For Educators

Here you will find CGD work of special interest to development studies educators and their students including syllabuses from courses taught by CGD-affiliated professors as well as slidedecks and multimedia presentations. We have selected from CGD’s hundreds of publications those that provide broad overviews or are otherwise more readily accessible than CGD’s more technical work. Search the materials by topic using the toolbar below and consult our list of development programs at different universities around the world.

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Book Purchase and Review Copies: CGD books are available for purchase online through our website or, for bulk orders, through the Hopkins Fulfillment Service, P.O. Box 50370, Baltimore MD 21211-4370. Tel: 1-800-537-5487. For complimentary review or exam copies, please send a note to publications@cgdev.org with details about the potential review or the course you are teaching.

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Taxes: Price of Civilization or Tribute to Leviathan? - Working Paper 412

8/31/15
Lant Pritchett and Yamini Aiyar

There are two dominant narratives about taxation.  In one, taxes are the “price we pay for a civilized society” (Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.).  In this view taxes are not a necessary evil (as in the pairing of “death and taxes” as inevitable) but a positive good: more taxes buy more “civilization.” The other view is that taxes are “tribute to Leviathan”—a pure involuntary extraction from those engaged in economic production to those who control coercive power producing no reciprocal benefit.  In this view taxes are a bane of the civilized.   We consider the question of taxes as price versus tribute for contemporary India.

flickr user Cho Wah Ye / cc bit.ly/1KEFu1s

Food Security Post-2015: What Countries Need to Do So That Regional Collaboration Can Be Effective

7/31/15

To explain why ending hunger has been so hard, Peter Timmer highlights four main themes: the complex role of markets, the importance of government policies, the historical process of structural transformation, and the need to identify the appropriate time horizon for analysis and interventions. These themes are not new, but integrating them into a coherent approach to ending hunger seems to be original

The Role of Identification in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

The Role of Identification in the Post-2015 Development Agenda

7/1/15
Mariana Dahan and Alan Gelb

The post-2015 development agenda is being shaped as we speak. The role of identification and its importance to development outcomes places it within the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda — specifically as one of the proposed SDG targets (#16.9), but also as a key enabler of the efficacy of many other SDG targets. Although there is no one model for providing legal identity, this SDG would urge states to ensure that all have free or low-cost access to widely accepted, robust identity credentials.

Finding Cash for Infrastructure in Addis: Blending, Lending, and Guarantees in Finance for Development

Finding Cash for Infrastructure in Addis: Blending, Lending and Guarantees in Finance for Development

6/19/15

The total scale of incremental investment requirements in infrastructure in developing countries has been estimated at around USD 1 trillion a year, with a range of related studies suggesting numbers between $815 billion to $1.3 trillion. While all such numbers are open to considerable debate, and were not designed to measure the cost of delivering the specific SDG infrastructure targets, they suggest the likely scale of the financing challenge for an SDG agenda which includes universal coverage to adequate housing, water, sanitation, modern energy and communications technologies. 

Old-World Humanitarianism Faces New-World Challenges

Old-World Humanitarianism Faces New-World Challenges

6/16/15
Mark Malloch Brown

In fact refugees and victims of natural disasters account for such a small fraction of the world population, less than half a percent. There is no excuse for not providing adequate timely funding for disasters whose numbers if not locations are relatively predictable. The costs are manageable, or at least they are a fraction of, say, the costs of ending poverty or combating climate change. This is at the easier end of world problems. And therefore fashioning the political will to act in a timely and effective way should be possible.

The Health Consequences of Aerial Spraying of Illicit Crops: The Case of Colombia

The Health Consequences of Aerial Spraying of Illicit Crops: The Case of Colombia - Working Paper 408

6/1/15
Adriana Camacho and Daniel Mejia

A joint US-Colombia antinarcotics program sprayed hundreds of thousands of acres of illicit crops in Colombia with the herbicide glyphosate over several years. The recent classification of glyphosate as a likely carcinogen raises questions about the health effects of that spraying campaign. In this study, two economists from Colombia’s Los Andes University, combine data on aerial spraying from 2003 to 2007 with comprehensive individual-level data on every visit to public health facilities during that period. They find that aerial spraying raised the incidence of miscarriages, skin conditions, and respiratory problems.

MDGs to SDGs: Have We Lost the Plot?

5/27/15

In September this year, world leaders will meet in New York at the United Nations General Assembly. Top of the agenda will be the passage of a resolution laying out global development goals for the fifteen years to 2030, covering progress in areas from poverty reduction to forestry preservation. They will follow on from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have become a common yardstick of global progress over the past decade and a half.

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

Call Me Educated: Evidence from a Mobile Monitoring Experiment in Niger - Working Paper 406

5/21/15
Jenny C. Aker and Christopher Ksoll

In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program. 

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