Tax Heaven

Jun 19, 2010

A major theme in this year’s African Economic Outlook, an annual OECD review,  is domestic resource mobilization (read: taxation), a topic that clearly deserves more attention in the region.  In a position paper released in May, the OECD points out that African tax revenue has been on the rise in recent years, but that the […]

Farewell to Keynes? Not so fast…

Jun 11, 2010

In the June 8 edition of the Financial Times, Jeffrey Sachs published a provocative assault on Keynesian stimulus.  Specifically, Sachs argued that it was a “dubious proposition” that Keynesian stimulus through expenditure on “shovel-ready projects” could actually “combine short-term cyclical and long-term structural agendas.”  To Sachs, fiscal stimulus on anything but social protection grounds is […]

Health aid fighting wars, not AIDS?

Apr 28, 2010

It is every donor’s nightmare that recipient governments end up spending aid on things that it was not intended for. The fashionable budget support approach gives up on this nightmare by leaving allocative decisions to recipients and rather concentrating on  strengthening the country institutions that make these decisions. But this does not mean that donors […]

HIV funding: How much you pay is as important as how much you spend

Mar 15, 2010

Recently, on the Open Budgets Blog, there was a discussion on the implicit tradeoffs in funding a high-profile disease like HIV instead of less severe diseases like pneumonia, which actually kill more people per year worldwide. In addition to allocation decisions, the price paid for the relevant drugs is also an important variable determining which […]

Paying for Climate Change: “How” Is as Important as “How Much”

Dec 16, 2009

This post was prepared by Athena Ballesteros of the World Resources Institute, and Vivek Ramkumar of the International Budget Partnership. Adaptation, mitigation, conservation, new technologies—when it comes to addressing the impacts of climate change and moving to a low-carbon economy, the costs will be shared and significant. As 190 countries met in Copenhagen over the last […]


Oct 08, 2009

This blog post is a shortened  version of a Brief prepared for the IBP by Ruth Carlitz Although the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have come under fire for being overly ambitious or unfair, they have mobilized resources and helped to build political will to improve the education sector in countries around the world. Now, more […]

How can foreign aid donors help, not hinder, transparent budgeting?

Sep 29, 2009

This post was prepared by Porter McConnell of OxfamAmerica. Development aid, used in smart ways, can save lives and help people get themselves out of poverty.  But sixty years of foreign aid have shown that donors cannot fix the problems of poor people by themselves.  Poor people themselves are demanding accountability and performance from their […]

Do school fees block access to education?

Sep 15, 2009

A paper recently published by the World Bank and Unicef argues that school fees should be abolished in order for Africa to achieve its enrollment objectives and to stimulate further educational improvements on the continent. Quite ironic after the Bank’s user fee crusade of the 80s and 90s. In the paper Birger Fredriksen argues that […]

How to drive Public Finance Management reforms in poor countries

Aug 14, 2009

The PFM Blog recently posted a fascinating Q&A with the IMF’s Richard Allen Apart from a serious faux pas where he refers to the IMF as an ‘honest broker’ that can provide ‘genuinely impartial advice… and its implementation’, he shares some stunning insights that reflect his years of experience in the field First he argues […]