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ODA Rules Must Ensure that Vaccine Donations Count for the Poor

After buying up the World’s vaccine supply to ensure they can protect their own populations, rich countries have found themselves struggling to use the vaccine surpluses they accumulated. One response has been to donate the spare doses to countries who need them more. This is laudable, and countries who have done so want to receive credit for such actions in their aid statistics—what is known as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The flags of the G20 countries outside in front of a cloudy sky

Which G20 Finance Ministers Are Freeriding on Their Peers?

In this blog, we draw on our newly published Finance for International Development (FID) measure, using the most up-to-date data now available (from 2018) to give an idea of the baseline efforts of the G20. We hope ministers and officials will use this information in considering the level of their and others’ financial commitments (given their income levels) and encourage a step up from the laggards—most obviously Argentina, Australia, Canada, Italy, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.

An image of country flags from all over the world.

How to Assess the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA)

There is a lot of money being spent on official development assistance (ODA). The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) confirmed recently that countries provided over $160 billion in ODA in 2020. But ten years on from the global agreement reached in Busan, South Korea to improve the quality of how development cooperation is delivered,  what do we know about how well provider countries and multilateral agencies spend that money?

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How Will Donors Spend $170 Billion This Year and Next?

In 2019-20, donors will commit roughly $170 billion of public funding to an alphabet soup of international aid organisations, many of which their citizens may never have heard of. Each replenishment will be considered as a separate exercise, ignoring the reality that they are competing for limited donor resources.

The World Bank’s Preference for Private Finance: Explained

Last year the World Bank adopted a new “cascade” approach that intended to maximise finance for development by prioritising private solutions wherever possible. In what world would this “cascade” algorithm make sense? Without a good answer to that question, the cascade risks looking like ideology rather than sound development finance advice.

AIIB Has Another Opportunity to Establish Best MDB Practice

In advance of adopting a new Policy on Public Information, the AIIB is inviting suggestions on how it could best align public disclosure with its guiding principles of “promoting transparency, enhancing accountability and protecting confidentiality.” The adoption of the new policy provides AIIB President Jin Liqun and the AIIB shareholders an opportunity to demonstrate that this newest of multilateral development banks (MDBs) is serious about its commitment to adopting international best practices. I identified a number of actions that the AIIB could take to improve its disclosure practices. Here are my top three recommendations:

The Incredible Shrinking US Multilateralism

In 1944, the United States created a blueprint for economic statecraft that relied heavily on a new class of multilateral institutions to pursue US interests in the world. The blueprint itself is now under serious duress in the “America First” strategy of international engagement of the Trump administration. 

The Pitfalls of Leverage Targets

Since the 2015 financing for development agreement, donor governments and their development finance institutions have all been singing from the same hymn sheet: we must do more to mobilize private investment. Here I will argue that setting leverage targets in isolation might not get us what we want: more investment in developing countries. Overall investment volumes in chosen markets may make a better target, but any incentives must be soft to minimize the temptation to put public money where it is not needed.

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