With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
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.
Alan Gelb, Senior Fellow and Director of Studies, Center for Global Development
Anit Mukherjee, Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Digital identification systems are spreading rapidly across the world. In conjunction with mobile technology and financial services, they are now an integral part of digital governance. Aadhaar, the world's largest biometric ID system, has registered 1.2 billion Indian residents achieving almost universal coverage of the adult population. Its scale, ability to uniquely identify individuals, and digital interface make it a compelling identification platform. But these same features also raise questions about privacy, data security, and exclusion.
Within Indian policy circles, the current debate on Aadhaar has been binary in nature: either Aadhaar should be jettisoned or scaled aggressively. However, the facts on the ground—as revealed by our three-state survey on Aadhaar, the largest to date—support a more nuanced approach. At this event, the lead authors of the State of Aadhaar report will share key insights from their team's primary research and facilitate a discussion on the policy implications of the report's findings, for India and the world.
Now in its 4th year, the AIDF Africa Summit returns to Nairobi, Kenya on 26-27 February 2019, once again uniting 300+ humanitarian and development leaders, decision makers and advisors committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region.
Indian agriculture remains vulnerable to the vagaries of weather, and the looming threat of climate change may expose this vulnerability further. Using district-level data on temperature, rainfall and crop production, Siddharth Hari’s paper first documents a long-term trend of rising temperatures, declining average precipitation and increase in extreme precipitation events. One key finding is that the impact of temperature and rainfall are felt only in the extreme: when temperatures are much higher, rainfall is significantly lower, and the number of “dry days” greater is than normal. He also finds that these impacts are significantly more adverse in unirrigated areas (and hence rainfed crops) compared to irrigated areas. Can policy makers react to the challenges of climate change and find ways to get “more crop for every drop?"
Estimating intergenerational mobility in developing countries is difficult because matched parent-child income records are rarely available and education is measured very coarsely. In particular, there are no established methods for comparing educational mobility for subsamples of the population when the education distribution is changing over time.
In their recent paper, Sam Asher and coauthors present new methods and new administrative data to overcome this gap, and study intergenerational mobility across groups and across space in India. They find that the intergenerational mobility for the population as a whole has remained constant since liberalization, but cross-group changes have been substantial. Rising mobility among historically marginalized "Scheduled Castes" is almost exactly offset by declining intergenerational mobility among Muslims, a comparably sized group that has few constitutional protections. These findings contest the conventional wisdom that marginalized groups in India have been catching up on average. The paper also explores heterogeneity across space, generating the first high-resolution geographic measures of intergenerational mobility across India, with results across 5600 rural subdistricts and 2300 cities and towns.
AidEx is a two day event, which encompasses a conference, exhibition, meeting areas, awards and workshops. Its fundamental aim is to engage the sector at every level and provide a forum for aid & development professionals to meet, source, supply and learn. AidEx was created to help the international aid and development community engage the private sector in a neutral setting, drive innovation and support the ever-growing need for emergency aid and development programmes.