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Issue Brief: Re-examining the Terms of Aid

The current terms of foreign assistance mean that it often falls short of the goal of supporting countries on their development paths. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, endorsed in 2011, represents a…

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Op-ed: Post-Maria, Puerto Rico has chance to reimagine its future

This article originally appeared in The Hill on November 2, 2017 By Clare Lockhart and David Thorpe Hurricane Maria left no corner of Puerto Rico untouched, meting out systematic destruction to the island and the lives…

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The Blight of Auction-Based Budgeting: What is it and how can we deal with it?

The pervasiveness of auction-based budgeting is a high-risk problem in aid dependent countries. Allocating a budget based on a willingness to pay is extremely dangerous. Selling off budgets to the highest bidder undermines the whole…

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Digital Innovation, State Effectiveness, and Development

Our first event, “Digital Innovation, State Effectiveness, and Development,” was held January 5, 2017 at the Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC

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The Absorptive Capacity Limit: The point where too much aid becomes bad aid

Absorptive capacity is not fixed – theoretically, it can be improved by successful reform. Absorptive capacity can change if the underlying drivers of absorptive capacity change. An increased capacity to absorb aid can occur for…

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Revocable Debt Relief: Transforming a Liability into a Contingent Liability

Some limited forms of debt forgiveness and assistance have been given to families, including through moratoriums on interest payments and arrangements for no or low-consequence on default. It has also been argued that government can…

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Medium-Term Focus for Short-Term Problem Solving

The modern medium-term and policy-based budgeting system was invented in the 1970s in Australia. It started with the use of internal medium-term fiscal forecasts of revenues and costs of existing policies. Political events then allowed…

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Who Cares About Development Risk?

A general view appears to be that development and fiduciary risks are “two sides of the same coin and cannot be usefully be separated”. This Development Practice Note argues that they are different, and that…

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The Consequences of Donor-Induced Fragmentation

Donor-induced fragmentation of public financial management systems reduces reputation risk, but it unambiguously increases development risk – the longer-term risk of not achieving development objectives. This Development Practice Note proposes a four-part solution for dealing…

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Partners’ Consortium: State of the State

State of the State Initiative Launched in Spring 2016, ISE’s State of the State Initiative (SoS) aims to reinvigorate a collective agenda on state effectiveness by assessing emerging global trends, building on the lessons of…

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What Determines the Quality of Public Finance Systems?

Why do some ministries of finance around the world consistently deliver good results, while others cannot make much progress? This Development Practice Note looks at the three most common answers to that question, and explains…

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