Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Initiatives

CGD initiatives are practical proposals to improve the policies and practices of rich countries, international bodies, and others of means and influence to reduce global poverty and inequality. Initiatives draw upon the Center’s rigorous research and utilize innovative communications and direct engagement with decision-makers to change the world. 

Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA)

Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA) is a global database that  gathers and presents the best available estimates of CO2 emissions for 50,000 power plants around the world and the identities of the 4,000 firms that own them. Electricity production is responsible for about one-quarter of all climate-warming greenhouse gas pollution, and CARMA is the only global database for tracking specific sources of CO2, the most important greenhouse gas. First launched in 2007, CARMA was  expanded and upgraded in 2012 to incorporate data from authorities in the United States, European Union, Canada, India, and South Africa as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency. For facilities lacking publicly-disclosed data, estimates are generated using a new suite of statistical models.

Cash on Delivery Aid

Cash on Delivery is a new approach to foreign aid that focuses on results, encourages innovation, and strengthens government accountability to citizens rather than donors. Under COD Aid, donors would pay for measurable and verifiable progress on specific outcomes, such as $100 dollars for every child above baseline expectations who completes primary school and takes a test. CGD is working with technical experts and potential donors and partner countries to design COD Aid pilots and research programs.

Combating Drug Resistance

The initiative seeks practical ways to prevent or contain the emergence of drug resistance in such high-burden diseases as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria through improvements in common-property management, information flows, and stepped up research and development.

 

Development Impact Bonds

CGD has partnered with UK-based Social Finance to explore a new development financing mechanism, Development Impact Bonds (DIBs). DIBs provide upfront funding for development programs by private investors, who are remunerated by donors or host-country governments—and earn a return—if evidence shows that programs achieve pre-agreed outcomes.

To download the report of the DIB Working Group, please click here.

Europe Beyond Aid

How do the policies of European countries – individually and collectively – affect the developing world? How could those policies be improved? CGD in Europe is launching a detailed policy debate about European commitment to development.

Latin America Initiative

Latin America faces important development challenges. Despite generally sound macroeconomic and financial policies, many people have not significantly benefited from this growth. Continuing problems—often influenced by US policies—feed popular discontent that could threaten sustained growth. With substantial in-house expertise on the region, CGD is well placed to address the challenges facing Latin America. The goal of the initiative is to create a body of policy advice to help the region develop and secure widely shared prosperity.

Related study group: Beyond the Fence

Migration as a Tool for Disaster Recovery

Every year natural disasters take a heavy toll on poor people in the developing world. High-income countries could do more to help, at very low cost, by admitting a limited number of the victims of natural disasters within their borders.

Oil-to-Cash: Fighting the Resource Curse through Cash Transfers

Natural resources and the income they generate can stifle development by undermining the relationship between citizens and their state. This CGD initiative explores a policy option—direct distribution of resource revenues—to encourage a “social contract” in resource-rich countries. The income generated by resource extraction can be distributed directly to citizens and then taxed by governments. With a personal stake in the government’s budget, the citizens could then hold the government accountable for providing goods and services with their taxes. 

Pakistan: US Development Strategy

CGD convened a Study Group on the US Development Strategy in Pakistan to draw lessons from past experiences and offer practical recommendations to US policymakers on the effective deployment of foreign assistance and other, nonaid instruments for achieving sustainable development in Pakistan.  As the relationship between the United States and Pakistan evolves, CGD continues to identify the fixable problems that hinder US development efforts in Pakistan and offer recommendations for the future.

Preemptive Contract Sanctions

When an illegitimate regime contracts with foreign actors and, in essence, mortgages its country’s future, successor regimes and innocent citizens are expected to pay back that mortgage.  This all-too-common occurrence saddles citizens with unjust contracts from which they did not benefit and burdens legitimate successor governments with repayment. A declaration of contract nontransferability would put creditors and investors on notice that any future contracts to a regime would not be considered binding on successor governments.  CGD is exploring how this approach could be applied in Syria and other fragile states. 

Reforming Trade Preferences

Rich countries and emerging powers offer some developing countries preferential market access, but their programs are often flawed and lack coordination. This initiative aims to reform trade-preference programs to expand market access for the poorest countries. Image: flickr user Austin Yoder / cc

Rethinking US Development Policy

The Rethinking US Development Policy initiative seeks to broaden the US government’s approach to development while strengthening existing foreign assistance tools. Its engagement with policymakers is backed by rigorous research and analysis of a full range of investment, trade, technology, and foreign assistance related issues.

The Future of the World Bank

The World Bank is the world’s largest development institution and a leading source of funds, ideas, and expertise for development. This initiative offers new insights about what the World Bank is—and ought to be—and gives practical suggestions for making the World Bank more effective, accountable, and legitimate in a rapidly changing global economy.  Photo: World Bank / cc

 

Understanding India

What lessons does India offer for other countries? What is the appropriate role for outsiders in addressing continued poverty and widening inequality in a country that has regularly clocked about 7 percent annual per capita GDP growth with foreign reserves close to $300 billion? And what can the world reasonably expect such a nation, with ample financial resources but a huge poor population of its own, to contribute to solving global problems?