1:00—2:30 PM
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Does Results-Based Aid Change Anything? A CGD Europe Brown Bag Seminar

Vijaya Ramachandran
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Bill Savedoff (via Video Conference)
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Rita Perakis
Center for Global Development

Duncan Green
Senior Strategic Adviser, Oxfam UK


With all the hype (and criticism) over foreign aid programs that pay for results, what do we really know about how they are being implemented and whether they are effective?  In their new paper “Does Results-Based Aid Change Anything? Pecuniary Interests, Attention, Accountability and Discretion in Four Case Studies”, Bill Savedoff and Rita Perakis looked at a subset of performance programs that pay governments in proportion to changes in development outcomes to see what  motivates the use of these approaches and how they work in practice.

In their presentation, Savedoff (via video conference from Washington, D.C.) and Perakis presented four theories commonly used to justify results-based aid programs. Then, using case studies, they will argue that most programs that pay governments for outcomes don’t work because governments want the money — they work by getting politicians and bureaucrats to pay attention to results. Instead of a revolution in aid, these programs are mostly designed as cautious adaptations of traditional approaches.

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