Aid inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way

Aid inside Syria: Time to Go Small in a Bigger Way. Refugees International. Daryl Grisgraber. March 15, 2017

Many of the Syrian non-governmental organizations (NGOs) based in Turkey and providing humanitarian aid inside Syria have reached a high level of organizational and operational capacity that was previously absent. The capacity-building initiatives of multiple donors, United Nations agencies, and international non-governmental organization (INGO) partners have helped a number of these groups develop their ability to provide humanitarian responses in accordance with international standards and to be effectively involved in the international coordination structure that was previously out of reach to them. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 8 pages, 233.42 KB].

Vulnerable Communities Are Using Innovative Financing to Prepare for Natural Disasters

Vulnerable Communities Are Using Innovative Financing to Prepare for Natural Disasters. Pew Charitable Trusts. Laura Lightbody . November 30, 2016.

Billion-dollar natural disasters used to strike the United States once or twice a year. But since 1980, such events have occurred five to 10 times annually. These catastrophes threaten public safety, disrupt daily activities, and lead to economic losses. In October, Hurricane Matthew left at least 24 dead and caused $6 billion in insured property loss when it hit the southeastern United States. As the numbers and costs continue to climb, homeowners, communities, and the federal government will be challenged to make wise financial investments that will help save lives and lower the costs of future storms. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Unwanted Migration: How Governments Cope?

Unwanted Migration: How Governments Cope? YaleGlobal. Joseph Chamie and Barry Mirkin. August 4, 2016.

Uncontrolled migration, spurred by a growing populations, fewer resources like water or arable land as well as increasing conflict, has become a contentious political issue, particularly in advanced economies like Europe and the United States, argue Chamie and Mirkin. Passions run high as liberals support assistance and an emphasis on human rights of displaced people while conservatives advocate limits and enforcement. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[HTML format, various paging].

Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance

Does Foreign Aid Work? Efforts to Evaluate U.S. Foreign Assistance. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Marian Leonardo Lawson. June 23, 2016.

In most cases, the success or failure of U.S. foreign aid programs is not entirely clear, in part because historically, most aid programs have not been evaluated for the purpose of determining their actual impact. Many programs are not even evaluated on basic performance. The purpose and methodologies of foreign aid evaluation have varied over the decades, responding to political and fiscal circumstances. Aid evaluation practices and policies have variously focused on meeting program management needs, building institutional learning, accounting for resources, informing policymakers, and building local oversight and project design capacity. Challenges to meaningful aid evaluation have varied as well, but several are recurring. Persistent challenges to effective evaluation include unclear aid objectives, funding and personnel constraints, emphasis on accountability for funds, methodological challenges, compressed timelines, country ownership and donor coordination commitments, security, and agency and personnel incentives.

[PDF format, 29 pages, 787.61 KB].

Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy

Foreign Aid: An Introduction to U.S. Programs and Policy. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress. Curt Tarnoff and Marian L. Lawson. June 17, 2016.

Foreign assistance is a fundamental component of the international affairs budget and is viewed by many as an essential instrument of U.S. foreign policy. On the basis of national security, commercial, and humanitarian rationales, U.S. assistance flows through many federal agencies and supports myriad objectives, including promoting economic growth, reducing poverty, improving governance, expanding access to health care and education, promoting stability in conflictive regions, countering terrorism, promoting human rights, strengthening allies, and curbing illicit drug production and trafficking. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, foreign aid has increasingly been associated with national security policy. At the same time, foreign aid is seen by many Americans, and Members of Congress, as an expense that the United States cannot afford given current budget deficits.

[PDF format, 38 pages, 1.1 MB].

Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas

Rethinking Coordination of Services to Refugees in Urban Areas. RAND Corporation. Shelly Culbertson et al. April 27, 2016.

The study analyzes coordination of international and national entities managing the Syrian refugee response in urban areas in Jordan and Lebanon and provides recommendations on improving coordination strategies and practices. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 148 pages, 0.8 MB].

The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment

The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment. National Bureau of Economic Research. Sebastian Galiani et al. April 2016.

The literature on aid and growth has not found a convincing instrumental variable to identify the causal effects of aid. This paper exploits an instrumental variable based on the fact that since 1987, eligibility for aid from the International Development Association (IDA) has been based partly on whether or not a country is below a certain threshold of per capita income. The paper finds evidence that other donors tend to reinforce rather than compensate for reductions in IDA aid following threshold crossings. Overall, aid as a share of gross national income (GNI) drops about 59 percent on average after countries cross the threshold. Focusing on the 35 countries that have crossed the income threshold from below between 1987 and 2010, a positive, statistically significant, and economically sizable effect of aid on growth is found. A one percentage point increase in the aid to GNI ratio from the sample mean raises annual real per capita growth in gross domestic product by approximately 0.35 percentage points. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages, 1.62 MB].