With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Cash on Delivery is an approach to foreign aid that focuses on results, encourages innovation, and strengthens government accountability to citizens rather than donors. Under COD Aid, donors would pay for measurable and verifiable progress on specific outcomes, such as $100 dollars for every child above baseline expectations who completes primary school and takes a test. CGD is working with technical experts and potential donors and partner countries to design COD Aid pilots and research programs.
Cash on Delivery Aid is designed to overcome the problems of traditional aid, which often focuses more on disbursements and verifying expenditures than on results, undermines a government’s accountability to its citizens, and undervalues local experimentation and learning. COD Aid’s advantage is in linking payments directly to a single specific outcome, allowing the recipient to reach the outcome however it sees fit, and assuring that progress is transparent and visible to the recipient’s own citizens. These features rebalance accountability, reduce transaction costs, and encourage innovation.
COD Aid can be applied to any sector in which donors and recipients can agree upon measurable, verifiable outcomes and commit to making progress toward those shared goals. The approach is fully explained in Cash on Delivery: A New Approach to Foreign Aid (CGD, 2010). Listen to more about COD Aid in these Wonkcasts. Explore the links to the right for more information on specific sectors and countries.
Get Cash on Delivery Updates
CGD experts offer timely research, analysis, and policy ideas for the world’s emerging development challenges. Sign up to get the latest updates from CGD!
Last week, the New York Times’ Tina Rosenberg wrote about Social Impact Bonds – a new and promising approach to investing in improved social outcomes.
Tina provides some good insights on the closely-watched Peterborough Social Impact Bond (SIB) scheme, which uses private capital to fund programs that are expected to lead to lower rates of recidivism. If reconviction rates are in fact lower for men released from Peterborough Prison as compared to a control group, the British government will remunerate private investors, with a return. A key feature is that independent verification that outcomes are achieved will trigger payments from the public sector.
As Owen Barder writes here, CGD in Europe is partnering with Social Finance, the engineer of the Peterborough SIB, to explore how this model can be applied to development. The model of Development Impact Bonds has some important similarities with the Cash on Delivery Aid approach that CGD has pioneered (now being piloted in Ethiopia and other places), such as the focus on development outcomes and the requirement that results be independently verified. However the model of a “bond” (though SIBs are not technically bonds) provides upfront funding, and potential efficiency gains, through the involvement of the private sector.
The possible applications are plentiful – a Development Impact Bond could be used, as mentioned in the New York Times article to finance the installation of clean water systems, or to increase household access to clean cooking technologies, or to reduce the prevalence of malaria – all examples that we are looking into. The Development Impact Bonds Working Group that CGD has convened with Social Finance, co-chaired by OPIC President and CEO Elizabeth Littlefield, will explore how the model can be applied, and we’ll be providing updates of our progress throughout the year.
Last week, CGD and Social Finance launched a new high-level Working Group to consider Development Impact Bonds, a new mechanism to enable private investment in development outcomes. Owen Barder and Rita Perakis explain.
There is nothing new about the idea that development assistance is an investment: spending money today in the hope of future benefits. Putting money into immunizing kids or giving them an education is an excellent investment in the future well-being of those people. But if there are financial returns they are often far in the future and cannot be directly linked back to the investment. For many development investments the returns are mainly social, not financial. And the absence of financial returns on a reasonable timescale could be why there is no market for investing in development. There is a small pool of investors who are willing to be paid in good karma; but most would rather be paid in dollars, sterling or euros.
When the market cannot provide – such as where the financial returns are not in line with the social returns – we often turn to public sector solutions. But that can bring new problems: government failures are different from market failures, but real nonetheless. Political time horizons can be short, leading to myopic decisions; budgets can be inflexible and siloed; performance management inadequate; and Treasuries and fiscal policies may constrain sensible investments. In developing countries, government failures can be compounded by the involvement of multiple aid agencies.
One promising answer to this set of problems is Social Impact Bonds. Under this scheme, private investors put money into key services, often delivered by non-profit organisations, to produce certain kinds of social benefits. Once reliable independent evidence shows that there has been an improvement leading to a social benefit, the government uses taxpayer money to give the investors their money back with a decent (roughly commercial) return. But if there is no proven social benefit, there is no payout by government. So investors take the risk that interventions don’t work, while being paid with interest for the ones that do. (Alert readers will notice that this is not really a ‘bond’ in the conventional sense.)
