Development: How much does aid still matter?
Friday November 27th 2015
Examination Schools, 75-81 High Street Oxford OX1 4BG

We appear to be at a turning point in international development. As countries come together to negotiate the Sustainable Development Goals, how development will be funded is increasingly uncertain. Traditional donors are experiencing "aid fatigue’’; emerging donors such as China are experiencing significant economic challenges; developing countries’ own revenues from commodities are drying up. It is still unclear whether new global inflows of foreign investment and portfolio flows will spur economic development and how long they’ll last once developed economies “normalise”.

What role can foreign aid play in the economic development of developing countries? Has this changed as developing countries have gained access to alternative sources of funding? How does foreign aid interact with the domestic drivers of economic development? If foreign aid is not (only) about facilitating economic development, what other roles can it play in developing countries?

Richard Manning, Senior Research Fellow, Blavatnik School of Government
Myles Wickstead, Visiting Professor of International Relations, King’s College London
Lindsay Whitfield, Associate Professor, Roskilde University


Speaker Profiles:

Richard Manning is a Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Government in Oxford. He works closely with Paul Collier on a series of research questions, largely focused on economic development and health policy in sub-Saharan Africa. Richard is also chairman of the board of the Institute of Development Studies, vice-chairman of the current Replenishment of the Global Fund for Aids, TB and Malaria and Coordinator of the Replenishment of the AfDB’s soft fund.

Richard served in the UK Department for International Development and its predecessors from 1965-2003. He was a director general from 1996-2003, in which capacity he supervised the production of the first two white papers on international development of the Labour government. In the then Overseas Development Administration (ODA), from 1993-96 he served as principal finance officer and he was under-secretary for Asia from 1988-93.


Myles Wickstead is Visiting Professor (International Relations) at King’s College London.  This follows a career in development and diplomacy, during which time he was from 1993-97 Head of the British Development Division in Eastern Africa, responsible for British Government development programmes in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda; coordinated the 1997 British Government White Paper ‘Eliminating World Poverty: A Challenge for the 21st Century’; served from 1997-2000 on the Board of the World Bank (and as Development Counsellor at the British Embassy) in Washington DC; and was from 2000-2004 British Ambassador to Ethiopia, Djibouti and the African Union.  He was Head of the Secretariat to the Commission for Africa from 2004-2005; the Commission’s Report ‘Our Common Interest’ formed the basis of the 2005 G8 Communique on Africa.

Having left Government service in late 2005, Myles was a Special Advisor to the Parliamentary International Development Select Committee and is currently an Advisor to ‘Hand in Hand International’ and ‘Development Initiatives’. 


Lindsay Whitfield is Associate Professor in Global Studies at the Department of Society and Globalisation at Roskilde University. She was a Senior Project Researcher in the Politics and Development research unit at the Danish Institute for International Studies, Copenhagen. Before that, she was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Global Economic Governance Program, which is based at University College and the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, UK.