20 Years of Ideas to Action
The Center for Global Development was established in 2001, at a time when poverty reduction was high on the global agenda and development assistance budgets were rising in many countries. The world has changed a lot since 2001, but over the past two decades the Center for Global Development has maintained an unwavering focus on providing independent non-partisan research that has driven major changes in global health and development policy and saved lives and livelihoods across the globe.

Over the past 20 years:

  • We’ve been constructive critics - challenging the world’s powerful institutions and the status quo for better global health and development practices and holding the international financial institutions accountable for results.

  • We’ve changed global conversations, pushing world leaders to do global health and development better, from China’s development debt sustainability to the economics of migration.

  • We’ve brought unlikely partners to the same table in pursuit of innovative cross-sectoral solutions to the world’s toughest development challenges, like the creation of Cash on Delivery aid - a partnership between bilateral donors, philanthropists, multilateral development agencies, countries, and communities that pays for results.

  • We've been a leader in our field. Over 10 years ago, CGD became the first think tank in the world to adopt an open data policy, requiring scholars to make available the original data and all computer code required to prepare and perform an analysis. A CGD analysis was the first to uncover how much debt is owed by developing countries to China. CGD produced the first study that challenged India’s controversial COVID-19 death data. CGD launched a pioneer survey on gender equity policies and practices of the world’s major development finance institutions. And much more!

And we'll continue to be there - with innovative ideas and independent research - when the world needs it most.

Looking Ahead

Watch our half-day global virtual event below to examine the pressing questions the development community must address in the coming decades.

Over the past two decades the Center for Global Development has maintained an unwavering focus on providing non-partisan evidence and data to inform policies that impact millions of people around the globe. Our independent research has driven major changes in global health and development policy that have helped save lives and livelihoods. Read about the Center for Global Development´s twenty years of ideas, influence, and impact:

  • If there’s another global debt distress like we all faced a decade ago, what should we do? We’ll be looking to CGD for your research and analysis to guide us.

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
    Former President, Republic of Liberia
  • CGD analyzes the right trends, forces people to think out of the box, and critically provides some pathways or platforms for us and for governments, which is badly needed.

    Paul Polman
    Former CEO, Unilever
  • [CGD is an] incredible think tank … which is more than just think —which is also stimulate, which is also bring together, which is also about action.

    Christine Lagarde
    European Central Bank President and former IMF Managing Director

In our Moonshot in a Minute video series, CGD experts have 60 seconds to share their big ideas to change minds, change policy, and change the world.


For more information, contact [email protected]


For more information, contact [email protected]