The research organization Aid Data has been getting a lot of attention in the aid world of late with its survey of recipient country policymakers and practitioners and their views of the utility, influence and helpfulness during reform of various aid agencies. Suggests the press release: “According to nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners, the development partners that have the most influence on policy priorities in their low-income and middle-income countries are not large Western donors like the United States or UK. Instead it is large multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria." That conclusion is based on average worldwide agency scores from the survey.
CGD Policy Blogs
Two World Bank Surveys Provide (Imperfect) Evidence that De-risking Might Be Hurting Developing Countries
The World Bank recently released the results of two separate surveys aimed at gauging the extent to which de-risking is a problem. The headline result is that banks around the world are closing accounts of money transfer organizations (MTOs) and are severing links with banks in other countries. These careful, timely reports provide crucial evidence that de-risking is a very real phenomenon and that we should be worried about it.
Recently, CGD launched a major report about how laws designed to prevent money being sent overseas to terrorists and criminals can also have unintended consequences for innocent people in developing countries. Dr. Nathan Sheets, US Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs, called for banks and policymakers to "commit significant resources and take on new responsibilities" in order to address this challenge.
Last Thursday, Under Secretary of the US Treasury Nathan Sheets spoke at CGD about anti–money laundering policies and the problem of de-risking, in connection with the launch of a new CGD working group report on the unintended consequences of anti–money laundering policies for poor countries. Sheets’s comments were consistent with the report’s key recommendations including the need for better data and for clearer guidance from financial regulators and standards setters.
Are Anti–Money Laundering Policies Hurting Poor Countries? – Podcast with Clay Lowery and Vijaya Ramachandran
Are laws designed to prevent money laundering, terrorism-finance and sanctions violations unintentionally hurting people in poor countries? That’s the question a recent CGD Report seeks to address.
Next week, the G-20 Leaders will meet in Antalya, Turkey, to continue their conversation about the importance of financial inclusion in achieving strong, sustainable, balanced economic growth. One item on the agenda will be the cost of remittances. In 2009, G-8 Leaders set a goal of reducing remittance costs to 5 percent within 5 years, roughly a 5 percentage point decrease.
I’m always a little anxious introducing a topic at a workshop without knowing if the presentations that follow will support or contradict my points. So it was with some trepidation that I spoke earlier this month at a SIDA workshop in Stockholm, associated with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency’s launch of “Results Based Financing Approaches (RBFA) — What Are They?”.
The FAO’s Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) released an assessment of external remittances to Somalia, based on a survey of both urban and internally-displaced families. The headline result from the report was that apparently remittances were on the decline, but the FSNAU survey doesn’t actually tell us much about how remittance flows to Somalia have changed in the past six months.
The need and will to produce and use better data is clear in low-income countries: SDG-related data quality, completeness, availability, and use are woefully inadequate for policy and accountability purposes. But the global response has yet to address these needs.
Sincere thanks to Dr. MacDicken and colleagues for taking the time to respond publicly to the concerns I raised. Not every large international agency would take the time to do this, so I commend their transparency and public engagement.