April 24, 2024
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Commissioned research

Many international organisations, OECD donors and CSOs have commissioned research from DFI. These have included:

  • On debt relief and sustainability, the African Development Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, the European network on Debt and Development (EURODAD), the Foundation for Debt and Development (FONDAD), the Group of 24 Developing Countries, the Initiative for Policy Dialogue/UN Financing for Development Office, the Make Poverty History Coalition, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the UK Commission for Africa, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the UK Treasury, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The subject areas have included debt sustainability, debt relief (multilateral, Paris Club, non-Paris Club bilateral, commercial, and litigation),

  • On new public financing, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, FONDAD, HIPC Finance Ministers, the Make Poverty History Coalition, the OECD DAC, Oxfam GB, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), the Swedish Ministries of Finance and Foreign Affairs, the UK Commission for Africa, the UK Department for International Development, the United Nations Development Cooperation Forum (DCF), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organisation (UNESCO). Subject areas have included external financing through multilateral and bilateral aid, South-South aid, aid effectiveness, and non-concessional multilateral, bilateral and commercial finance; as well as domestic debt financing.

  • On private sector financing, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FONDAD, the North-South Institute of Canada, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the UK Department for International Development. Subjects have included trends in financing, investment climate and outlook, the impact of the global financial crisis, and corporate responsibility, as well as detailed studies of flows to Africa and low-income countries.

Latest work DFI carried out in this area:

February 2013 - The Preferred Partner? AfDB Client Assessment Report To Be Published

AFDBThe report of the client assessment organised by DFI for the African Development Bank is due to be published in February. The report finds that the AfDB is “a preferred partner” of its African clients compared to other funding organisations, and makes recommendations on strategy, resources, delivery, private sector support, becoming a “Policy Bank”, and reinforcing engagement with stakeholders, based on clients’ suggestions, to assist the Bank to become the preferred partner of its clients under its long-term strategy for 2013-22.

18 June - Save the Children’s Report on the Importance of Social Protection

Save_the_ChildrenDFI was commissioned by Save the Children UK to provide research into current and projected trends in social protection expenditure which contributed to the newly launched report A Chance to Grow. With the current global economic crisis hitting the poorest countries hardest, this report finds that promoting and strengthening social protection programmes can reduce child hunger and malnutrition, save lives and promote economic opportunities, and proposes a series of evidence-based recommendations to achieve this goal.

9-10 May – AfDB Client Assessment Management Meetings

AFDB_GlobeMatthew Martin and Professor Ngaire Woods of Oxford University visited the African Development Bank in Tunis to hold discussions with African Development Bank management on the findings of their Client Assessment report on the Bank. The meetings were extremely positive and led to agreement on many concrete steps to pursue the recommendations. The report will be presented to the AfDB Annual Meetings in Arusha in May and subsequently published and widely disseminated to stakeholders.

20 April - Delivering Growth and Poverty Reduction for Low-Income Countries

Save_the_Children_NorwayDFI was commissioned by Save the Children Norway, Norwegian Church Aid and the Norwegian Forum for Environment and Development to study whether the IMF Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust is delivering poverty reduction and growth to low-income countries. The study finds that it could do a great deal more, and makes strong recommendations for the IMF and its funders. It was presented at a seminar in the IMF Spring Meetings and is forming the basis for extensive CSO inputs into the IMF review of LIC instruments.

27 February - DCF Foundations Study Discussed

ECOSOCDFI was commissioned by the UN DCF to analyse the recent rapid growth of foundations and private philanthropy, and the potential advantages and disadvantages of this type of development financing. A half day meeting in New York discussed the findings and the potential for the UN to work with foundations to set best practice standards to improve the quality and results of philanthropy worldwide.

1 December - Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation Agreed

Busan_Aid_effectivenessDFI participated in the UN delegation to the Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, on 29 November-1 December, to assist in side events on mutual accountability and aid allocation, and a meeting between the UN DCF and its stakeholders on the future architecture for sustainable development cooperation. For a copy of the Busan Declaration, click here. For an independent analysis of the outcome by the Better Aid coalition, click here.

12 September –  Real Aid 3 Report - Aid dependency is going down

ActionaidDFI co-wrote a report with Action Aid on REAL AID which argues that Developing countries are getting less dependent on aid and that real Aid is transforming lives. The report also argues that the key to reduce aid dependence is strong leadership by recipient country rather than by the donors. It also discusses what is and is not REAL AID, recommendations to Busan and beyond.

