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A Third Way for Official Development Assistance

Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the Poor

GIM is pleased to announce its new UNDP publication together with the New America Foundation. ‘A Third Way for Official Development Assistance: Savings and Conditional Cash Transfers to the poor’ was written by Henry JackelenJamie Zimmerman, Jamie Holmes, Suba Sivakumaran and Sahba Sobhani and was launched last week, together with an accompanying op-ed called Money to the Poor in Slate magazine at the Future Tense event at the New America Foundation. (Full webcast here.)

How can aid be reformed to create greater impact on the poor and reduce corruption and inefficiency? What can be done to stimulate the demand by the poor for better schools, health services and financial services and products? How can we create a more accountable and transparent system that is able to track aid, target the poor better and empower them to make their own decisions?

This paper explores the conceptual and practical case for a simple yet radical idea: improve ODA’s efficiency and effectiveness by directing ODA funds toward account-linked cash transfer programs. In effect, this would enable the creation of bank accounts for aid recipients around the world and then leverage those accounts to a) deliver aid or make other transfers and b) create additional opportunities to enhance human capital and asset building. This would address the renewed emphasis on more meaningful, measurable outputs of aid and fulfill a critical need of the poor, with tools that provide a safe and secure place to save, manage resources, and build wealth over the long-term.

Click here to download the full report. A full webcast of the panel discussion in which Henry Jackelen participated along with Jamie Zimmerman, moderated by the editor of Slate, David Plotz can be found here. Please share, discuss and send your thoughts and feedback!