Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

World Bank’s Jim Kim to World: Keep Me Honest (Wall Street Journal)


Alan Gelb, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and former director of development policy at the World Bank, says geotagging projects will not only help ensure greater global and local oversight of projects, but track whether World Bank cash is heading to problem areas.

Why Apple's New Phones Won't Change the World but Nokia's Will (Bloomberg Businessweek)


One reason mobile phones have a considerably greater impact in poor countries is because other information-based services are so weak. Only about one-quarter of people in sub-Saharan Africa have an account at a financial institution—let alone a Visa or American Express card. Mobile payments have leapfrogged the rollout of plastic payment systems across the region. As many as 60 percent of Kenyans use their mobile phone for financial transactions, and almost three times as many people in the country use mobile banking than have a debit or credit card.

US Ramps Up Response to Spiraling Ebola Outbreak (MSNBC The Cyclists)


"I think the Ebola crisis highlights how some fragile countries that are close US allies are going to continue to need US assistance, but also that Americans’ lives that sometimes seem very far away from Africa; we’re much more intertwined with Africa than we think. It’s not only for bad reasons, a lot of it is for positive things going on."

Can Jim Kim's Scientific Ways Help the World Bank End Poverty? (Institutional Investment)


Global issues increasingly dominate the development agenda, ranging from the challenges of climate change to fighting criminality and health epidemics like the recent Ebola outbreak to the increasing ability of international capital to evade national tax regimes, says Nancy Birdsall, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development and a former World Bank staffer. 

A Hard Look at Global Health Measures (Science Magazine)


CGD'S effort to weigh malaria interventions stirred new controversy. Malaria control didn't make it into the first two editions of Millions Saved, in 2004 and 2007, which documented triumphs from global ones like smallpox eradication to little-known efforts to combat diarrheal disease in Egypt or trachoma in Morocco. Although malaria has plummeted in many countries, the CGD researchers said none of the existing evaluations met their criteria: a study of a large-scale intervention of at least 2 years duration that demonstrated a clear, causal link to a drop in disease or death. 

How Germany’s Ban on Uber Hurts the Poor (Bloomberg Businessweek)


Earlier this month, a court in Frankfurt ruled that the ride-sharing company Uber could not continue to operate in Germany. Uber was found to be in contravention of the country’s Passenger Transport Act, which mandates a permit to transport people commercially. The decision is the first nationwide ban on Uber and a setback to the company’s expansion plans in Europe.

It also points up one of the most insidious ways we perpetuate inequality and keep poor people poor.

Hats Off to Vietnam's Helmet Law (Science Magazine)


Researchers at the Center for Global Development (CGD) plan to include the Vietnam law in the next edition of Millions Saved, a book on proven successes in global health.

Obama’s Right: The World Isn’t Falling Apart (Bloomberg Businessweek)


Despite the implosion of the Middle East over the past two years, the U.S. is still in a far better national security situation than it was 25 years ago. At the same time, the demand for American humanitarian assistance may never have been higher—in part because the end of the Cold War means aid can be mobilized to help in more places. And that suggests a logical response: Shift our global efforts, and related budgets, away from using military tools and toward humanitarian ones.

US Should Expand Role with World Bank, Former Official Says (Bloomberg)


The U.S. needs to play a greater role in the World Bank to improve its perception in developing markets, according to Nancy Birdsall, president of the Washington-based Center for Global Development.

Emerging-market economies are making a bid for greater influence on the global financial system, with Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- the so-called BRICS nations -- agreeing on the structure of a $50 billion development bank in July. The bank offers an alternative source of financing to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Developing Countries Could Reap Trillions By Squashing Financial Secrecy, Paper Says (Wall Street Journal)


Financial transparency, an elusive goal for advanced economies, could be a game-changer for developing ones, a new paper argues. Alex Cobham of the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank, advocates for three targets he says would boost the developing world. He’s submitting them as part of the broader debate on how to push for new, smarter development goals after the United Nations “Millennium Development Goals” come up for renewal in 2015.