27 May 2010

UK coalition government: development policy scorecard

Dirk Villem te Velde of the Overseas Development Institute delivers a scorecard on the new UK coalition government’s development policies
His verdicts are:
Aid: very good.
Beyond aid: promoting international finance: unknown.
Beyond aid: promoting Foreign Direct Investment: cautiously positive.
Beyond aid: trade: mixed, because unclear.
Beyond aid: migration: potentially bad.
Beyond aid: climate change: positive
And on new challenges:
the absence of concrete suggestions dealing with the new challenges– all of them critical to the development agenda – is a major concern.
The role of the private sector in development: few new ideas on the private sector and development (PSD)
Dealing with the new international powers: no analysis of the implications for development (and the UK) of the rise of emerging markets.
Reducing vulnerability to shocks: no mention of the need to make the development architecture better able to deal with such shocks as the global financial crisis.
What does all of this tell us? People are stupid. Aid and climate change are easy sells to the public, and therefore that is what the public knows and cares about, and therefore that is all that politicians know and care about. Everything else gets ignored. Even if the "everything else" is actually more important for, you know, development.

Which means we need some leadership from somebody, anybody, to promote this whole development policy agenda thang. Erm ODI…..?….Oxfam?…….

Duncan Green suggests that this new IPPR/World Vision paper might be making waves amongst tory policy wonks. The paper makes for the case for DFID behaving more like "Whitehall warriors", pushing their message across government. Which is fine. But I would guess that they'll be needing a bit of public support for that....

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