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Blended Finance: What it is, how it works and how it is used

February 10, 2017

In recent years, 'blending' has become a common development finance term. The practice combines official development assistance with other private or public resources, in order to 'leverage' additional funds from other actors. There is some confusion about its meaning, how it works, and how it fosters development, as well as a significant lack of project data. Blending can be problematic: it does not necessarily support pro-poor activities, often focuses on middle-income countries, and may give preferential treatment to donors' own private-sector firms. Projects may not align with country plans, and commonly fail to incorporate transparency, accountability, and stakeholder participation. This report aims to clarify what blending is, how it works and how it is used, to foster greater understanding of this increasingly prominent development finance mechanism.

Riding the Wave of Reform: Fast-tracking Myanmar's future with good quality aid

January 16, 2014

In 2011, following decades of isolation, Myanmar embarked on an unprecedented reform process, raising hopes for a new democracy. These reforms have been welcomed by the international community with rising levels of aid. If properly handled and spent, aid offers an opportunity to harness Myanmar's economic potential and make it work for poor people - reducing inequality, providing essential services, building resilience, and promoting sustainable investment.This paper explores what good-quality aid should look like for Myanmar, what it could deliver for those living in poverty, and what decision makers can learn from other countries, to ensure that aid is a catalyst for democratic reform, equitable growth, and peace.