Proof that democracy works? Health Services and Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda

Jun 12, 2008

Recent research by Martina Bjorkman and Jakob Svensson for the Centre for Economic Policy Research investigatez the impact of community based monitoring on the quality and quantity of health services in Uganda. As communities began to monitor local health service providers, both the quality and quantity of health servicesimproved. One year into the program, Bjorkman […]

Are we spending too much money on AIDS?

May 30, 2008

Roger England argues in a recent BMJ article that we spend more money on HIV/AIDS programs than the contribution of AIDS to the global burden of disease can justify. Predictably there have been some vehement and high profile responses to his article. In short England argues that too much is spenton HIV relative to other needs and […]

New players in the Foreign Aid Race

May 20, 2008

Not only is the total amount of aid to poor countries growing, but more countries and private organizations are becoming donors . That means that over time the 22 ‘traditional’ donors in the OECD’s Development Action Committee  (DAC) may become less influential. Research shows that there is a strong correlation between the UN voting patterns […]

Teaching the poor to Fish? Cash grants in Sierra Leone

May 14, 2008

Are cash transfers an effective poverty reduction tool in post conflict societies? Intuitively one would think that they would be, given the comparatively low demands that they make on state service delivery agencies and the dire poverty of people in these countries. Cash transfers have recently been the topic of hot debate in richer countries […]

When the Sweat of your Brow isn’t enough: How to get good pay and good work in Kenya

Apr 30, 2008

A recent paper by the International Poverty Center paints a familiar picture of unemployment in Kenya. Like many countries in Africa  under and undemployment is higher in rural than in urban areas; more women are affected by these phenomena than men; and the young and old working-age workers are more affected than the rest of the […]

More African doctors to rich countries?

Apr 23, 2008

Dean Baker at Beat the Press argues that the U.S.A. could fix its health care system by outsourcing its health care to countries that have more efficient health care systems. The CGD recently reported that by the year 2000, approximately 65,000 African-born physicians and 70,000 African-born professional nurses were already working in developed countries. That figure is much […]

No Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan

Apr 15, 2008

The current debate on aid effectiveness makes one think that donors are prioritizing the quality of spending. However, a recent report by ACBAR (Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief) lists many examples of where billions of dollars promised for the reconstruction of Afghanistan has been wasted, ineffective or not transferred at all. Aid constitutes around 90% […]

You can’t govern without the people

Apr 09, 2008

Many people see government as a process of service delivery that should be technically sound and as cheap as possible. But that is not enough. While technical skills and efficiency are important, effective and democratic government is not possible without transparency and accountability. Without accountability, those in positions of power can safely ignore the will […]

Getting Collier’s Bottom Billion to the Top

Apr 02, 2008

The latest issue of the Institute of Development Studies’ publication, In Focus, explores the strengths and weaknesses of the policies advocated in Paul Collier’s book ‘The Bottom Billion’. The 13 four-page policy briefs discuss the key issues raised by Collier, including aid, trade, military intervention and international conventions. Read them here.The briefs were written by a […]

African Parliaments becoming a force?

Mar 31, 2008

The UK’s Africa All Party Parliamentary Group (AAPPG), has just released its report on Strengthening Parliaments in Africa: Improving Support. The report explores the factors that hold African parliaments back and how international donors can better support them. The report will be on their website later this week. We list some of the findings below. WHAT […]