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Shaping policy for development

An overview of Lagoro IDP camp in Kitgum District, northern Uganda, 20 May 2007. Manoocher Deghati/IRIN


The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is the UK's leading independent think tank on international development and humanitarian issues.

Africa hit by $1.8bn money transfer fees
Remittances report from ODI

Why is the world's poorest region paying the world's highest money transfer fees? From 12% average costs to the money lost to education and health, our report details it all, and asks what can be done to end this 'super tax' on the African poor.


Register to watch our remittances event online from 13.45 GMT. 

IPCC climate report and green growth

The good news from the landmark report is that the window for economic, technically feasible, and effective climate change mitigation is still open. The bad news is the window for action is rapidly closing. ODI green growth expert Ilmi Granoff concludes that there are some energy and infrastructure choices that economies must make to avoid climate change’s worst effects.

Indian elections: is corruption really top of the agenda?
Development Progress blog

Corruption is the hot topic among middle-class Indians going to the polls. But does it have the same traction among rural voters? ODI's William Avis blogs for Development Progress on political voice.

Rwanda 20 years on: has the humanitarian sector improved?
A practitioner's account

ODI's John Borton led the evaluation of the humanitarian response to the Rwandan genocide. What changes have occurred as a result? His blog for the Humanitarian Practice Network investigates.

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  • Two women in Mozambique: one of the countries at risk if bonds go bad - credit - DIFD
    ODI Briefing
    Are sovereign bonds too risky for Africa?

    Sovereign bonds are being used to fund big projects in sub-Saharan Africa. But they risk plunging nations into austerity.

  • A small business owner in Nepal - credit - Chris Marquardt
    World Bank blog
    Nepal and the electricity 'tax'

    Is irregular access to electricity a failure of government? The poor of Nepal certainly think so. Richard Mallet investigates how regular blackouts are hurting the country's small business owners. 

  • Security and justice reform
    Workshop report
    Security and justice reform: 'tinkering with the model'

    From donor politics to bureaucratic constraints, long-term change in SJR is difficult. But can work on the margins be done more effectively?

  • Picture of a gathering in Western DR Congo - DFID
    Oxfam blog and research paper
    The new challenge for development politics

    That politics is crucial to good development is well established. But the jump from thinking politically to working politically is a whole other challenge, akin to learning a new language, argues ODI expert Alina Rocha Menocal.



  • Zero poverty... think again
    Report, summary, infographics
    Zero Poverty... think again

    Climate change has the potential to reduce and reverse progress on extreme poverty, warns our report. When the international community comes together in 2015, they must acknowledge one thing  – tackling climate change IS development.




  •  Sweet sorghum varieties being tested for biofuel production - credit - Swathi Sridharan
    New paper examines facts
    Do biofuels really harm food prices?

    Are we right to worry that crop-made fuel will affect access to food in developing countries? Evidence suggests more important factors are at play.

  • Egyptian elections protest
    Summary of BBC Media Action debate
    ODI and BBC debate on elections

    What are the challenges for international journalists covering elections? And is social media a help or a hinderance? Four experts came together last week to discuss these issues and more. 

  • 2013 figures meet UN milestone
    UK hits international aid target

    Last year, for the first time ever, UK aid reached 0.7 of national income.

    It's an achievement few rich countries have ever matched, and one that puts 'Britain in a leadership position over the greatest challenge facing humanity', says ODI Executive Director Kevin Watkins. He was interviewed on BBC Newsnight to discuss UK aid.

  • Parliamentary election, January 2005, Nasiriyah, Iraq by James Gordon.jpg
    New blog series from Development Progress
    Power to the people: the role of political voice

    How are people making their voice heard around their world, and driving change? Alina Rocha Menocal introduces a blog series on political voice, how it is heard and how it can be effective.

    Africa Climate Change Resilience Alliance (ACCRA)
    Planning for an uncertain future

    How can we make better decisions about climate change and more? The answer is Flexible and Forward-looking Decision Making (FFDM), argues new research from ACCRA.

  • Expert infantry July 2010
    VICE News article on Afghanistan development
    Afghanistan: waste and withdrawal

    'The question wasn’t asked, "What do people need, what’s going to be sustainable?" It was, "We have a lot of money to burn."' ODI expert Ashley Jackson quoted on wasteful spending in Afghanistan. Will it get worse now the troops are leaving?

  • ODI on BBC Daily Politics
    IPCC report: how to adapt to the impacts of climate change?

    'The messages are serious, but if we act now we can avoid the worst' said ODI's Tom Mitchell, discussing this landmark report on BBC Daily Politics. 

  • Climate change and water in Africa - World Water Day - Credit Eduardo Fonseca Arraes
    New reports and blog
    World Water Day 2014, 22 March

    The big-picture theme this year is the connection – or nexus – between land, water and energy. That's fine, blogs Head of Water Policy Roger Calow, but for 'nuts and bolts' progress we should look to an unlikely source – China. 

  • Photo by Neil Palmer - CIAT for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).jpg
    Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
    Investing in REDD

    $30 billion per year – just seven percent of what the US pays in annual global fossil fuel subsidies – can accelerate the transition to green and sustainable growth in developing countries, says a new report by the International Resource Panel (IRP).

  • Economic empowerment is crucial to women in Afghanistan - credit Canada in Afghanistan
    Report on gender and inequality
    Measuring women's empowerment

    We cannot measure women's economic empowerment by income alone. There are other ways to evaluate progress, argues a new report from ODI Social Development. 



  • Community policing in Timor Leste - credit UN Photo / Martine Perret
    Securing communities
    Community policing in Timor-Leste

    Perceptions of the police are improving due to community policing, as an ODI case study and a video produced by the Asia Foundation make clear.





  • Children from Sierra Leone eating lunch - can more be done on malnutrition? Credit Peter Casier
    Report from Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC)
    Tackling malnutrition in Sierra Leone

    Malnutrition remains a huge problem in the post-conflict state. A new report asks whether the response from government and the international community is fit for purpose.

    And in a new blog post, SLRC Director Paul Harvey calls for a different approach to the crisis.

  • A tailor in Kabul facing an uncertain economic future - what can aid donors do better? Credit Richard Mallett
    The Guardian
    Afghanistan, change and the threat to livelihoods

    When the troops leave, Afghanistan's small businesses face an uncertain future. ODI Social Protection expert Richard Mallett examines their plight and what foreign aid donors can do to better support livelihoods in rapidly changing economies.

  • Justine Greening will speak on gender goals at the report launch in New York on 13 March
    Six ways to measure progress for women after 2015
    Data, power and women

    The more data we collect on social norms the more we know about life chances. Our report looks at how we can use that data to measure the progress of women and girls globally.



  • Vietnamese citizens queue for health cards - Credit/username PACOM
    Governance report and blog
    What we really want from governments

    The priority for most people – according to a new ODI report and blog – is a government that delivers on goods and services. 



  • Combat chronic poverty with education says report; a young girl does her school work in Karachi, Pakistan. UN Photo/John Isaac
    Three ways to combat chronic poverty

    The Chronic Poverty Report asks why many escape from poverty only to fall back, and sets out measures to defuse this ticking timebomb.