This approach is now being tested in the UK, US, Australia and elsewhere. In the UK pilot developed by Social Finance, Social Impact Bonds are being used to pay for services which are intended to reduce reoffending by ex-offenders. Investors put money into a coordinating organization which funds a variety of interventions intended to reduce recidivism, such as training programmes, housing, and counseling. The investors will be paid by the Ministry of Justice (out of the savings they make lower prisoner numbers) if reoffending is shown to go down faster for this group of prisoners than with other comparable prisoners in the prison population.
When this was launched in the UK, we asked whether this model had applications in development. For example, could donors translate social impact into a financial return for investors, in the way the Ministry of Justice has turned lower reoffending into financial returns for investors in the UK? Or are there development interventions which could yield sufficient financial returns to be attractive to investors even without donor support? Over the past few months CGD in Europe has partnered with Social Finance to explore the idea of Development Impact Bonds – to create a new way to invest in development.
Two of the three co-chairs of the DIB Working Group
The Development Impact Bonds Working Group recently met for the first time to explore whether and how social impact bonds could work in development. I’m privileged to be co-chairing the group with Elizabeth Littlefield of OPIC and Toby Eccles of Social Finance. It is a frighteningly smart and experienced group of people, which is a sign of the considerable interest in the idea from financial institutions, donor agencies, foundations, and others. (The full list of members of the Working Group members is here.)
Here are some problems this approach may be able to help solve:
Could Development Impact Bonds be a way to engage the private sector to help improve the management of public services?
Governments in both developed and developing countries find it difficult to manage service delivery contracts successfully. The private sector can be more effective at testing different approaches, monitoring performance, scaling up success and exiting from failure, creating incentives to do better, and is less susceptible to political pressures to misallocate resources. Purely private sector solutions can suffer from problems of access and equity, but can Development Impact Bonds harness the strengths of private sector management while using government money to ensure that services are accessible to the poorest?
Can Development Impact Bonds provide flexible money to support outcomes instead of targeting money inflexibly on particular services?
Governments organize budgets around particular services, and find it difficult to create flexibility to pool the money so that it can be used efficiently to solve particular problems. This is especially true if the spending has been programmed by aid donors, which usually leaves very little discretion for governments to move the money to where it will be used to greatest effect. But if payments are linked to outcomes, could there be more flexibility to spend the money in the most effective ways?
Can Development Impact Bonds enable innovation to find answers for the ‘last mile’?
It is a consistent challenge in development to provide equitable access to important goods (bednets, drugs, fertilizer) and services (clinics, schools, maintenance of water pumps). Getting these products to the poorest people often requires solutions tailored to local circumstances, and the ability to identify and overcome specific obstacles. Centralised development strategies supported by donors have often failed because it has been difficult to provide funding and support institutions with sufficient flexibility to innovate, test ideas, react to local conditions, and enable locally successful solutions to emerge for these ‘last mile’ problems.
Could Development Impact Bonds improve the management of aid-financed services?
For a variety of reasons, service delivery financed by aid can be very inefficient. Much of the money can end up in the overhead costs of organisations that pass the money along very long supply chains, or end up paying for the bureaucracy of planning, monitoring and reporting how the money was used. The intended beneficiaries of aid have no way to identify failure or reward success, and no voice or representation, so there is no bottom up pressure to improve. Many of these problems are an unintended consequence of donors having to mitigate the risks inherent in providing money in advance of outcomes being achieved.
Could Development Impact Bonds enable governments and donors to invest more in prevention, to avoid bigger problems later?
Underinvestment in prevention is a problem for many governments: for example, if we provide too little preventative health care, we end up having to pay for operations and medicines (as well as creating misery from poor health). It would be cheaper to prevent malaria from taking hold again in Zanzibar, than to have to pay later to bring it down again.
Can Development Impact Bonds enable donors to focus on paying for what they get, instead of focusing on getting what they paid for?
Results based aid and results based finance (there is a technical distinction between these terms) are based on the idea that payments are made when services are delivered. But in very poor countries, it is difficult to expect governments to provide services unless someone is willing to put in the money up front. When donors do this, they are drawn into micromanaging how ‘their money’ is used, leading to huge costs of administration and coordination, and undermining country ownership and the use of country systems.
