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Financing progress - leading thinkers and practitioners on the future of development finance

The debate is hotting up on what, exactly, will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But one thing is certain about the future post-2015 goals – without money they will remain just words on paper. With that in mind, we have invited leading thinkers and practitioners to shed light on the most important aspects of development finance today. Over the coming months, a series of blogs will challenge and cajole, supply ideas, and add to the growing momentum for improved development cooperation.

We will start with a set of blogs that analyse the changing context within which this debate takes place. A second set of blogs will look at some of the main themes to be addressed by a new financing consensus, including the roles of the private sector and international civil society, the importance of taxation, the problems with microcredit and wranglings in the world of climate finance. In a third set of blogs we will zoom in on particular regions and their financing needs and possibilities and finally, we have invited leading contributors of development finance to write about how their role is changing, and how it will change in the future.

The history of development finance shows how ideas once thought of as pipedreams (such as debt cancellation and international taxation) can become reality. In a world in flux, this is ever more true today. In this blog series we welcome big ideas and new possibilities, but always with our feet firmly placed on the solid ground of practical action.

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Sifting peas, Harar Ethiopia - Rod Waddington website

Who is going to pay for international development?

Jonathan Glennie
30 July 2014

Jonathan Glennie argues that the world does not need another list of financial problems and solutions - it needs a list of priorities. In advance of the recently announced 2015 Financing for Development conference, he suggests how we might go about agreeing on some.

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A boy sells bread in Kyrgyz Republic- Nick Van Praag the World Bank (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Partnerships to finance the post-2015 development agenda

Mahmoud Mohieldin
17 July 2014

The World Bank Group's Mahmoud Mohieldin writes on what is important to focus on as 2015 approaches. He identifies global implementation partnerships, national level strategies and more as being crucial to achieving successful financing for the post-2015 agenda.

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Girl in Juba- Mackenzie Knowles Coursin for Oxfam

Our ambitious goals require a new model of development

J Alexander Thier
10 July 2014

Continuing our financing progress blog series, USAID's Alex Thier blogs on the Power Africa initiative, which sets out to bring electricity to those without it on the continent, using it as an example of a development model that brings together 'accountable local ownership, innovation and an intense focus on results' alongside a fresh approach to financing and partnerships.

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Domestic resources and better governance

Tom Fry and Salome Zuriel
19 June 2014

How can the post-2015 development finance agenda deliver for citizens in developing countries? Tom Fry and Salome Zuriel write for our financing progress series about domestic resource mobilisation in Africa, looking at how it is becoming a priority for African governments and the ways in which it can make a strong contribution to meeting the needs and matching the priorities of African citizens.

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A farmer near Sejnane, Tunisia - World Bank photo collection (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Development at the crossroads: reflections from the Arab Region

Kishan Khoday
29 May 2014

Kishan Khoday takes a look at development finance in the Arab region in the run up to 2015. Aid from the Arab region has been expanding in recent years - combined with the social changes taking place in the region, and the fact that the region still receives significant amounts of aid as well, this makes for a complex and changing development finance landscape.

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Computer training class - World Bank photo collection (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Lessons on sustainable development finance from Tajikistan

Gulbahor Nematova
22 May 2014

Gulbahor Nematova blogs on four lessons from Tajikistan as to how similar countries can best make use of development finance, both internally and through international, or 'South-South' cooperation.

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European food aid by plane- Rock Cohen (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

European development finance post-2015: public meets private?

Florian Krätke
20 May 2014

Continuing our financing progress series with a look to post-2015, ECDPM's Florian Krätke looks at the increasing importance of private finance and how European public aid is working alongside it - do private and public sources of finance see development in the same way?

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Small scale fisheries in Africa - Chris Bene 2003 by worldfish

DFID’s new aid strategy – the big silence

Tony Killick
14 May 2014

Tony Killick OBE takes a look at how development policy in the UK has transformed over the past few years, from a focus on 'MDG type concerns' to a policy driven by the pursuit of growth. He argues that there should be a stronger public and intellectual discussion of this transformation, and poses a series of questions that he believes should be asked of DFID.

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Indigenous Hmong women, Viet Nam - United Nations (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

The debate on development finance: new context, same questions?

Jonathan Glennie
21 March 2014

Rounding off the second set of our financing progress blog series, we take a look at the contributions so far and draw out some parallels with previous eras in the history of development - are the challenges being faced really as new as they seem?

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Tenderos - Daninava (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

How can business drive meaningful poverty alleviation?

Andy Wales
5 March 2014

Continuing our financing progress blog series, Andy Wales of SABMiller looks at the role business can play in achieving meaningful alleviation of poverty. He describes a programme put in place to help small business develop and how it can help the owners overcome the barriers they face in escaping poverty.

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Local self government in Turkmenistan- UNDP Europe and CIS (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Getting smart with aid

Jon Lomøy
27 February 2014

Continuing our financing progress series, the OECD's Jon Lomøy looks at the characteristics of contemporary aid and suggests ways in which aid can best respond to the ever-changing landscape and best meet the needs of developing countries.

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Man scattering rice grains - World Bank (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Post-2015 infrastructure finance: The new debt threat?

Aldo Caliari
10 February 2014

The Monterrey Consensus called for mechanisms that promote fair burden-sharing and minimise moral hazard, but in this blog for our financing progress series Aldo Caliari reflects on how far we are from fulfilling this consensus and looks ahead to concerns relating to infrastructure debt post-2015

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Flooded rice field - World Bank (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Can private sector finance support adaptation?

Saleemul Huq and Barry Smith
4 February 2014

The ideal split between public and private sources of climate finance has been left deliberately ambiguous in the major meetings on the subject. In this blog, Saleemul Huq and Barry Smith argue that the promised $100bn should all come from public funds, rather than split with the private sector, and suggest how governance arrangements could be made most effective and legitimate.

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Fishermen, Gaza - UN (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Development finance: Can it advance local ownership?

Nora Lester Murad
29 January 2014

How can international development finance support localised development? Taking Palestine as an example, this blog looks at the ways in which local communities can take control of their own development, including through means such as community foundations. It also looks at the obstacles to local communities empowering themselves through development.

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Woman farmer- Gates Foundation (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Private development assistance: a glimpse of the landscape

Sarah Hénon
27 January 2014

Do assertions that ‘philanthropic giving across borders’ is now a major player in development financing really stand up to scrutiny? Development Initiatives’ Sarah Hénon takes a look at the evidence in the first blog of the second set in our financing progress series.

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Children in Timor Leste - UNDP (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Changing the mindset on aid

Gail Hurley
28 November 2013

Will there always be a need for international public finance? Gail Hurley believes so, and outlines why and what form it might take in the future in this finacing progress blog.

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Truck mechanics at the port in Tema - World Bank (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

Financing progress independently: taxation and illicit flows

Alex Cobham
20 November 2013

The importance of reducing tax evasion and illicit flows has risen up the development financing agenda rapidly in the last few years. This blog sets out the next steps on how this important agenda can become a concrete and functional part of the international development finance settlement.

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Colombian men fishing - World Bank (Creative Commons licensed via Flickr)

What works in development finance: a new blog series invites cutting edge commentary

Jonathan Glennie
12 November 2013

The debate is hotting up on what, exactly, will follow the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But one thing is certain about the future post-2015 goals – without money they will remain just words on paper. Jonathan Glennie kicks off a new blog series that will shed light on the most important aspects of development finance today.