Finance Policy Amidst the COVID Crisis
The World Bank’s non-concessional borrowing (NCBP) policy for IDA countries was introduced in 2006 following major rounds of debt relief and debt cancellation for a large subset of these countries through the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative.
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global shock that hit Latin America particularly hard.
The sizeable economic and health consequences of COVID-19 are clear as the pandemic spreads, translating into additional burden on health systems not just now but for years to come.
This note aims to help recipient countries understand Chinese aid management and structures by providing an overview of those structures and what they mean for the future of aid from China. The note takes into account two key shifts in Chinese aid management in recent years: the formation of CIDCA, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We hope this note will also be of interest to development practitioners seeking to better engage with China or to learn from China’s experience.
In this policy note, we highlight Pakistan’s Ehsaas Emergency Cash program as a case study, as well as several other examples of cash transfer programs mobilized by governments in light of COVID-19, to reflect how this sort of preliminary analysis can be done.
Following the announcement of the merger between DfID and FCO, Stefan Dercon and Ranil Dissanayake take a look at the opportunities of the merger.
In this note, we review rigorous studies that have analyzed how COVID-19 and related policies are impacting rates of VAW/C and highlight more reliable methods, while acknowledging limitations of underlying data sources. We propose recommendations for how to both broaden and deepen our collective understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting these forms of violence, and what can be done in response.
Community health workers (CHWs) are often the first point of care for vulnerable and underserved populations in low- and middle-income countries, but do they have the PPE they need to do their jobs?
In the time of COVID-19, Jean-Michel Severino asks how we can harness our emotions and allow them to support better reasoning and decision making.
Diagnostic testing is at the center of the policy debate around COVID-19 interventions in India. As of June 1, 2020, India had conducted approximately 3.8 million tests since it began testing in February, but many experts have noted that testing capacity is still drastically insufficient for the needs of the population.
The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic output and public finances in 2020 and beyond is projected to be massive. Fiscal policy can have a crucial role in mitigating the pandemic’s overall economic impact and promoting a quick recovery. It can help save lives and shield the most-affected segments of population.