Could Development Impact Bonds enable small scale investing and giving?
Could schemes be designed – perhaps building on the example of Kiva – in which a large number of small, individual investors put money into development opportunities in the expectation of both a financial and a social return? Alternatively or additionally, might individuals and companies be more willing to make donations for development - perhaps building on GlobalGiving - if they know they will only be asked to pay for an outcome when it has been proven to have been achieved, rather than, as now, on the promise that the money will be well used?
There is a strong parallel between Development Impact Bonds and the case made by our colleagues at CGD for Cash on Delivery Aid. In both cases, the focus is on paying for outcomes, leaving discretion for developing countries, including their private sector and NGOs, to find ways to deliver the services. Development Impact Bonds could solve one of the potential conundrums of results-based aid: who is going finance the service in the first place if the donors won’t pay up until the outcome has been achieved?
The Working Group has a lot of questions to address in the coming months. It will need to consider how Development Impact Bonds can work with the grain of country ownership and strengthening of country systems. Will investors, however socially-responsible, invest in something as risky as development? Does the involvement of private investors add sufficient value to justify the risk premium they will need to be paid? (If not, this is just an expensive way for donors to borrow.) Are there examples of Development Impact Bonds which can be self-financing for developing countries, or do they all require donors to be involved to pay back the investors? Will it be possible to measure these outcomes in developing countries, and can changes be attributed to investments with sufficient certainty? If we can answer these questions, and solve some thorny design issues, then Development Impact Bonds could offer a new vehicle for private and public investors, small scale and large scale, who want to invest in development. We are confident that if anyone can find good answers to these questions, it will be this group of people.
For more information, you may be interested in this briefing note by CGD and Social Finance. We would welcome any ideas and analysis which might contribute to the Working Group’s thinking, and we will provide regular updates as the work progresses.
Owen Barder unpacks the results agenda, now so much discussed in the aid and development community, here. It’s brilliant. He sets out four different motivations of various parties in the community for their recent focus on the “results agenda”. I asked myself which motivation has driven my devotion to the idea of Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid). (If you are new to COD Aid, see this short video for a start.)
Here’s a quick rundown using Owen’s taxonomy.
Using results to justify aid to taxpayers. Yes, that’s one reason why COD Aid makes sense though it’s a byproduct not the main motivation. Taxpayers in donor countries want to know if their tax dollars made a difference. In surveys and in support for different kinds of aid programs, they are clear that “made a difference” mostly means made a difference in peoples’ lives. Thus the tremendous support for President Bush’s PEPFAR program. Legislators could endorse saving lives and explain it to their constituents. A big benefit of COD Aid is that disbursements of aid are triggered by the recipient government’s annual report of measured and independently verified progress on some “result” like declining infant mortality, increased learning of children, or reductions in rates of deforestation.
Using results to improve aid, ie that development professionals want more aid to be allocated to projects and programs that have already been shown to work – where the connection between inputs financed by aid and some output. No not in itself a big motivation for COD Aid. I’ll explain below.
Using results to manage aid agencies. No, not a motivation for COD Aid – at least not in the way Owen frames it, which has to do with managers of aid agencies want to achieve more focus -- across countries and sectors.
Using results to manage complexity. Yes yes yes. This is the point. Owen’s explanation of this motivation is so clear and compelling and succinct that I repeat it here in its entirety:
Many of the problems we are trying to solve involve supporting the emergence of successful complex systems – social and political institutions, economic change and the formation of various kinds of social capital. These complex processes cannot easily be broken down into a series of steps which will predictably lead to the outcomes we want to see. Instead these solutions evolve: taking small steps, finding out what moves in the right direction, and building on progress. The aid industry’s habit of reducing everything into a series of processes and activities which can be planned, tracked and reported not only fails to support this evolution, it can stifle it by preventing both the innovation and the adaptation that evolution requires. Focusing mainly on results can enable the aid business to resist the tendency to plan and prescribe, and so create space for the emergence of sustainable local institutions and systems.
