CGD in the News

IMF, World Bank Policies May Share Blame in Ebola Crisis (AFP)


Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development, was not ready to blame the two Washington-based institutions. "The external world thinks that IMF and World Bank have much more influence that they actually do," she said.

According to Glassman, conflicts and bad governance were more responsible for the weakening of health spending in the sub-Sahara region, which fell from 6.9 percent of GDP in 2005 to 6.5 percent in 2012.

International Development Is Broken. Here Are Two Ways to Fix It. (New Republic)


It’s not just individual projects that fall into the gap between inputs and results. Lant Pritchett’s The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain't Learning documents how the international push for improved school attendance—as opposed to improved literacy, professional skills, and cognitive ability—led to overburdened teachers and crowded schools.


Amanda Glassman, a member of the Data for Africa Working Group, notes that most of the development statistics—how many people can read, who is at risk of starvation—come from household surveys, many of which are carried out by international monitoring and evaluation teams checking to see whether NGOs are spending donor money wisely (there’s those indicators again).


Sixty percent of the world’s poor live in middle-income countries; only 14 percent of them are in fragile of conflict-prone ones. The countries still getting aid are getting less and less of it. Charles Kenny, who wrote an entire book about how much better the developing world is now than it used to be, points out that in the 1990s, 40 percent of aid-receiving countries relied on donations for more than one-tenth of their budgets. Now, that’s below 30 percent, and dropping.

After the U.S.-China Pact, Will the World Pick a Peak Carbon Date? (Bloomberg Businessweek)


Last week the world’s two biggest greenhouse gas emitters, accounting for 40 percent of global emissions, signed an accord on improving their polluting ways. The U.S. said it would reduce emissions as much as 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, while China said its emissions would reach a maximum no later than 2030 and that the country would ramp up renewable energy production.

The deal doesn't mean the climate crisis is over.

Healthy Means Hospitals, Too (Devex)


Every day, patients across all nationalities and socioeconomic strata put their trust in hospitals to deliver a happy and healthy baby, a fighting chance against cancer, or a comfortable and respectful place to spend one’s last days with family and friends.

But too often, hospitals in low- and middle-income countries are failing to make good on those promises, and their deficiencies are jeopardizing the global movement for universal health coverage.

Slow Climate Change or End Energy Poverty? Let's Do Both (Christian Science Monitor)


Currently, there is no universally accepted definition for energy access, but the International Energy Agency (IEA) measures modern energy access as 100 kilowatt hours (kWh) per person per year. As Todd Moss, senior fellow with the Center for Global Development, points out, the average American consumes 100 kWh in just three days, and people in more energy efficient European States use this same amount in five days.

Inequality and Why the World's Poor Are Being Left Behind by Big Data (Financial Times)

From the article:

"We are living through the era of Big Data with all its promises and consequences. But is the world also splitting into the data “haves” and “have nots”?"


Cheer Up, Liberals: City Dwellers Will Soon Rule the World (Bloomberg Businessweek)


The U.S.’s population hit “peak rural” a long time ago. In 1990, there were 62 million Americans living in rural areas. Today that number is down to 59 million –even while the national population has climbed by 66 million people over the same period.  The countryside is emptying out. And the rest of the planet is following suit: the number of people living outside of towns and cities worldwide will begin to fall over the next few years. That’s probably good news for long term trends in sustainable development but bad news for those who remain in rural areas –and might help explain both growing urban-rural inequality and the widening ideological divide.

Peru Needs an Institutional and Tax Reform (Perú 21)


CGD Senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez, Chair of the Latin-American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF), states that the institutional framework of Peru doesn’t improve economic growth and if this situation doesn’t change, Peru´s national security will be compromised.

How Washington Will Annoy Friends and Influence Nobody on Asian Infrastructure (East Asia Forum)


Asian countries have made it clear that they are eager to pool more public capital to meet the region’s infrastructure needs, whether it happens at the ADB or in a new institution. For the United States, the question is simple: do you want to lead that effort at the ADB, or do you want China to lead it elsewhere?

Politics Dim Obama’s Africa Power Plan as Lights Go Out (Bloomberg)


“If Power Africa works, then it would deliver a huge boost for African countries,” Ben Leo, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington and a former White House director of Africa affairs, said in an e-mail. “Addressing the energy poverty challenge will take years, and Obama only has two left.”


Disease is a barrier in Liberia, another of the six focus nations and an epicenter of the Ebola outbreak.

“The health crisis is obviously a short-term deterrent for investors,” Todd Moss, a former deputy assistant secretary in the State Department’s bureau of African affairs, wrote in an e-mail. He pointed out that the country has no large-scale power plants. “Part of the recovery will be building an electricity sector.”