CGD Policy Blogs
A $1 trillion financing partnership to support ending extreme poverty, stopping avoidable child deaths, and meeting other widely supported post-2015 development goals sounds far-fetched. But improbable action is what will be needed if we’re going to come close to making such historically unprecedented progress. Indeed, delivering on proposed zero goals is going to take a broad and deep global partnership that’s about far more than aid.
This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.
As government workers and international humanitarian aid agencies scramble to respond to super-typhoon Haiyan, the devastation in the Philippines serves as a reminder about the disproportionately high costs of disasters—natural and man-made—for poor people in poor countries.
In Norway last year I met with the impressive staff of one of the world’s largest and smartest NGOs. They were unhappy that Norwegian aid money was being used to discourage deforestation in Brazil instead of to immunize children and educate girls in low-income Africa—in other words, to deal with climate change rather than “development.” I countered that minimizing climate change is a crucial piece of development, and urged them to rethink the issue.
In a world of horrible development jargon and TLAs, one of my least favourite is "Policy Coherence for Development (PCD)".
This ugly phrase is meaningless to most people; worse, it is misleading. It suggests that we care more about whether we have joined-up policies than we care about the overall impact of our policies on poor people and poor countries.
The United Kingdom has been a stalwart funder and innovator in foreign assistance for almost 20 years. In 2011, it created the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) to report to Parliament on the country’s growing aid portfolio. ICAI is a QUANGO in Brit-speak – a quasi-public non-governmental organization - with a 4-year mandate which is undergoing review this year. Recently, I took a look at the reports it has produced to see whether the organization is fulfilling its role in holding the country’s overseas development aid programs accountable. I found one fascinating report which shows what ICAI could be doing and many more reports that made me wonder whether ICAI is duplicating work already within the purview of the agency, Department for International Development (DFID), which accounts for most of the UK’s foreign assistance programs.