• March 5, 2014
Development Aid & Good Governance: The role of the UK

In the report we consider how UK development aid can best be used to promote good governance. We have chosen to investigate this because good governance not only has an impact on the everyday lives of those living in developing countries, but can also promote economic development and remove barriers against poverty reduction. Our focus in the report is split between four dimensions: accountability, inclusion, corruption and state capacity; and we look in detail at tradeoffs that are necessitated when donor countries work with aid recipients to enhance governance processes. Amongst other conclusions, we find that longer time spans should be introduced in many areas of policy, that national governments rather than NGOs or firms should be at the forefront of implementing projects and that great care should be taken to understand the different situation facing each government rather than applying general blueprints. We also find several other complications, and provide more specific recommendations in each subsection of the work.

In January and February 2014, OxPolicy ran a research project investigating these issues in detail, which culminated at a launch event consisting of a panel discussion. Speakers included Dr. Matt Collin, postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Global Development Europe and research officer at the Centre for the Study of African Economies, and Dr. Anna Matveeva, visiting fellow at the Department of War Studies in King’s College, London and a UNDP Regional Advisor on Peace and Development.

You can download the report and our Prison Reform infographic below. If you have any questions about the report, please do not hesitate to get in touch at .


This paper was written by a team of Oxford University students. Many thanks to our research team: Abigail Burman, Arielle Koppell, Ghulam Rana, ZoƩ Huczok, and Zhen Shao. Particular thanks go to Daniel Ginger, Shivani Haria, and Thomas Roberts, as well as to our graduate research mentors Meredith Byrne, Garima Jaju, and Maximilian Weylandt. Operational support was provided by the committee members Teh Guo Pei, Russell Whitehouse, Joshua Jesudason, and Theophilus Kwek. Thanks to Samuel Tran and Katherine Crofts-Gibbons for contributing to our research. The report was edited by Wei Qing Tan and Thomas Maassen.

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Thomas Maassen

Dutch 2nd year PPE-ist at Jesus College. Broad interest in policy issues including education, international development, and social inclusion. Academically focusing on microeconomics and political science. Research coordinator of project on Development Aid and Good Governance in Hilary 2013-2014.

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