More than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, with thousands dying in the attempt to cross by sea. EU development policy has swung into action, in an attempt to address the “root causes” of the movement of people. But this rapid reaction has led to some poor decisions, with the potential to waste a lot of money, and potentially cause serious harm.
CGD Policy Blogs
While recent aid transparency buzz has largely revolved around the latest donor rankings, MCC (always a top ranked donor) has been busy quietly raising the transparency bar yet again. The latest display of commendable openness? A concise report on closeout economic rate of return (ERR) for 94 projects in 10 compacts, as well as compiled data on original ERRs for 45 projects in 11 open compacts.
Donors frequently suggest corruption is the biggest obstacle to development and aid effectiveness, and that they can accurately measure corruption risk while protecting their projects from it at a reasonable cost. It isn’t and they can’t. Below, a brief synopsis.
To what extent have aid agencies delivered on their commitments to transparency? How do these agencies’ transparency efforts compare to one another? And beyond mere publication, what else needs to be done to make sure that available data is put to good use?
A Quarter of Aid Is Transparent – What About the Rest? Podcast with Rupert Simons of Publish What You Fund
“Transparency has the potential to transform the effectiveness of aid spending,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at a recent CGD event co-hosted with Publish What You Fund to launch its 2016 Aid Transparency Index. For the second year running, UNDP comes out at the top of the index – and in this week's CGD Podcast, Publish What You Fund’s CEO Rupert Simons says that generally, we understand more clearly who gives what to whom and why.
If you have read a newspaper in the last two weeks, you’ll know that transparency can lead to changes in policy, behaviour and even changes of Prime Minister.
Yesterday, USAID Administrator Gayle Smith delivered her first major policy speech in a cavernous Capitol Hill auditorium that was filled to capacity. Introducing USAID’s new head, Senator David Perdue expressed hope that Smith would have more time in the job than she thought she would. That’s remarkably high praise from a Republican senator in a year that will mark the end of the Obama administration.
I’ve been reading news of corruption scandals in Brazil with a great deal of sadness. I lived in Brazil during its return to democracy and experienced first-hand the hope and optimism that came with that transition. In a recent policy paper, I argue that decisions about funding projects in other countries should depend more on the results achieved by those countries than by formal actions meant to control corruption.
After two and a half great years as director of CGD’s Rethinking US Development Policy initiative, I’m handing over the reins to my colleague Scott Morris. Many of you will know Scott as a CGD Senior Fellow with deep experience from the Treasury and on Capitol Hill. He’s a thought leader on many US development issues, especially the multilateral development banks and international debt. Rethink could not be in better hands as we start thinking about a new administration and Co
In 2016, as we celebrate our 15th year, CGD continues to be a policy crucible, producing independent ideas, nonpartisan thinking, and practical, research-based proposals that cost little or nothing to the rich world but make a huge difference to developing countries. The problems we address and the solutions we create may have changed in 15 years, but forensic scrutiny of existing policies — or policy gaps — is an approach that continues to have real-world impact