By John Davidson, Office of Development Effectiveness (ODE), AusAID
Some contributors to this blog have referred to publications by AusAID’s Office of Development Effectiveness (here and here). In addition to our papers, ODE contributes to the development conversation via our podcast, 'ODE Talks', which readers may be interested in.
In our latest edition, Johannes Linn from the Brookings Institution talks about the challenges of bringing activities to scale, as the aid program itself rapidly scales up. In the past decade, global aid flows have increased from 80 billion US dollars to 130 billion, but the average size of aid activities is shrinking. Internationally, more than half of all donor projects amount to less than 100 thousand US dollars. Johannes explains how donors can grow small activities in order to reach more people and reduce burden on partner governments.
As fellow Brookings contributor Lawrence Chandy noted on this blog, the total number of global poor may have fallen to 900 million in 2010. He argues it may become feasible to create a global safety net to provide the poorest with the $1.25 per day it would take to lift them out of poverty. On ODE Talks, Todd Moss from the Centre for Global Development argues the case for cash transfers and suggests that they may become the standard against which other donor and NGO programs are measured.
And Professor Paul Collier, author of The Bottom Billion, spoke with us about how to manage natural resources for development in fragile stages so that they contribute to prosperity, not plunder. He sees Australia’s experience with natural resource management – and in dryland agriculture – as areas of comparative advantage as the aid program expands in Africa.
We at the Office of Development Effectiveness have been following the 'Interpreting the Aid Review' blog with interest. It’s exciting to see the quality of the debate and commentary coming through. As this blog draws to a close later this month, we hope you’ll listen in to the podcast as we talk more with international experts on aid, development and effectiveness.
Image by Flickr user derrickkwa.