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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.
Featuring Lant Pritchett
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
With Discussant Aart Kraay
Lead Economist, Development Research Group
Join us for a MADS featuring Lant Pritchett. Pritchett will be discussing a new working paper, which reframes the impact evaluation debate. Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has always been an element of implementing organizations’ accountability to their funders, and recently there has been a push for much greater rigor in evaluations to isolate causal impacts and enable more ‘evidence based’ approaches to accountability and budgeting. Pritchett and his co-author extend the idea of impact evaluation, and show that the techniques of impact evaluation can be directly useful to implementers, rather than a potentially threatening accountability mechanism. They introduce the concept of experiential learning (“e”), which allows implementing agencies to leverage monitoring data to search across alternative project designs. Within-project variations in design can serve as their own counter-factual, dramatically reducing the incremental cost of evaluation and increasing the usefulness of evaluation to implementers. The right combination of M, e, and E provides the right space for innovation and organizational capability building, while at the same time providing accountability and an evidence base for funding agencies.
*The Massachusetts Ave. Development Seminar (MADS) is a ten year-old research seminar series that brings some of the worlds leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers.
There are 26 million refugees worldwide, of whom half are children, and little rigorous evidence exists on what works to aid integration. Turkey is host to 1 million Syrian child refugees. Many face bullying, violence, and social exclusion in schools.
SDG4a mandates that every child should be able to learn in a safe and non-violent environment, yet for far too many children around the world school is not a safe place. Evidence suggests that violence in schools—particularly toward girls—is a relatively common phenomenon. Together for Girls (using VAC surveys) estimate that almost one third of girls in Kenya and a quarter of girls in Nigeria experience sexual violence before age 18.
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.
Join the Center for Global Development and PAI for a discussion with country policymakers, health financing experts, and the broader family planning community to explore how advocates and governments can work together as constructive partners in the design of UHC-oriented financing policies to ensure universal and high-quality family planning access.
In October 2018, USAID published its inaugural Journey to Self-Reliance Country Roadmaps featuring 17 third-party, publicly available metrics used to visualize progress toward self-reliance across the developing world. The release of the roadmaps marked the first major, visible product of the agency’s “Journey to Self-Reliance” strategic pivot. Since then, USAID has been working to implement its Journey to Self-Reliance agenda, with its focus on data, the private sector, resource mobilization, and a range of other new tools, practices, and approaches to partnership. Please join us for an event exploring how USAID is operationalizing the Journey to Self-Reliance. What has changed about the agency’s relationships with partner countries and the way it approaches its work? What challenges has the agency encountered? We’ll tackle these questions and more with a presentation from USAID Assistant to the Administrator Chris Maloney, followed by a panel discussion examining what the Journey to Self-Reliance looks like in practice, especially at the country-level.
Two weeks ago, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel for 2019 to Michael Kremer, together with Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.”
Michael Kremer, a Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development, is a pioneer in the use of randomized controlled trials to answer key development questions in low- and middle-income countries. He has used experiments to learn how to improve education, health, water, and agriculture outcomes for the poor. Beyond his experimental work, Kremer helped develop the advance market commitment for vaccines to stimulate private investment in vaccine research and the distribution of vaccines for diseases in the developing world. He is the founding Scientific Director of Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) at USAID, which tests and scales creative solutions to development challenges.
In this event, Kremer will sit down with David Evans, Senior Fellow at CGD, to discuss the implications of the 2019 Nobel Prize for economics and development, as well as his wide array of initiatives. We will host an informal reception following the discussion.
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.
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.