Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Owen Barder

Owen Barder

Former Vice President, Director of CGD Europe, and Senior Fellow


The political economy of development policies and aid, innovative finance, transparency and accountability, complexity, technology, public financial management, information, knowledge, new media, Africa, health economics.


Owen Barder was a Vice President at the Center for Global Development, Director for Europe and a senior fellow. He is a Visiting Professor in Practice at the London School of Economics and a Specialist Adviser to the UK House of Commons International Development Committee. Barder was a British civil servant from 1988 to 2010, during which time he worked in No.10 Downing Street, as Private Secretary (Economic Affairs) to the Prime Minister; in the UK Treasury, including as Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer; and in the Department for International Development, where he was variously Director of International Finance and Global Development Effectiveness, Director of Communications and Information, and head of Africa Policy & Economics Department. As a young Treasury economist, Barder set up the first UK government website, to put details of the 1994 budget online. 

During 2004-2006 Barder worked at CGD, mainly on the Advance Markets Commitment for vaccines. Barder has also worked in the South African Treasury on budget strategy; at Development Initiatives where he helped to establish the International Aid Transparency Initiative; and was a visiting scholar in economics at the University of California, Berkeley. He has lived in several countries in Africa, most recently in Ethiopia during 2008-2011. Barder has been an Associate at the Institute for Government, a member of the Advisory Group of Twaweza, the Board of Publish What You Fund, and a member of the UK Government International Development Sector Transparency Panel. He writes a personal blog at and hosts a development podcast at  He is on Twitter as @owenbarder.

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