Finance and Investment


CGD’s work on financial services analyzes how to strengthen, deepen, and broaden financial systems in poor countries to maximize the benefits for poor households and improve development prospects. Related research examines the effects of financial crises and instability and how to avoid them. Our investment research evaluates efforts to help developing countries improve their business climates, foster entrepreneurship, and increase the positive effects of foreign direct investment.


The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is the US government’s development finance institution. It is a leading agency in implementing President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative and the Electrify Africa Act. CGD’s work focuses on how OPIC can most effectively promote economic opportunity and growth.

DIBs provide development programs with upfront funding from private investors, who are remunerated by donors or host-country governments — and earn a return — if evidence shows that the programs achieve pre-agreed outcomes.

Greater access for the poor to financial services such as payments, deposits, credits, insurance and risk-management services can improve their opportunities and welfare. This CGD task force is working to identify the regulatory changes needed to increase financial inclusion while protecting consumers and financial stability.

The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect the more than five billion people living in poorer nations. Those policies extend well beyond giving foreign aid, which is just one of seven components on the CDI.

Rethinking US Development Policy seeks to broaden the US government’s approach to development while strengthening existing foreign assistance tools. It is backed by rigorous research and analysis of investment, trade, technology, and foreign assistance related issues.

CGD ideas, advice, and research have helped reduce huge debt burdens in Nigeria (by $30 billion), in South Sudan ($35 billion), and in Liberia, where we advised the president on rebuilding the economy after years of conflict.