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CGD Policy Blogs


The Spirit of GHI Lives!

The United States budget for 2011; red area is global health aid (Source: xkcd)

This is a joint post with Amanda Glassman.

The verdict is out (sort of): the proposed total global health appropriation for FY2012 will be $8.3 billion; $600m less than 2011 appropriations, $38.3m higher than the enacted amount in 2011 and $1.5 billion less than requested funding. More than $5.5 billion of this funding is appropriated to HIV/AIDS; $1.05 billion of which are contributions to the Global Fund. A further $2.6 billion is appropriated for USAID to fulfill a portfolio of responsibilities from nutrition to HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention. Some highlights:

The U.S. QuODA Score Improves with IATI Signing

This is a joint post with Will McKitterick.

When the second edition of the Quality of Official Development Aid (QuODA) index was released, I blogged on the poor score for the United States and had suggested that signing onto IATI – the International Aid Transparency Initiative – was one easy way to improve its grade.

Brian Atwood (OECD-DAC Chair) Reflects on Busan Progress

Brian Atwood, the chair of the Development Assistance Committee at the OECD (and administrator of USAID from 1992 to 1998), was one of the key figures at last week’s Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. He had to help find a balance between broadening the alliance to include new and emerging donors with pushing for further and faster reforms among the main existing donors and multilateral institutions. He has shared with us his reflections on the progress made in Busan, and I encourage you to read them below. He argues that the agreement reached there has set a new direction in the effort to rationalize the global architecture for development.

U.S. Signs IATI, but the Proof Is in the Publishing

With the development community back from Busan, it’s time to break down what went right and wrong at last week’s meetings. The consensus seems to be that the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) in Busan was a mixed bag – some promises, few commitments, little progress (see here for a good breakdown of the meetings from Nancy Birdsall).

Who Will Win Out? The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Upcoming 2012 Selection – Casey Dunning

On December 15th the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an innovative U.S. aid agency, is set to announce which countries will receive its unique development assistance. Casey Dunning, policy analyst at CGD and my guest on this week’s Wonkcast, provides insight and recommendations on how these countries will (and should) be selected. I catch Casey shortly after her return from Honduras, where she saw firsthand the positive impacts of an MCC compact on rural development and highway construction.

Aid Alert: China Officially Joins the Donor Club

Several thousands gathered in the port city of Busan in Korea (the fifth largest port in the world) this past week at the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (#HLF4 on twitter). More than 100 ministers (mostly of development cooperation) attended.  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Lee of Korea, President Kagame of Rwanda and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the opening plenary. Clinton is the first U.S. secretary of state to attend an aid forum.

How the Open Government Partnership May Have Contributed to Busan

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz

“The defining division these days is increasingly: open or closed? Are we open to the changing world? Or do we see its menace, but not its possibilities?”

—Tony Blair, A Global Alliance for Global Values, September 2006

It is easy to be cynical about international summits and their carefully drafted communiqués. But they sometimes matter more than people expect. (If they didn’t, why would government officials put so much time and effort into negotiating the text?) Even if the text is often a bland compromise, these meetings can help to move an issue forward, by locking in a new consensus which forms the platform for further progress.

Will Donors Hide behind China?

This post was originally featured on Owen Barder’s Owen Abroad: Thoughts on Development and Beyond blog.

Will the largest aid donors hide behind China to excuse their inability to make substantial improvements in foreign aid? How can Busan balance the desire to be more universal with the pressing need for real changes in the way aid is given?