This last motivation is fundamental to the idea of COD Aid. It is why #2 above -- using results to improve aid -- is not a key motivation of COD Aid. #2 puts the focus on what the aid industry does about development and not on what countries and countries’ citizens choose to do given their local setting. It risks the aid industry, with its “lessons” about what works in general (inputs associated with outputs – schools and teachers associated with higher enrollment) imposing those lessons everywhere, reducing instead of enlarging local space to experiment, stumble, recover and build. This last motivation also clarifies why COD Aid would not invite short-termism and would potentially support long-run institution building. Development is a complex process; a key motivation of COD Aid is to make space and allow time (say over five years) for a country and a government to fail, learn, adjust and recalibrate. Again quoting from Owen:
. . . .we should be thinking about ‘post-bureaucratic aid’. Our existing systems have tended to lead to excessive outside prescription and micromanagement; and in principle they should not be needed if we can observe directly the results about which we really care.
After many stages of drafting, debates, and consultations, the World Bank´s proposed results-based financing instrument, Program-for-Results is going for approval to the Bank´s Board on January 24. The latest draft of the policy can be found here; we´re pleased to see that Bank staff listened to comments at a CGD roundtable and many other consultation meetings and incorporated changes to previous drafts. CGD hosted a final discussion of P4R on Thursday January 19, with a presentation by World Bank VP for operations, Joachim von Amsberg, and a panel that included Anne Perrault of the Center for International Environmental Law, Marta Garcia Jauregui, who represents Spain, Mexico and several Latin American countries on the World Bank board, and CGD president Nancy Birdsall (see event video here).
Where are we now? The proposal limits P4R to 5% of the Bank’s financing for the first two years. This gives space for about $1 billion, perhaps 20 projects per year. The new draft assures skeptics that this new approach will be rolled out gradually, evaluated, and learned from. Verification of results acceptable to the Bank will be required, and this can include ‘independent/third party monitoring, where appropriate’. The proposal is somewhat more specific than previous drafts on safeguards, the biggest issue for its critics. It excludes activities with potentially significant and irreversible environmental or social impacts (so-called A projects), and asserts the right of the Bank’s Integrity unit (INT) to investigate indications of fraud and corruption. High-value procurements are also excluded.
Several points emerged from CGD discussion. Marta Garcia noted that governments opting for P4R financing over traditional project support are aware that the linkage of disbursement to results exposes them to greater risk. But they increasingly feel the confidence in their own systems to assume disbursement risk and the need to demonstrate impact to their electorates. Some NGOs still have strong reservations over the exemption of P4R operations from the specific safeguard policies of the Bank. Anne Perrault called for clarity on transparency and disclosure policy, and worried that the operational guidelines were insufficiently clear in this area. NGOs also urged that the range of eligible projects should be constrained to those with low risks (C projects and only low-risk B’s). Nancy Birdsall called for limiting the number of disbursement-linked-indicators (DLIs), and worried that more than a few in any one operation would undermine citizens’ ability to hold their governments accountable.
We at CGD welcome the emphasis on verification, although we are disappointed that the policy falls short of requiring independent third party verification in all cases. We think this should be a crucial part of any program where funding is linked to results, as Alan and Bill Savedoff argued in these earlier comments to the Bank about P4R, and as Nancy and Bill emphasize in their book on Cash on Delivery Aid.
Based on how the Bank’s clients respond during the two-year pilot, this new lending instrument could open a significant number of development assistance programs to a results-based approach. Results-based aid is not the answer to all development challenges, but in many settings it can offer huge benefits, including making country ‘ownership’ something that’s real and not just talked about, and making governments more accountable not just to donors but to their citizens for results. For much more, check the COD Aid initiative page and for more on how this applies to P4R specifically, see this blog post by Nancy and her open letter to Senator Leahy.
We are glad to see the debate move from principles to implementation and like others in the development community will be watching with great interest.
Nancy Birdsall for not just complaining about our broken international aid system but also trying to fix it by inventing cash on delivery (COD) aid. COD Aid can be applied anytime governments and donors commit to achieving a shared, measurable outcome. Nancy launched this idea in her 2010 book, Cash on Delivery, co-authored with William Savedoff. It is already making a difference in the world: Britain's Department for International Development is sponsoring pilot programs for COD aid in Ethiopia and India. A CGD brief outlines the approach, and a CGD Wonkcast with Nancy provides background and an update on recent developments, including the planned Ethiopian pilot.
