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, please send us an e-mail. You can subscribe to an RSS feed of upcoming events, and view our event photo archives on flickr.

Graduating out of Ultra-Poverty: Evaluations of a Holistic Social Safety Net Program


Can an intensive package of support lift people out of extreme poverty to a more stable state? The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor and the Ford Foundation have partnered with local organizations to apply a graduation model based off of BRAC’s Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction/Targeting the Ultra Poor (CFPR/TUP) program in seven countries on three continents. The Ultra Poor Program provides holistic livelihood development programs for the ultra poor including consumption support, savings services, skills training and coaching, and the transfer of a productive asset such as livestock.

Dean Karlan will present results from randomized control trials of six of the graduation programs. Drawing from these results of the programs, Karlan will argue that the graduation model can be a powerful tool to create a pathway out of extreme poverty but more work remains to be done to learn which factors drive impact.

*Following the move to our new home, CGD has renamed the Massachusetts Avenue Development Seminar series the CGD Invited Research Forum. Now in its thirteenth year, the series brings some of the world's leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers. For more on the history of the series, check out this blog by Michael Clemens.

The Ninth Annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture: An African Miracle? Implications of Recent Research on Growth Economics


Dani Rodrik is featured speaker of CGD’s ninth annual Richard H. Sabot Lecture honoring the life and work of Richard “Dick” Sabot, a friend, co-author, and founding member of CGD's board of directors.

Rodrik is the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study. Previously, he was the Rafiq Hariri Professor of International Political Economy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Rodrik was awarded the inaugural Albert O. Hirschman Prize of the Social Science Research Council in 2007 as well as the Leontief Award for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought. His 1997 book Has Globalization Gone Too Far? was called “one of the most important economics books of the decade.”

Analysts agree that industrialization and diversification away from traditional products have been critical in Asian and other growth miracles. Africa, by contrast, has recently experienced significant growth in GDP and overall productivity despite advancing little on these fronts. Rodrik’s lecture will examine recent research in growth economics that emphasizes economic dualism and the role of structural change in fostering rapid economic growth, and ask the question “can Africa’s growth be sustained or is a different growth model needed?”

CGD president Nancy Birdsall will host this event and serve as moderator for a discussion following the talk.

Reception Honoring Frances Seymour


Please join the Embassy of France and the Center for Global Development as we honor CGD Senior Fellow Frances Seymour, who has been awarded the title of Officer by the French Republic’s Order of Agricultural Merit (Officier de l'Ordre du Mérite Agricole) for her work to reduce deforestation and promote sustainable development as Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) from 2006 to 2012. The Order of Agricultural Merit, consisting of three ranks: Commander, Officer and Knight, is an order bestowed by the French Republic to individuals for their outstanding services to agriculture in public duties or in the practice of agriculture. It also rewards people who distinguish themselves in scientific research or in related publications. To date, women account for only 27% of those receiving this honor and few of these are American women.

Seymour received the honor for her leadership in encouraging dialogue between the worlds of science and policy, developing a culture of impact assessment at CIFOR, establishing the annual Forest Day, and insisting on the highest quality scientific research. As a CGD Senior Fellow, Seymour leads the Tropical Forests for Climate and Development initiative. Her work has focused on creating a global consensus about the importance of forest conservation and promoting results-based financing for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation).