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.
Introductory Remarks by Henri de Raincourt
Minister for International Cooperation and Development
Republic of France
Center for Global Development
Panel #1 – Africa Infrastructure
9:20 am–10:30 am
Featuring Elizabeth Littlefield
President and CEO
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Vice President for Infrastructure, Private Sector, and Regional Integration
African Development Bank
Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Financial Affairs and Development
French Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment
Moderated by Ben Leo
Center for Global Development
Panel #2 – Global Food Security
10:30 am–11:40 am
Featuring Will Martin
Research Manager for Agriculture and Rural Development
Development Research Group, World Bank
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Food Security and Economic Development
French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
Moderated by Kimberly Elliott
Center for Global Development
Concluding Remarks by Lael Brainard
Under-Secretary for International Affairs
U.S. Department of Treasury
This November, France will host the sixth G-20 Summit in Cannes. Over the coming months, the G-20 will be exploring a range of coordinated actions to advance its agreed development roadmap – with a heavy focus on two central pillars: Africa Infrastructure and Global Food Security. In advance of the highly anticipated Cannes Summit, CGD will host a half-day conference focusing on these two important pillars. This CGD event will consist of two interactive panel discussions with leading policymakers from G-20 member governments and international financial institutions.
Africa Infrastructure: Over the last decade, Sub-Saharan African economies grew by an average of nearly 5 percent annually. To maintain and even accelerate growth and economic opportunities going forward, countries must address the binding constraints posed by the region’s lack of infrastructure. Nearly every African country faces serious challenges in providing a steady, reliable supply of electricity. And, many African businesses continue to have tremendous difficulty transporting their products to local, regional, and overseas markets. Africa’s infrastructure deficit is not simply a matter of financing. Governments must also take concerted steps to address low public sector capacity, poor business climates, and a prohibitively high degree of risk associated with large-scale investments. This panel will explore possible areas for G20 action, such as the creation of new investment vehicles and risk mitigation instruments required to complete large-scale projects.
Global Food Security: For the second time in just three years, food prices are spiking to their highest levels since the 1970s and threatening millions of people with hunger, malnutrition, and, for some, a fall back into the poverty they only recently escaped. Two price spikes of this magnitude so close to together – both caused in part by extreme weather events – highlight the increasing volatility that climate change is likely to bring to agricultural markets. The spikes, along with other signs that the long-run trend of falling commodity prices is reversing, also underscore the fact that public policies need to address food security across multiple dimensions. This panel will discuss policies to promote food security ranging from ensuring that families have enough of the right kinds of food to maintain health in the face of price spikes, to maintaining adequate global supplies to feed a growing and richer population.
Click here to see slides from the event by Will Martin on Food Price Volatility, Trade and Food Security.
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.
Global development is increasingly intertwined with state fragility. Poverty is becoming concentrated in fragile states, and conflict, violent extremism, and environmental stresses can emerge from and be exacerbated by fragility. As a result, many donors, including the United States, are reflecting on lessons of the past to rethink how they can better help fragile states address the underlying causes of fragility, build peace and stability, and cope with complex risks.
Please join us for the launch of a new CGD working group report, Focusing on Fragility: The Future of US Assistance to Fragile States, featuring a conversation with Michèle Flournoy, a preeminent thinker on US engagement in fragile states. Her leadership at the US Department of Defense from 2009 to 2012, along with her work advancing pragmatic and principled national security policies, have been critical in reshaping the US approach to fragile states in a pivotal era.
Following the conversation, a panel will discuss the findings and recommendations of the report which identifies several key constraints to executing a more effective US development policy in fragile states and offers specific ideas for how the US government can more effectively use its development assistance—in conjunction with diplomatic and security assistance tools—in these contexts.
For several years, Africa has gained a reputation as the next frontier for tech and social enterprises. In reality, the startup economy is growing with more and more venture capital firms making greater investments on the continent. According to Partech, more than $1 billion was raised by African tech startups in 2018. Increasing investment in startups and small businesses bodes well for countries as it often means increasing employment opportunities through job creation. For the African diaspora, participating in Africa's growth through investment in business is a critical opportunity. When Africans in the diaspora invest in their continent, they contribute to improving prosperity and empowering fellow Africans to fulfill their potential and achieve economic and social progress. At this Dialogue, Chinedu Enekwe addresses the role venture capital, and the African diaspora, can play in growing the African economy. He offers his experience and wisdom in launching your startup in Africa and securing venture capital funds.
Governments and donors are increasingly focused on the use of evidence in evaluating human development programs and setting policy priorities. This master class will provide early career researchers with cutting-edge methodological tools for experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation of early childhood development interventions. The course is intended for current PhD students and recent graduates whose doctoral work is focused on early childhood development, education, development economics, or public policy.
Every year, the Birdsall House Conference on Women brings together leading academics and policymakers to discuss cutting-edge research focused on improving outcomes for women in low- and middle-income countries.
As countries grow to middle-income status and gain access to commercial lending, the development community is increasingly at odds as to if and how multilateral development banks (MDBs) should continue to lend to middle-income countries (MICs). Part of the community is of the view that MDB lending and technical assistance should be directed to lower-income countries, whose access to finance is limited, technical capacity is most strained, and poverty is more deeply entrenched. Nonetheless, the development challenge remains in most middle-income countries, where the greatest number of poor people reside, and significant progress needs to be made to meet the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Also, MICs can often make a significant contribution to various global public goods, including climate change mitigation, limiting pandemic disease, and international migration. There is also an opportunity for so called “south-to-south” learning, intermediated by the MDBs.
This panel will discuss the issues confronting MDBs and their MIC clients in shaping their interaction for the next 10-20 years. It will be moderated by CGD’s President, Masood Ahmed.