Lant Pritchett for bringing “isomorphic mimicry” to development economics (or, in English, why everything we think we know about institutions is probably wrong). In his latest work, Lant points out that the basic functions of government continue to fail in many developing countries despite decades of development assistance. He argues that by measuring the development of institutions rather than actual outcomes, international organizations and aid donors have given rise to weak states that merely mimic the institutions of developed countries but fail to function. To reverse this trend, he suggests donors do a better job of measuring outcomes. In the education sector for example, instead of measuring enrollment rates, he suggests more effort to measure how well students are learning. Listen to this CGD Wonkcast to learn more about Lant Pritchett’s work.
Arvind Subramanian for scaring us all about Chinese dominance, but doing so with actual data. In his new book, Eclipse: Living in the Shadow of China's Economic Dominance, Arvind takes a fresh look at China’s rise on the world stage, devising an index of economic dominance that includes GDP, trade, and creditor-debtor status, and showing how these three factors have historically determined which countries are in a position to call the shots in global affairs. According to his calculations, even if the United States recovers soon from its current economic and political maladies, China will still surpass the United States in all three measures of economic power by 2030. Listen to his CGD Wonkcast for more on Subramanian’s index on economic dominance.
Andy Sumner for his catchy “new bottom billion,” which means we will never think about the global poor the same again. Just two decades ago, 93 percent of poor people lived in low-income countries. Today 72 percent live in stable, non-fragile middle-income countries. His research signals the need for a radical reshaping of where and how aid is given, which involves everything from new trade deals to revised political partnerships. The focus should be on designing development aid to benefit more poor people, not just poor countries. Listen to Andy Sumner discuss the bottom billion in his CGD Wonkcast.
I think the FP list also tells us that we have been pretty good at picking our Sabot Memorial Lecture honorees – Ken Rogoff (the 2010 speaker), Esther Duflo (2011), and John Githongo (2012) all made the list. Lastly, I was so pleased to see the brave and tenacious Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (CGD board member, 2007 Sabot Lecture honoree, and current Finance Minister of Nigeria) on the list!
For more than two years, the staff of the World Bank have been developing a new lending instrument that would link financing to measurable results within countries. If approved, it would be the third instrument at the World Bank; the two that exist now are “investment loans” under which inputs, not results, are financed; and policy based loans, under which policy changes are financed.
Lending for measured results (after the fact) would have huge benefits – as I with colleagues have pointed out in our proposal for Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid). Among those are “ownership” – that borrowing countries would have the responsibility and bear the risks of getting results; and support for better governance as governments would become accountable to their own citizens for results, instead of accountable to donors – mostly for reporting on how they spend donor money whether there are results or not.
The current proposal under consideration by the Board of the World Bank is not perfect. In this critique of an earlier draft of the proposed new instrument my colleagues Bill Savedoff and Alan Gelb explain why.
Still the proposal is a big step in the right direction. That’s why I am concerned that it appears the U.S. is the only board member so far withholding support for this initiative. At the U.S. Treasury (from which the U.S. Board member gets his cues) and in the Congress, there is concern fed by a small number of influential NGOs that World Bank staff would not need to be concerned with social and environmental safeguards when using this instrument. I disagree. As I point out in a recent letter to Senator Patrick Leahy safeguards receive heavy emphasis in the proposed guidelines. Individual loans will still need case by case approval, and can be suspended or cancelled in the event that there are serious violations of agreements. The approach can be seen as a tradeoff between enforcing specific safeguards on the funding provided by a donor and long-run development effectiveness including wider application of safeguards to an overall program. As with any new approach it will be essential to ensure open and timely data and transparent monitoring.
I also point to what is missing from the proposed guidelines: independent verification of the results – as in not by the World Bank and not by the country, but by a third party agreed by the lender and the borrower. Independent verification is a key feature of COD Aid – you can read all about why that matters in my book with Bill Savedoff.
I participated in a conference in Oslo this week titled Energy for All. The subject of energy access is relatively new to me, except in the context of climate change where Arvind Subramanian and I have concluded that short of unprecedented technological breakthroughs in both energy efficiency and low-carbon generation to meet the needs of people currently lacking electricity, the planet is cooked.
I found the conference, well, energizing. The Norwegians brought together an impressive array of well-informed and influential participants. UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon opened the conference. There were two prime ministers (Meles of Ethiopia and Odinga of Kenya), representatives from Deutsche Bank and the CEO of the Norwegian energy company, plenty of African and Asian ministers (mines and energy; environment), the heads of power utilities, civil society advocates of all stripes, and the usual army of representatives from the UN and multilateral and bilateral funders.
