Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Global Development: Views from the Center

Global Development: Views from the Center features posts from Nancy Birdsall and her colleagues at the Center for Global Development about innovative, practical policy responses to poverty and inequality in an ever-more globalized world.


Mega-Regional Trade Agreements: Boon or Bane for Developing Countries?

The United States is negotiating trade and investment partnership agreements that would cover more than half of global trade if successful: the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam are part of TPP, along with Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore. But most developing countries, and all of the poorest and most vulnerable, are on the outside looking in.

Volvo Standards and Transformational Infrastructure: Lessons for the Old and New Development Banks.

At its founding, a primary function of World Bank was to help developing countries develop the energy, transport and water infrastructure essential for economic development. Half a century later, as the World Bank Country Director for Brazil I saw the products of this – the World Bank funded one major hydropower plant in each of the first ten years that the Bank operated in Brazil, thus helping Brazil build a low-cost energy platform for economic growth in Brazil for the next 50 years.

Delivering on the Data Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa

Since the term “data revolution” was brandished in the High-Level Panel report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, there has been a flurry of activity to define, develop, and drive an agenda to transform the way development statistics are collected, used, and shared the world over.  And this makes sense — assessing the new development agenda, regardless of its details, will need accurate data.

More on the Definition of ODA: Proper Credit for Credits

CGD’s recent publication of my paper on improving the statistical definition of Official Development Assistance (ODA) brought me into contact with several people involved with the ongoing review of this issue. (For the history of that process see my previous post.) Those conversations have stimulated my thinking. They have also helped me appreciate that among the questions in play, the hottest is how to count loans in ODA—where “hot” is some blend of complicated and controversial.

I wrote about loans in my last post. But I focused on arguing against factoring the probability of default into the assessed financial value of a loan. Here, I’ll explain some other loan-related recommendations. In another post, I’ll talk about other questions.