29 June - 1 July - AfDB Multi-Stakeholder Workshop

South_AfricaDFI and GEG held a multi- stakeholder workshop for CSO, Trade Unions, Parliamentarians, Private Sector and Government Officials jointly with the AfDB in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 29 – July 1. The 52 participants from 28 countries evaluated the AfDB's policies and procedures and made practical suggestions and recommendations for improving AfDB performance. The discussions focused on overall strategy, accountability, governance, engagement with groups from different sectors and their specific issues. The project document is available here.

7-10 June – AfDB Annual Meetings in Lisbon


DFI and the Global Economic Governance Programme (GEG) were represented at the 2011 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the African Development Bank Group in Lisbon, Portugal. In the context of the current panafrican, multi-stakeholder client evaluation of the AfDB, DFI and GEG conducted several face-to-face interviews with Finance Ministers and top policymakers as well as representatives of African organizations from the regional economic community. The conclusions of this ongoing independent evaluation will be presented to the Bank’s Board over the next few weeks.

9-13 May - DFI commissioned by the UN DCF

UNDFI was recently commissioned by the UN DCF to prepare a background study analysing the quantity and quality of aid in LDCs and outlining possible elements for an LDC accountability framework that builds on existing review processes. The study was discussed at the Fourth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDC-IV) held from 9 to 13 May 2011 in Istanbul, Turkey to review the Brussels Programme of Action (BPoA) and agree on a new Programme of Action (IPoA) for LDCs. The paper can be downloaded from here.

9-13 May - LDC-IV Conference Papers and Events on Aid to LDCs


DFI assisted the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs to prepare a background paper and side event at the conference. See more on this event here. DFI also helped Save the Children UK to write a background paper on aid to LDCs, called The LDCs: Biggest Challenges, Least Assistance ?

 4-6 May - AfDB - World Economic Forum (Cape Town)

World_Economic_ForumDFI and the Global Economic Governance Programme at University College Oxford conducted a joint mission to the World Economic Forum in order to meet with African business people and pilot the private sector questionnaire for the African Development Bank Client Survey. The meeting yielded useful preliminary findings towards the survey, and helped to improve its methodology.

 3-4 May - AfDB Survey First Government Officials Workshop

AFDB_GlobeDFI and GEG held the first workshop for government managers of AfDB financing officials, jointly with the Government of Mali and the AfDB. In the workshop 25 officials from 18 countries evaluated the AfDB's policies and procedures using the HIPC CBP system for evaluating different sources of government financing. They also discussed broader issues such as decentralization, AfDB internal evaluation systems, transparency and communication, and partnership with other African institutions, and produced wide-ranging recommendations for improving AfDB performance. The project document is available here. A second workshop for government officials will be held in Johannesburg on June 29-July 1.

13-18 April - AfDB Client Survey Launched

AFDBDFI and GEG launched the client survey of AfDB Performance by contacting and sensitizing all the 40 African governments participating at the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings and interviewing an initial sample of policymakers. Many others promised to complete the online questionnaires for the project. Interviews will continue at the AfDB Annual Meetings in Lisbon in June. For more details of the client survey, see the terms or reference.

 7 March - DFI contributes to UNESCO’s Education for All Global Monitoring Report

UnescoLaunched on 1st March, UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011- The hidden crisis: Armed conflict and education explores how armed conflict is depriving 28 million children of an education worldwide. DFI was commissioned to produce a cross country study on Monitoring the impact of the financial crisis on national education financing and contributed to a case study on Mozambique investigating the Impact of the Financial Crisis on Education Sector Spending and Government Policy Responses. An official launch of the report will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on 8th March.

14 February - DFI-GEG to Conduct Client Review of AfDB

AFDB_GlobeBuilding on their earlier work in evaluating multilateral aid organizations, DFI and the Global Economic Governance Programme of Oxford University have been contracted in partnership by the African Development Bank to conduct an independent review of its performance by its African clients, during March-October 2011. The review will involve extensive consultations with government policymakers and officials, parliamentarians, civil society organizations, private sector representatives and representatives of other African organizations which work with the AfDB, through workshops, interviews and surveys.


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