Sharpening minds: Payment by results (PbR) in international development

December 18, 2015
In international development, programmes are commissioned by bilateral or multilateral institutions such as USAID, DFID or the World Bank to one or more ‘service providers’ from the private or third sector. Payment by results (PbR) is one means of contracting these providers, whereby part or all of a contract’s value is linked to the achievement of pre-defined targets for outcomes or impact.
A recent paper by Stefan Dercon and Paul Clist sets out 12 ‘principles’ for when and where international development programmes should utilise PbR. Having spent close to three years now working on one of DFID’s largest programmes involving PbR, the Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC), I believe they under-emphasise the largest benefit we have seen with PbR. This LinkedIn piece argues that PbR can sharpen the minds of donors and recipients, to improve the state of knowledge of what works and whether an impact has been achieved on the programme itself….

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