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.
Five years after world leaders embraced the goal of universal basic education, champions of girls’ education and equity met to analyze why efforts are falling short and to identify steps for accelerating progress.
Schools are open to girls again in remote villages across Afghanistan. In Bangladesh, after offering parents payments of wheat and rice to send their daughters to school, girls now outnumber boys in secondary schools, although overall enrollments for boys and girls remain very low. In Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania enrollments have surged after far-sighted leaders abolished school fees.
Yet 104 million children are still deprived of a basic education in dozens of impoverished nations around the globe, and 60 percent of these youngsters are girls. Of the 40 million children in the world who are physically or mentally handicapped, 90 percent are not in school. Furthermore, many out of school children belong to ethnic or language minorities or are in families displaced by war and conflicts.
Champions of girls’ education and equity met in Washington, D.C., on March 2 to chart the path forward. Five years ago, leaders from 189 countries – including the United States and every major industrialized nation – endorsed the Millennium Declaration from which a set of eight Millennium Development Goals were drawn for eradicating hunger, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, reducing child mortality and maternal deaths, safeguarding the environment, achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality and empowering women by 2015.
The leaders made bold their desire to tackle the elimination of gender disparities in elementary and secondary enrollments by 2005. The very name of the conference signaled their failure to achieve this milestone: Missing the Mark: Girls’ Education and the Way Forward.
An overflow crowd of more than 300 heard from Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Chuck Hagel (R-NE) offer bipartisan perspectives on why the United States must make good on promises to give education and development a higher place in its foreign policy priorities; from Jeffrey Sachs, the internationally renowned economist who directs the U.N. Millennium Project; from international panels including leading educators from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Colombia and senior officials from the Population Council, UNESCO, UNICEF, U.K. Department for International Development and the World Bank; and from Gene Sperling, the former Clinton administration national economic adviser who spearheads the Council on Foreign Relations’ new Center for Universal Education.
The event was organized by the Center for Global Development (CGD), the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the UN Millennium Project. Nancy Birdsall, president of CGD, Geeta Rao Gupta, president of ICRW, and Amina Ibrahim, national coordinator of Education for All in Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education, also led the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality, which released two major reports in January that offered practical blueprints for closing the education and equity gaps by 2015.
Millennium Project Task Force Leaders on Education and Gender Equality Nancy Birdsall - President, Center for Global Development Geeta Rao Gupta - President, International Center for Research on Women Amina J. Ibrahim - National Coordinator, Education for All, Federal Ministry of Education, Nigeria
Two panel discussions took place:
Panel One: Reaching Universal Primary Education and Gender Parity: Challenges for National Governments and Donors
Chair -Amina J. Ibrahim Findings and Recommendations for the Education Sector from the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality
Vicky Colbert de Arboleda Executive Director, Escuela Nueva, Back to the People Foundation Experiences from Colombia
Desmond Bermingham U.K. Department for International Development Donor Challenges
Elizabeth King Research Manager, Development Research Group, World Bank Making the Donor Relationship Work
Nicholas Burnett Director, Education for All, Global Monitoring Report, UNESCO Closing Comments on Strategies for Moving Forward
Panel Two: Gender Parity: Why Secondary Education Is Critical to the MDGs
Chair - Geeta Rao Gupta Gender Equality Findings and Recommendations for Gender Equality from the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality
Cynthia Lloyd Director of Social Science Research, Population Council Chair, National Academy of Sciences Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries: Importance of Secondary Education Dilara Hafiz Director of Secondary and Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Bangladesh Experiences from Bangladesh
In this new World Bank Policy Research Report, Moving for Prosperity: Global Migration and Labor Markets, Çağlar Özden attempts to address the tension between the academic research and the public discourse on migration by focusing on the economic evidence. The report suggests a labor market–oriented, economically motivated rationale as an alternative to the political opposition to migration. Global migration patterns lead to high concentrations of immigrants in certain places, industries, and occupations. These geographic and labor market concentrations of immigrants lead to increased anxiety, insecurity, and potentially significant short-term disruptions among native-born workers.
Understanding (and empathizing with) these legitimate economic concerns is critical to informed and effective policymaking. The goal should be to ease the costs of short-term dislocations of native-born workers and distribute more widely the economic benefits generated by labor mobility. Proactive interventions to ease the pain and share the gain from immigration are essential to avoid draconian restrictions on immigration that will hurt everybody. Ignoring the massive economic gains of immigration would be akin to leaving billions of hundred-dollar bills on the sidewalk.
Industrialization was never an accident but an outcome of a well- crafted industrial policy. Analyzing the capacity and limits of the (developmental) state in the industrialization process and in economic development in general, Murat Yülek’s new book, How Nations Succeed: Manufacturing, Trade, Industrial Policy, and Economic Development, sheds light on how today’s governments can design industrial policy and how they can identify strategic sectors to break out of Low and Middle Income Traps. Explaining technical concepts in understandable terms, the book introduces a stylized industrialization process in four stages and locates different countries on the process map. He illustrates how picking-the-winner type industrial policies –a controversial issue among the economists –have worked in different countries. It also discusses how industrial policy and science, technology and innovation policies should be sequenced for best results. As trade wars and (pre-mature) de-industrialization become the zeitgeist of today, the book shows the links between global (im)balances and economic development explaining export-led growth as well as import-led slowdowns.