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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.
Worldwide, about 1.3 billion people lack access to electricity, while 2.7 billion lack access to clean cooking fuels. Meeting their needs is central to reducing poverty but relying on existing technologies would make runaway climate change unavoidable. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is leading a “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative that is built on his vision for deploying renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, and achieving universal energy access during the next two decades. Can the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro this June help to foster a global consensus for action? What could the United States do to spur progress? Please join the Secretary General and other distinguished speakers for a thoughtful discussion of one of the world’s most pressing development issues.
Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development Nigel Purvis, Climate Advisers
Session One: Sustainable Energy for All & Rio+20
Timothy Wirth, President, United Nations Foundation and Better World Fund Vijay Iyer, Director of Energy, World Bank Moderator: Nancy Birdsall, CGD
Session Two: From Rio to Rio+20: A U.S. Perspective
Carlos Pascual, U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs William Reilly, former Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Moderator: Nigel Purvis, Climate Advisers
Ban Ki-moon, U.N. Secretary General Christian Friis Bach, Minister for Development Cooperation of Denmark>
David Evans, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development, will present new research which tests the impact of publicly providing day-care for children age 0-3 on children’s development, labour market participation for mothers, grandmothers, and others, and household well-being in Brazil. Following David’s presentation, Matthew Jukes will provide commentary and questions on the research and will position the findings within broader early childhood development policy and research.
The Center for Global Development is pleased to host Millennium Challenge Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Sean Cairncross, for his first major Washington policy speech since being confirmed in June. Cairncross takes the helm of MCC at a unique time. As the agency strives to remain grounded in its economic growth-focused, results-oriented model, it faces a number of new and exciting opportunities, including the authority to pursue regional investments, the potential for coordination and partnership with the US Development Finance Corporation, and the increased profile afforded by a White House initiative focused on women’s economic empowerment, W-GDP. Following his remarks, Cairncross will sit down with Tony Fratto, former White House deputy press secretary (2006-2009), to discuss these opportunities further as well as the challenges that lie ahead for the agency.
Public health programs such antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are likely to have positive spillover benefits to community members beyond the targeted beneficiaries that could be many times larger than the direct benefits. Join CGD for a brownbag seminar to discuss Dr. Zoë McLaren’s recent study evaluating the direct and indirect impact of AIDS treatment on labor market outcomes in rural South Africa, using HIV test results to separately identify the impact by HIV status. The study estimates the impact of access to treatment using a rigorous statistical approach including machine learning methods. The work finds that the scale up of ART access led to employment increases not only among HIV-positive individuals, but also among HIV-negative individuals who had no HIV-positive household members. Investments in health-related human capital may therefore have important stimulus effects on local economies that should be considered alongside conventional economic policy.
Public spending on social sectors can play a crucial role in inclusive and sustained growth in low- and middle-income countries, and in delivering the health, education, and social protection outcomes to which governments and their partners have committed as part of the 2030 SDGs. Yet challenges are ahead. A large gap remains between the resources currently devoted to social sectors and the level needed to meet SDG targets. Each SDG has its own resource demands that require governments to weigh the costs and benefits of public spending across a range of uses. Finally, current and upcoming transitions in health and development aid, modest domestic resource mobilization gains, and rising debt service obligations put pressure on the fiscal envelope.
Humanitarian relief must involve, and be accountable to, the crisis-affected people it serves.
Versions of this principle can be found in most foundational humanitarian documents, and it features prominently in recent reform commitments including the 2016 Grand Bargain. Yet the power structures that shape international humanitarian response are not driven by, or accountable to, the people that they exist to serve. They are still engaged more as passive recipients of aid than as a force shaping humanitarian priorities. Living up to the aspiration of people-driven humanitarian action will require uncomfortable – but overdue – changes to the humanitarian system’s incentive structures and power dynamics.
Gautam Rao will talk about his new research, which examines whether evidence changes the beliefs and actions of policy makers. His findings show that policy makers do update their beliefs and do make different policy decisions when presented with new evidence. This research is particularly fascinating for anyone working in policy-influencing roles or in think tanks as it provides direct evidence that providing research information to political leaders can lead to policy change.