The poverty of stateless people; how do we bridge the gap between need and development assistance?

By Jason Tucker

About a year ago I set out to look at how we can better incorporate the needs of stateless people in the development sector. This was driven by my own and others research, which began to show that these greatly under researched populations have largely been marginalised from the provision of development Continue reading

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From bland aid to brand aid? Distinguishing development assistance and development finance

By James Copestake

(A fuller version of this argument is in the pipeline and will appear here in due course. Meanwhile, comments and suggestions are welcome – please post your responses here or tweet @cds_Bath using #brandaid)

The world of international development aid was never simple, but it seems to become ever more complex as agencies, financing mechanisms and acronyms proliferate. Public understanding struggles to keep up, with debate often pitched at a depressingly bland level. Is aid working? The correct answer, of course, is that aid comes in many different forms and brands. More interesting questions then abound, like which sorts of aid works best, when and why, and is the mix of different forms of aid right in different contexts? My proposition is that distinguishing between different forms of aid more clearly can contribute to raising the quality of public debate about its effectiveness. Continue reading

‘Randomistas’ and microcredit: Shutting the evidence gate after the policy horse has bolted?

By Susan Johnson

Microfinance is one area of development intervention that has experienced increased use of randomised control trials (RCTs) in the last few years, now seen by many as the ‘gold standard’ methodology for assessing impact.  The gold standard approach to telling us what the findings impact studies collectively amount to is the systematic review. Since great claims for poverty reduction have been made for the impact of microcredit programmes in the past, the demand for evidence in this field is very high.  Two  recent DFID funded systematic reviews in this field have between them been downloaded more than 15,000 times, whereas DFID funded systematic reviews on other topics have had a few hundred downloads at most. Continue reading