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Effective development cooperation by Governments; the economics & developmental impact of policies including trade, agriculture, environment; education & social mobility; and disease risk management
Ian Mitchell is a senior follow and the director of development cooperation in Europe at the Center for Global Development. He leads CGD’s work in Europe on how governments’ policies accelerate or inhibit development and poverty reduction—considering both the effectiveness of aid and policies beyond aid including trade, migration, environment, and security. He is also an associate fellow at Chatham House and at the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Mitchell has expertise in the economics and developmental impact of including on trade, agriculture, and policy development in the EU and G20. He leads the annual Commitment to Development Index (CDI) and the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA). Recently, he has developed new measures of how agriculture and trade policies affect lower income countries; identified new metrics of aid effectiveness; and developed new approaches to the UK’s development policy post-Brexit.
Until 2016, Mitchell worked as an economist and senior civil servant in the UK government. At the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), he was Deputy Chief Economist and was responsible for economic analysis on EU, agricultural and environmental issues. Between 2014 and 2015, he chaired the Agricultural Markets Information System established by the G20 to mitigate global food commodity volatility. At DEFRA, Mitchell was also responsible for the UK’s economic analysis on food & resource security and animal disease risk & outbreaks.
Earlier in his career, Mitchell undertook economic analysis on education and social mobility at the UK Department for Education. He led the evaluation of higher education reform including the introduction of tuition fees and researched on social mobility in the UK using both income and broader measures of well-being. Mitchell’s career began at Ernst and Young and has also included roles at HM Treasury and the Centre for Economics and Business Research.
The UK election has shown again that electorates can throw up unexpected results, with long-standing poll leads evaporating in a matter of weeks. The British public seem uninspired by any single leader but there was little sign of descending into nationalism and populism. The only party that stood on a platform of dismantling the aid budget—UKIP—suffered a heavy defeat. Here we propose two ambitions for the government which emerges.
Attention UK political parties: we know you are pretty busy right now, what with Prime Minister Theresa May calling a snap general election in a few weeks. So, we wrote an election manifesto on development for you. Feel free to plagiarize it; in fact, we’ve written it so you can just copy/paste parts of it if you want. To M Macron and Mme Le Pen, your manifestos are written, but you will find some good ideas here too. Needless to say, not all our CGD colleagues will agree with all our ideas, nor will many readers. So please let us know what we have missed or got wrong, in the comments below.
By triggering Article 50, the UK Government has started the process of leaving the EU and will end ‘free movement’ between the EU and UK. But what then on migration? Free movement and EU expansion were behind substantial increases in migration to the UK in the last decade, and likely led to policies which reduced non-EU migration. Our new analysis also suggests the UK now accepts hardly any migrants from the poorest countries.
Agricultural subsidies are almost a complete waste of money, go to the wealthiest in society, and are also damaging to global development. With a Green Paper expected on agriculture in the coming weeks, how can the UK do better after Brexit?
The UK Government has today published a white paper on its broad approach to Brexit—what ’s missing though is a commitment to developing countries on the UK’s trade policy. Having emphasised trade at the heart of its economic strategy on international development, it now needs to commit to providing “duty free quota free” access for developing countries, or risk damaging investment and trade over the next two years and beyond.
This paper looks at how the UK can, after Brexit, develop a world-leading trade for development policy. It uses a systematic assessment of how rich country trade policies affect developing countries to identify the leading approaches used elsewhere. It then identifies and describes four key steps: i) eliminating or lowering tariffs; ii) improving preferential access for the very poorest countries; iii) cutting red tape at the border; and iv) enhancing the effectiveness of its aid for trade. These steps would enable the UK to improve substantially on the approach taken by the EU and other countries, benefit UK consumers and businesses, and set a new standard in trade policy for development.
With a decade since the beginning of the major food price spike in 2007, Ministers gathering at the WTO Ministerial in Buenos Aires this week can make a positive impact on people's lives—with an agreement that will reduce the likelihood and impacts of a food price spike.
This paper analyses the grades awarded in the 65 primary reviews undertaken by the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) over its first eight years of operation, from 2011 to 2018. It finds that ICAI has directly evaluated £28bn of UK aid over the period. Around four-fifths of spend assessed was graded as “satisfactory” (amber/green) or “strong” (green). The findings from ICAI reviews, and this report, should inform the UK Government’s aid allocations between departments at the forthcoming spending review.