Europe Beyond Aid: An Exciting Year Ahead

March 07, 2014

This is a joint post with Petra Krylova

CGD’s Europe Beyond Aid initiative explores how the individual and collective policies affect the developing world and how they could be improved. Using the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), it combines the scores of the 21 European countries that feature in the Index and calculates a consolidated score.

After a lot of background work with leading experts on the seven policy areas of the CDI (aid, trade, migration, finance, environment, security, and technology), we are now launching a series of discussion papers for public consultation. Our goal is to press for a broader and more informed discussion about how European policies can improve.

The technology component assesses the contributions of donor countries to global economic development through the creation and spread of new and existing technologies. It takes into account government support to research and development, and whether the country’s intellectual property rights system provides access to knowledge and technologies to the developing world.

Europe as a whole scores about average on the technology component, as it does on finance. It leads the aid and environment components and scores below average on migration and security when compared to non-European countries. 

Source: Commitment to Development Index 2013

Why doesn’t it do better on technology? Our paper with Professor Park paints an alarming picture of European countries’ failure to support technological development in developing economies. Furthermore, their commitment has declined over time and lags behind the commitment and effort of other developed countries. 

Among other things, our study recommends to the European countries and European institutions specific proposals to

  1. increase public research and development in technology areas that most benefit developing nations;
  2. relax rather than tighten intellectual-property laws that impede the diffusion of technologies to developing nations; and
  3. take a more active lead in the process of transferring substantive technologies to the developing world.

Please share your comments, suggestions and ideas in the comments field below or by email to  By the end of the year, we will synthesize the expert consensus on the seven themes of the CDI into a comprehensive and specific policy agenda for European countries setting out practical, evidence-based conclusions on how they can improve their policies which affect development and global poverty. We look forward to hearing from you.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.