The recent $5 billion overnight cut in UK foreign aid highlights the importance of understanding the politics of aid spending. This blog explores the role of international travel by rich country citizens to poorer countries in determining attitudes towards aid, and the potential value of volunteer trips in shaping MPs development policy decisions.
CGD Policy Blogs
We highlight that 2020 is also ending on a likely inflection point, for the pandemic and perhaps also for climate change. The moment may present a major opportunity, but we are still in danger.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ruffled aid advocates’ feathers a few months ago by folding the nation’s well-regarded, cabinet-ranking international development department (DfID) into its foreign affairs ministry.
If further cuts are to come from the ODA budget, how should they be selected and managed? And is there a way to rescue those things of greatest value in the portfolio? In a new note, I argue that there is—and that such a process can improve the quality of ODA spending in perpetuity.
A new ICAI report issued this week suggests that large parts of UK aid spending on research and development remain hampered by a design that favors British researcher interests over urgent research topics and capacity prioritized by the world’s poorest countries. The next few months are a perfect opportunity to fix that problem, because the two most problematic funds are up for renewal.
Last week, the new UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson made sweeping changes to government ministers. Below we set out the limitations of the last spending review—and five ways to do better.
The UK’s development agency, DFID, has stated that it views research as the best way to spend aid and that it intends to place high quality research central to its aid strategy. In a new paper, we find significant problems with the way that UK aid is being used to back research: a huge ramp-up in support has largely gone to fund opaque, unfocused research in UK universities. There are better approaches.
ICAI has just entered its third four-year phase. ICAI is a major asset in ensuring aid is well-spent. Having reviewed ICAI’s prior work, we think ICAI could should focus more on “results claims”—that is, whether the estimates of expected benefits that underpin decision-making by Ministers are well-evidenced.
Leadership Ambitions: Four Opportunities for Rory Stewart, the UK’s New Secretary of State for Development
Rory Stewart, the UK’s new Secretary of State for Development has big ambitions for the country. In light of Stewart’s self-declared candidacy for Prime Minister, we look at four areas where he can demonstrate his credentials and value to UK taxpayers, and bolster international efforts to reduce poverty with UK leadership.