CGD Policy Blogs
This is a joint post with Nancy Birdsall.
Last week UK Secretary of International Development Andrew Mitchell released the outcomes of DFID’s bilateral and multilateral aid reviews.
We were glad to see that the published documents on the bilateral aid review included country summaries that list the funds allocated to each of 27 countries and three regional programs where DFID plans to work in the next 4 years, and the key results these funds are expected to produce. These are likely the highlights of the “results offers” that country and regional teams submitted at the end of last year (as we discussed in this blog).
This week the United Kingdom Secretary of State for International Development released new studies on how the UK plans to “change lives, deliver results.” The key messages – going forward, the Department for International Development (DFID) will be more focused and more selective, with more attention paid to evidence-based planning. If that has a familiar ring, you may recall hearing that U.S. programs needed to be more focused, selective, and evidence-based in a couple of recent U.S. reviews.
The idea of cash transfers—or just giving money to the poor—is gaining ground quickly. The use of conditional cash transfers as a way to assist the poor have shown pretty impressive results in Mexico and Brazil, leading to lots of other copycat programs in dozens of countries. Iran, and now India, are replacing inefficient and costly subsidies of basic goods with cash payments.
This is a joint post with Christina Droggitis
This May will mark the five-year anniversary of CGD’s Evaluation Gap Working Group’s final report, "When Will We Ever Learn: Improving Lives Through Impact Evaluation". The report noted a large gap in evidence about whether development programs actually work and recommended creating an independent international collaboration to promote more and better impact evaluations to close this gap. The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) was formed as a result of this recommendation. The report also stressed the need for countries, both donors and recipients, to make larger commitments towards high-quality evaluation work. These commitments, it argued, should include supporting 3ie financially, as well as generating and applying knowledge from impact evaluations of their own development programs.
It’s now 26 months since the inauguration and where the #%&$ is USAID’s leadership? Administrator Raj Shah has now been in the seat for 14 months but still has only 4 out his 10 Assistant Administrators on the job. (See our USAID Staffer Tracker). That’s right, the following portfolios are, in March 2011, still empty: Africa, Global Health, Management, Legislative Affairs, Middle East, and Economic Growth/Agriculture/Trade.