Budgets can dance!

Nov 17, 2008

It is very rare for the dour world of public finance and danceable music to meet. But I am glad to share such a rare occasion with you. Go to Youtube listen to the campaign song of the Open Budget Index 2009. The OBI 2009 will document and compare the availability of budget documentation in […]

Paying for Health in poor countries

Oct 07, 2008

In too many countries access to basic health services is severely limited. Commitments for assistance from the international community are variable and provided for finite periods. Financial support of this kind doesn’t allow for the long-term investments needed to build a comprehensive health care system, such as infrastructure and training the necessary personnel. In the […]

Should we tell the Poor what to do?

Sep 15, 2008

The old bottom up vs top down question just wont go away. We have posted a few times on the design of poverty alleviation programs (click here to read what we had before). Yesterday I stumbled on a veritable goldmine of material on social assistance programs at IFPRI’s Blog World Hunger.  Click here and look at the […]

Ignoring the Politics of Tax in Africa

Sep 09, 2008

Commissioners and Senior Officials of Revenue Administrations of 26 African countries attended a conference on “Taxation, state building and capacity development in Africa” from 28-29 August in Pretoria. Sadly the conference papers don’t appear to be available on-line, but read the resolutions here and see IDS’s report here. At the end of two days those […]

Global Health: What would Barack do?

Aug 25, 2008

As the American Presidential campaign heats up, it is good to see that candidates’ views on the US’s global health agenda is also getting some column space. Unsurprisingly global health is nowhere near as prominent in the McCain campaign as it is for Obama. Apart from supporting PEPFAR, McCain has been vague on other global […]

The Clash of the Aid Titans: New Easterly Book

Aug 04, 2008

William Easterly, Jeffrey Sachs and Paul Collier’s disagreements on whether, how, how much development aid to give to poor countries has helped keep the aid debate in the media. Easterly’s latest contribution to this debate is his new book Reinventing Foreign Aid, that has just hit the shelves. You can see the Table of Contents and […]

How to give money to the Poor

Jul 24, 2008

We recently posted on cash grant programs in Sierra Leone and Kenya. In the recently published Mainstreaming Gender in Social Protection for the Informal Economy, Dr. Naila Kabeer of the University of Sussex argues that the design of cash transfer programs may be more important in determining who participates in them and who benefits than […]

Paying for Safe Sex in Tanzania

Jul 14, 2008

An innovative research proposal by the Center for Global Development to the Tanzanian government proposes to offer payments to women who repeatedly test negative for curable sexually transmitted infections, such as gonorrhea and syphilis. They hope that reductions in unsafe sexual contacts will protect the women not only from the curable STIs but also from […]

Speaking on behalf of the poor?

Jul 07, 2008

Budget NGOs have often struggled to involve the wider public directly in government budgeting processes. Instead, they frequently end up speaking to the government on behalf of poor and disadvantaged communities. This has limited their impact, argues Vivek Ramkumar in the most recent IBP Brief. Ramkumar is the author of the best-selling Our Money, Our Responsibility: A Citizens’ […]

Is it true what they say about the Chinese? The effects of China’s lending in Africa

Jun 23, 2008

A few weeks ago we posted about the entry and growth of new aid donors. A recent paper published by the Norwegian Campaign for Debt Cancellation confirms all the popular truths about Chinese lending in Africa: It lends to countries that already have large debts outstanding. It is a risk to debt sustainability because of the […]