Value for money in UK aid: the good, the bad and the ugly

May 11, 2018
Cathy Shutt (left, on vintage phone) and Craig Valters unsugar a recent pill on DFID’s approach to Value for Money All aid programmes should be good ‘Value for Money’ – hard to argue with that, right? 8 years ago, DFID put this principle at the heart of its work. Here we reflect on a recent report by the UK aid watchdog,

Book Review: Why We Lie About Aid by Pablo Yanguas

May 2, 2018
Guest post by Tom Kirk, of the LSE’s Centre for Public Authority in International Development Every so often you read something that brilliantly articulates an idea or issue you have been struggling with for a while, but could not properly capture. Why We Lie About Aid is one of those books. Full of pithy quotes, punchy anecdotes and insightful case

Can religion play a role in evidence-obsessed governance strategies? Lessons from Tanzania

March 21, 2018
Next up in the Twaweza series, Aikande Clement Kwayu reflects on the development sector’s blind spot with religion When it comes to social change, religion is a double-edged sword. It can be both a force for good and/or for bad. The world-wide positive contribution by religious organisations in providing public services such as health and education is undisputed.  The role

DFID is 20 years old: has its results agenda gone too far?

September 12, 2017
DFID just turned 20 and Craig Valters and Brendan Whitty have a new paper charting its changing relationship to results  Focusing on results in international development is crucial. At this level of abstraction, how could one argue otherwise? Yet it matters how development agencies are managed for these results. We know that with proper management systems, aid interventions can be very

The political implications of evidence-based approaches (aka start of this week’s wonkwar on the results agenda)

January 22, 2013
The political implications of evidence-based approaches The debate on evidence and results continues to rage. Rosalind Eyben and Chris Roche, two of the organiser’s of next April’s Big Push Forward conference on the Politics of  Evidence, kick off a discussion. Tomorrow Chris Whitty, DFID’s Director of Research and Evidence and Chief Scientific Adviser, and Stefan Dercon, its Chief Economist, respond

What do DFID wonks think of Oxfam's attempt to measure its effectiveness?

October 24, 2012