Last week I had a chance to cath up with some friends from gradschool in the US, all of them trained as political scientists. And as I expected, none of them had ever heard the term “political settlement”, which features so prominently in development debates this side of the Atlantic (to be honest, I myself first heard the term when applying for my current position in ESID). Why is the central concept in British development politics absent from American academia? And, is there a way to bridge the gap so that we stop talking past each other?
I came across a post at CGD today commenting on the new site ForeignAssistance.gov set up by the US government, of which I was completely unaware. When you click on the site you find a seemingly revolutionary web portal containing data on where and with what aims American foreign aid is spent. It is not too different – although a bit more comprehensive and accessible – than DFID‘s own new website. However, I hesitate to celebrate ForeignAssistance.gov as a success: while it does increase the transparency of aid data, it tells citizens disappointingly little about the aid process, much less the actual challenges of development. Continue reading Aid Counterbureaucracy 2.0: ForeignAssistance.gov
According to the latest OECD data, there are only 5 wealthy industrialized democracies who meet the gabled target of 0.7% of national income contributed as development assistance: Norway (1.07%), Sweden (1.05%), Luxembourg (1.00%), Denmark (%0.85) and the United Kingdom (%0.72). In absolute terms, the UK contributes more foreign aid than the other four 0.7 percenters combined, making it the most important donor in Europe. Continue reading Leader of the 0.7 percenters
Last month I gave a presentation on ESID‘s project on political economy analysis at the workshop “Making Politics Practical II: Development Politics and the Changing Aid Environment“, which was held at the University of Birmingham. The presentation introduced my work with David Hulme on the organizational challenges that the World Bank and the UK Department for International Development face in introducing political analysis into their operational work. Thanks to the folks at Birmingham you can listen to it right here:
You can find the other presentations here.