But the big countries and big emitters were mostly absent. There was no one from China, India or Indonesia, and just one lone U.S. State Department representative (Carlos Pascual, former U.S. ambassador to Mexico previously with Brookings). Perhaps they weren’t much interested because the conference sub-title was “Financing Access for the Poor” ?
An upcoming report of the International Energy Agency includes this chapter, pre-released at the conference (full report not yet out), that says energy poverty afflicts almost 3 billion people, limiting their chances to be productive (work/study) as well as comfortable (heat their home etc.) and safe (childbirth is tough in the dark). The report estimates it will take $48 billion of investment a year for the next two decades to achieve universal access to modern energy. That’s five times the estimated current annual investment of $9 billion.
I remember similar estimates for the “cost” of getting all children in school and meeting other Millennium Development Goals. They are meant to be challenging but they can also be numbing. They sound really big - but of course they’re tiny compared to the world economy: Americans are expected to spend about $50 billion this year on their pets.
Regardless of the $$ number, I think it makes sense to include energy services for all in the next round of MDGs.
The focus was on access and the assumption was that this would be green energy – hydro and renewables primarily. But important issues related to cutting emissions were ignored. Nobody mentioned the lack of action on the G20 commitment to reduce fossil fuel subsidies. Nor did I hear any talk of carbon trading (not even about the Clean Development Mechanism) let alone carbon taxes. Energy access aficionados are definitely post-Copenhagen bottom-up thinkers.
But beyond cheerleading on energy for all, what can be done – about energy poverty -- and the risk to the climate if energy poverty is addressed via fossil fuels?
At a panel on the role of the private sector and international organizations in financing, Michael Liebreich of Bloomberg (advisor unit on energy) said wind power in Brazil is now just 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour (roughly half of the average U.S. cost for all types of generation) and that solar prices have dropped 70 percent in three years. Others said there’s plenty of capital in sovereign wealth funds and with institutional investors for renewable energy but not enough big projects to absorb it in Africa and Asia – and too much non-commercial risk.
The minister of energy from Malawi, speaking from the floor, complained that the bilaterals “don’t do” energy access. There was talk of feed-in tariffs and auctions in which bidders bid on how much subsidy they need. And for off-grid energy a recurring theme was getting microfinance to small local entrepreneurs to, for example, set up charging stations. The CEO of Liberia Electricity Corporation made a plea for the donor community to organize potential private investors to develop “bankable projects” that could be scaled up. Sounds to me like a GVF should be on the table – and included in the Green Climate Fund in Durban.
Speakers from the private sector referred often to the “enabling environment” mostly in the context of big hydro with adequate returns only after 20 years. But they seemed less concerned with it than did Sri Mulyani Indrawati of the World Bank, and much less concerned in the case of off-grid and mini-grid projects, where the issue seemed to be lack of scale and lack of local microfinance-style financing for those local entrepreneurs.
At a session on results-based financing for energy access, Norway’s minister of environment and international development (interesting combination of roles – wave of the future?) endorsed ideas like cash on delivery aid; Oliver Knight of the World Bank gave an excellent presentation of the various results-based instruments and their potential application to increasing energy access. I gave example of possible Cash on Delivery Aid pilots to increase clean energy access: (1) ex post cash payments to national or local governments for each additional household that acquires access to energy services (including off-grid and mini-grid that is privately provided of course) (2) ex post cash bonuses to municipal governments for each increment of billable payments the local electric utililty collects (including from the municipal government!) and (3) ex post cash payments to national governments for specified reductions in rates of deforestation -- as Norway is doing in Brazil, Indonesia, and Guyana though without the hands-off (patient money) approach in the latter two countries. Watch for slide deck and on #3 an upcoming David Wheeler CGD paper.
Finally: To help improve energy access, the Norwegians have started a new initiative called Energy+. It’s too new to find a web link. During the conference they convened a meeting to which more than 60 people came to explain their programs in this area. It worries me that most represented bilateral, multilateral and UN agencies. Rather than donor coordination, Energy for All and Energy+ need a person who can do what Bill Gates and his foundation have done for global health: offer a clear vision, flexible funds, and a willingness to lead rather than join the herd. Maybe the Norwegians will find a way.