Wilton Park virtual dialogue – The Future of Aid: towards global public investment?

Tuesday 17 March 2020 | WP1766

By Alan Harding (consultant) with Aneka Hussan (Wilton Park)

In partnership with Joep Lange Institute with support from Coalition for Global Prosperity, Development Initiatives, Equal International and United Nations University; and in association with the OECD Development Centre

WP1766 Future of Aid Report – FINAL

Executive Summary

This virtual discussion in the Wilton Park series about the Future of Aid is taking place at a time of unprecedented crisis and challenge to the global aid and humanitarian system as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aid continues to be important and relevant. At its best it can be a catalyst for change to reduce poverty and inequality and tackle some of the global challenges such as pandemics and climate change.

However, there is a consensus that a new and updated conceptual framework for aid is needed. It is no longer the case that there is one group of countries giving aid and another receiving aid. What form can or should aid, as concessional public finance, be best taken in the future?

The current COVID-19 pandemic will affect all countries and not just those currently eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA). The global response to COVID-19 provides the opportunity to reshape the thinking about global solidarity, the framework, objective mechanisms and governance of aid.

The COVID-19 pandemic also brings the concept of Global Public Investment (GPI), (which was presented and discussed during this dialogue), to the forefront of the aid debate and there is support for this approach.

The international architecture for development financing needs to adapt to be able to respond to the anticipated slower global growth and reversal of poverty reduction; climate emergency and ever-increasing need for humanitarian aid; shifts in demographic and the technological/ digital revolution and its implications for future of consumption, production and work.

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