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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.
President, Global Policy & Advocacy, and Chief Strategy Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
President, Center for Global Development
Chief Operating Officer and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Antoinette Monsio Sayeh
Former Director, African Department, IMF and Former Finance Minister, Liberia
Vice President of Communications and Policy Outreach, Center for Global Development
In the current political and economic climate, donor governments are under pressure to reduce and spend foreign aid budgets as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Aid remains a critical driver of progress. Yet at the same time, aid is increasingly NOT how the world pays for development; even the annual total of around $160 billion in overseas development assistance (ODA) represents a small and declining share of all global development finance. Private investment flows and developing countries' own public resources dwarf ODA. And while organizations like the World Bank and the UN still have top billing, commitment to their core missions appears to be weakening and regional alternatives are on the rise.
Given these considerations, what is the future of development finance?
Following opening remarks, Mark Suzman, President, Global Policy & Advocacy and Chief Strategy Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will join CGD president Masood Ahmed and CGD fellows Amanda Glassman and Antoinette Sayeh for a discussion on what aid is achieving, how governments can prioritize aid spending by focusing on what works, how to make the full set of funding options work better together for development, and what happens if donor governments' generosity dries up.
In outlining his vision for U.S. development assistance, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green has emphasized fidelity to an overarching purpose—ending its need to exist. Consistent with this objective, USAID has been developing a new strategic approach that seeks to more systematically orient its programming toward building countries’ capacity to plan, finance, and manage their own development. A key component of this “journey to self-reliance” framework is a set of metrics that will help assess each country’s progress along their journey. The metrics will help inform strategic planning around the nature of USAID’s partnership with the country, shape development dialogue, and help inform thinking about strategic transitions.
Five members of the Zimbabwe Working Group traveled to Harare May 20-25 to meet with the government, opposition leaders, and a wide range of business, religious, and civil society organizations to assess prospects for free and fair elections and for meaningful political and economic reform. Please join us to hear from the delegation as they share their findings and recommendations for US policy.
For over a decade, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror across northeastern Nigeria. In 2014, the kidnapping of 276 girls in Chibok shocked the world, giving rise to the #BringBackOurGirls movement. Yet Boko Haram’s campaign of violence against women and girls goes far beyond the Chibok abductions. From its inception, the group has systematically exploited women to advance its aims. Perhaps more disturbing still, some Nigerian women have chosen to become active supporters of the group, even sacrificing their lives as suicide bombers. These events cannot be understood without first acknowledging the long-running marginalization of women in Nigerian society. Having conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the region, Matfess provides a vivid and thought-provoking account of Boko Haram’s impact on the lives of Nigerian women, as well as the wider social and political context that fuels the group’s violence.
In Navigation by Judgment, Dan Honig argues that high-quality implementation of foreign aid programs often requires contextual information that cannot be seen by those in distant headquarters. Tight controls and a focus on reaching pre-set measurable targets often prevent front-line workers from using skill, local knowledge, and creativity to solve problems in ways that maximize the impact of foreign aid.