This report argues that a rigorous focus on the successful delivery of aid can lift developing countries to the point that aid is unnecessary.
“The good news from Pakistan” draws lessons from Sir Michael Barber’s experience of delivering aid in Pakistan since 2010. Throughout he demands a new level of ambition and execution in aid and development. He warns of a “development assistance doomloop” which condemns aid programmes to under-performance. Local officials want aid money “without any demanding strings attached”. Donor representatives prefer unambitious projects “because that would enable them to convince headquarters that they were doing good work”. For aid providers, “the more they could lower expectations the better”. Michael Barber argues that the “doomloop” can be broken by high ambitions, immediate action and rigorous measurement of performance.