Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

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The Final Word on Microcredit?

Two influential movements within the development industry collided head-on this month: the microcredit movement and the movement to subject development policies to rigorous impact evaluation.

In Defence of Britain’s Foreign Aid

Britain's Department for International Development has for decades been a leader within the British government on ensuring value for taxpayer money. Over the years it has pioneered cost-benefit analysis; rigorous impact evaluations; and transparency of spending—innovations that were subsequently taken up by the rest of government.  In the 1990s, the most senior civil servant in the department, Sir Tim Lankester, blew the whistle on a project to finance a dam in Malaysia because it was not a good use of development aid.

My Ten Development Policy Wishes for 2015

Here are my wishes for commitments that countries could make at each of three big development-relevant international events in the next 12 months. I find it harder than ever to make such a list this year; global cooperation is becoming harder than ever to manage. With the rise of China and other emerging markets, cooperation in what is now a multipolar system is more necessary than it has been in decades, but more and more elusive. That puts a premium on strengthening the world’s international institutions and on—yes—UN and other international conferences and convenings and conversations in search of a global consensus on norms, programs, actions, and goals

Is Foreign Aid (a) Shrinking (b) Stagnating or (c) Growing?

Recently I wrote an offhand comment about the “stagnation of foreign aid” in a draft introduction. On reflection, that didn’t sound quite right. So after some investigation with my research assistant, Albert Alwang, I came to the conclusion that the answer to the question posed in the title is actually “all of the above!” How can that be?

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