Adapting development

Improving services to the poor

Leni Wild David Booth Clare Cummings
Published by
Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

This report argues that if we are to avoid reproducing the pattern of uneven progress that has characterised the Millennium Development Goals campaign, there must be more explicit recognition of the political conditions that enable or obstruct development progress. 

In this context, domestic reformers and their international partners must pursue innovative and politically smart ways to tackle the most intractable problems. The report is, therefore, aimed at governments, domestic reformers and at the external actors (donor agencies, NGOs and others) that can support them to do development differently. 

The report proposes major changes in how aid works and in the way aid is treated in public and policy debates, including:

  • Aiding development that is politically smart and locally led.
  • A renewed but changed focus on results.
  • An explicit refocussing of the debate on how aid works, not the total volume spent.
  • A new and more honest dialogue about development and aid with the public.