How can we rate aid donors? Two very different methods yield interesting (and contrasting) results

November 21, 2018
Two recent assessments of aid donors used radically different approaches – a top down technical assessment of aid quality, and a bottom up survey of aid recipients. The differences between their findings are interesting. The Center for Global Development has just released a new donor index of Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA), with a nice blog summary by Ian
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If politics is the problem, how can external actors be part of the solution? New World Bank paper

August 2, 2016
The new paper comes from Shanta Devarajan, the Bank’s Chief Economist for the Middle East and North Africa Region, (recently drafted in to help get the WDR to the finishing line) and Stuti Khemani, Senior Economist at its Development Research Group. The World Bank seems currently to be awash with fascinating reflections and rethinking on politics and power. This one’s
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Can donors support civil society activism without destroying it? Some great evidence from Nigeria

September 9, 2014
The Thinking and Working Politically crew are reassembling next week to discuss how better to apply power analysis, political economy etc in the practice of aid, so I thought I’d highlight a couple of good examples in advance. First up is some really exciting work from DFID’s State Accountability and Voice Initiative in Nigeria, which suggests that even big donors
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Where are the examples of good donorship in complex systems?

September 25, 2013
Everyone loves a good scapegoat. When faced with trying something exciting, risky or new, the temptation is to say ‘they’ won’t let us. In the World Trade Organization I’ve heard developing country delegates argue that there is nothing they can do to stop the tide of imports, even when the WTO rules have lots of wiggle room to allow poor
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Are aid workers living a lie? And does it matter?

May 25, 2010
These are the questions posed by Rosalind Eyben in an intriguing new paper in the European Journal of Development Research (no ungated version, sorry). Ros, formerly of DFID and now attached to the Institute of Development Studies, knows the aid industry backwards and is struck by “the dissonance between what [aid workers] do and what they report that they do.” The aid
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