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Cash Transfers Should Be Considered As Cost-Effective Solution To Achieving SDGs

Project Syndicate: Unsustainable Development Goals?
Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and director of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford

“…To maximize the chances of success [in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] … every dollar channeled toward development [must be] used as efficiently as possible. This means rethinking the way aid is delivered and asking hard questions to the elaborate web of international agencies that deliver it, not least about the cost-effectiveness of their operations. … Cash transfers are an interesting case. The idea of giving money to the neediest is an obvious and powerful one. … Of course, not all aid can be replaced with cash transfers. But in some cases, such an approach offers the opportunity for huge efficiency gains relative to aid delivered through complex and costly institutions. … In a challenging global economic and geopolitical environment, achieving the SDGs will be possible only if we make the most of every multilateral development dollar. And that may mean giving many more dollars directly to those who need them” (4/14).