Tag: Transparency

 

How Can Digital Payments Strengthen State Capacity? Four Areas with High Potential

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These recent developments in identification, combined with rising mobile phone ownership, broadening Internet access, and innovative payment delivery mechanisms, can be harnessed to transform the way states implement poverty-reduction programs and improve the lives of their citizens. Digital payments promise faster, more transparent, and lower-cost delivery for existing cash-based government transfers, and can also transform the way governments deliver subsidies. In a new background paper, Dan Radcliffe reviews the evidence on the gains from digital payments and pinpoints four ways in which they can improve development outcomes.

How to Help Haiti in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

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In Haiti, already the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Hurricane Matthew’s devastation is still being calculated. We know that hundreds of people have died, and the damage to Haiti’s already-fragile infrastructure is immense. So what can people in rich countries do to help? Based on the latest research on humanitarian disaster relief and on the lessons learned in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, here are some do’s and some don’ts for policymakers and individuals.

Transparency Is an Agency-Level Game and DOD Is Coming Up Last

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ForeignAssistance.gov is a great idea in theory—a one-stop shop for information about all US foreign assistance spending. In practice, the site has struggled to become a useful and reliable tool due to missing data and poor quality information. But if you look closely, the Department of Defense (DOD), which by some measures is one of the biggest players in US foreign assistance, truly stands out for its reporting gap. 

Trade Policy under Siege

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A key argument for trade liberalization is that benefits are generally large enough to compensate the losers and leave no one worse off. In practice, compensation rarely occurs. So part of what is happening is the chickens are coming home to roost for policymakers, especially in the United States, who paid too little heed to the losers from trade. But there is more to the opposition to trade agreements, especially in Europe where the safety nets and adjustment programs are more robust.

The Senate Tackles Corruption in US Foreign Assistance

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Maryland Senator Ben Cardin recently introduced legislation to establish a tiered system of countries with respect to levels of corruption by their governments and their efforts to combat such corruption. It is great to see Senator Cardin looking for ways the United States can contribute to the global fight against corruption, and there is some smart language in the bill. Of course, it wouldn’t be a CGD blog if I didn’t also have some suggestions on how to make the bill even better.

Getting to 1504 in 2016: Long-Awaited Progress on Extractive Industry Transparency

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At long last, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published the rule requiring extractive industry investors—oil, gas, and mining companies—to publish all payments of $100,000 or more that they make to governments as part of their operations. Great congratulations are in order to all those, including Oxfam and Publish What You Pay, who have worked so hard to get this rule published!

Seven Development Policy Wishes for 2016

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Sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day. Every twelve months or so, I sit down to write about my main wishes for the forthcoming year in development, and every list for the last few years has included my desire to see the US make good on its commitment to IMF quota reform (which would be of little extra cost to the US taxpayer as the US share of IMF funds could be augmented from existing monies already set aside for global financial crises). Dear reader, you can share my past frustration here, here and here.

Learning from Slovakia’s Experience of Contract Publication

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Gabriel Sípos, Samuel Spác and Martin Kollárik of Transparency International Slovakia have just published an important and useful evaluation of that country’s contract publication regime.  The evaluation suggests proactive contract publication can be a popular, cheap, and effective tool for improving competition in government procurement.

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