Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Commentary & Analysis

In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.

Chart of GDP per Capita vs Child Mortality Rates in 1900 and 2016 for Select Countries
Blog Post

While income growth has been labeled "the holy grail of development," new analysis from Owen Barder, Lee Robinson, and Euan Ritchie suggests that there is just as much value in focusing on promoting innovation and the spread of technology.

Interior view of World Bank HQ
Blog Post

Chairwoman of the US House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters' recent intervention provides an opportunity for the Bank Group to rethink the Private Sector Window to better align with the International Finance Corporation’s 3.0 reform process, which was designed to increase the Corporation’s development impact, move toward making markets, and improve standards. At the same time, reform could allow the PSW to live up to the Multilateral Development Bank Principles to support sustainable private sector operations.

Cape Town at morning rush hour
Blog Post

Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.  

 
Construction workers laying a road
Blog Post

Nearly 4,000 people in rural Bihar, India, answered the question, “Would you rather have the government budget spent on cash transfers or public health and nutrition services?” According to a blog post by Khemani, Habyarimana, and Nooruddin, “only 13 percent chose cash if it came at the expense of spending to improve public health and nutrition.” The pattern is similar when comparing cash to roads, with the vast majority of people preferring roads.