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.

Exploring Demand for Open Data & Open Government


In recent years, open data and open government have quickly risen in popularity among transparency advocates and innovative international development practitioners. Beyond theory and buzzwords, how much demand actually exists from citizens on-the-ground for this movement? What kind of impact can we reasonably expect from open data platforms and open government to have in the life of the "offline citizen," which comprise roughly two-thirds of the world in 2015?

To date, many efforts to measure demand or evaluate the performance of open government activities have relied on simple web metrics and anecdotes. Join a discussion on the current limitations and opportunities to assess and respond to citizen demand through an exploration of new hi-tech and low-tech approaches piloted in Indonesia, Kenya, and Morocco.

Sam Lee is an international development professional with over 10 years of experience spanning the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Most recently, Sam served as an open data specialist at the World Bank Group applying open data and technology to the Bank's work and portfolio.

Reversing Brain Drain: Evidence from Malaysia's Returning Expert Programme


How can we encourage the return migration of high-skilled individuals to countries experiencing “brain drain?” In a new paper, Mathis Wagner and his coauthors present the first evidence on the efficacy of a major program designed to do so by using the case of Malaysian Returning Expert Program (REP), which targets very high-skilled Malaysians abroad and provides them with incentives to return to Malaysia. They identify the impact that acceptance to the REP (conditional on having applied) has on the probability that the individuals return to Malaysia. The paper finds that the program increases the probability of return by 6 percentage points, and provides an analysis of the costs and benefits of the program.

The Effect of Aid on Growth: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment


Is there a convincing instrumental variable to identify the causal effects of aid and growth? In his new paper, Sebastian Galiani and his coauthors exploit an instrumental variable based on the fact that since 1987, eligibility for aid from the International Development Association (IDA) has been based partly on whether or not a country is below a certain threshold of per capita income.

The paper finds evidence that other donors tend to reinforce rather than compensate for reductions in IDA aid following threshold crossings. Overall, aid as a share of gross national income (GNI) drops about 59 percent on average after countries cross the threshold. By focusing on the 35 countries that have crossed the income threshold from below between 1987 and 2010, they find a positive, statistically significant, and economically sizable effect of aid on growth. They find that a one percentage point increase in the aid to GNI ratio from the sample mean raises annual real per capita growth in gross domestic product by approximately 0.35 percentage points. The analysis shows that the main channel through which aid promotes growth is by increasing physical investment.

CGD Europe Sandwich Seminar on The Effect of Start-up Capital on Business Entry in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia


Becoming an entrepreneur is not only a highly regarded career path among young graduates in rich countries, but also across African nations. Yet the biggest barrier for young, motivated people to realise their potential seems to be access to capital. In a recent paper, Simon Quinn and co-author Mark Fafchamps report on a novel research project designed to test the effects of access to start-up capital. To accomplish this they launched a business idea competition called ASPIRE in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Zambia, where aspiring entrepreneurs competed to win a $1,000 prize for the best idea.