Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


Each year the Center for Global Development hosts more than 80 public and invitation-only events. These events range from private roundtables to small seminars to book launches and other large public forums. The Center continues to host two popular on-going event series, the CGD Invited Research Forum (formerly the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminars) and Global Development Matters, our summer movie night series. If you would like more information about CGD events or are interested in renting our conference space, please send us an e-mail. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of upcoming events, and view our event photo archives on flickr.

Paying for Performance in Health Care: Empirical Evidence from Rwanda's National Program


Pay-for-performance (PFP) has emerged as a popular prescription to improve the performance of health systems in low and middle-income countries. However, there is limited economic and empirical evidence to support the effective design and implementation of such programs.

We analyze impacts of Rwanda’s national PFP program using two waves of data from the Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys collected before and after the randomized roll-out. We focus on two concerns with PFP in health care, joint production (a common input or process affecting multiple outputs) and multitasking (the reallocation of effort toward rewarded tasks). The findings suggest that Rwanda’s program improved some rewarded and unrewarded services, but had no detectable impact on health outcomes. We find no evidence of multitasking, and find mixed effects of the program by baseline levels of facility quality, with most improvements in the medium quality tier.

The Golden Hour Launch Party


Please join us on Wednesday, September 3rd at 5:00 p.m. for a reception to celebrate the release of the debut thriller by Todd Moss, The Golden Hour, about an American diplomat in Africa. The novel is the first in the Judd Ryker series about a college professor working inside the State Department to hasten America’s responses to international crises. In The Golden Hour, Ryker finds himself with just 100 hours to reverse a coup in Mali, rescue a kidnapped Peace Corps volunteer, and stop a terrorist attack on the U.S. Embassy. But first, he must uncover the real enemy!

Death, Poverty and Tobacco Taxes


Tobacco use is one of the greatest public health challenges facing low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). On average, about half of young men and 10% of young women globally become smokers and relatively few stop over the course of their lives. As a result, annual tobacco deaths will rise from about 5 million in 2010 to more than 10 million each year over the next few decades, as the young smokers of today reach middle and old age. Tripling tobacco excise taxes would, in many LMIC, approximately double the average price of cigarettes (and more than double prices of cheaper brands), decrease consumption by about a third and increase tobacco revenues by about a third. Smart strategies that favor excise taxation are urgently needed. Prabhat Jha will discuss the latest evidence on the impact of higher taxes on the poor, efforts to counter smuggling and consequences of higher taxes.

Hospital Collaborative for Emerging Markets: Consultation Session


Despite their centrality to health systems, hospital policy and performance in low- and middle-income countries has largely been neglected by health policymakers and the development community. This session will introduce for the first time a proposed Collaborative for Hospital Performance in Emerging Economies, which aims to improve the performance of hospitals in emerging markets and promote their integration in the broader health delivery system. Discussants will briefly explain the concept and underlying research, and solicit input from participants. The session welcomes a diverse audience including researchers, private sector stakeholders, hospital managers, practitioners and policy makers, particularly from low- and middle-income countries.

Generating Accountability for People-Centered Health Systems: Strategies and Lessons from Think Tanks


Independent policy research organizations – or think tanks – play a potentially important role in translating evidence to action, lending both technical expertise and an objective evidence base to help strengthen policy behind people-centered health systems in the developing world. This panel will highlight successful and less successful efforts by think tanks around the world to bridge the gap between health systems research and policy impact, with emphasis on tried and tested strategies as well as “bloopers” that unite researchers, activists, practitioners and policy-makers and can be utilized in a variety of settings. Panelists will describe a specific experience and debate the issues related to driving a research agenda from concept to conclusion to policy impact, highlighting what worked – and what didn’t – along the way.