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Masood Ahmed is president of the Center for Global Development. He joined the Center in January 2017, capping a 35-year career driving economic development policy initiatives relating to debt, aid effectiveness, trade, and global economic prospects at major international institutions including the IMF, World Bank, and DFID.
Ahmed joined CGD from the IMF, where he served for eight years as director, Middle East and Central Asia Department, earning praise from Managing Director Christine Lagarde as a “visionary leader.” In that role, he oversaw the Fund's operations in 32 countries, and managed relationships with key national and regional policy makers and stakeholders. In previous years, he also served as the IMF's director of External Relations, and deputy director of the Policy Development and Review Department.
From 2003-2006, Ahmed served as director general, Policy and International at the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID). In that role, he was responsible for advising UK ministers on development issues and overseeing the UK's relationship with international development institutions such as the World Bank.
Ahmed also worked at the World Bank from 1979-2000 in various managerial and economist positions, rising to become Vice President, Poverty Reduction and Economic Management. In that role he led the HIPC (heavily indebted poor countries) debt relief initiative, which has to- date brought relief from debt burdens to 36 of the world's poorest nations.
Born and raised in Pakistan, Ahmed moved to London in 1971 to study at the LSE where he obtained a BSc Honors as well as an MSc Econ with distinction. He is a UK national.
Ahmed is a leading expert on Middle East economics, having served on the Advisory Board of the LSE Middle East Center, as well as on the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Middle East and North Africa.
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Sweden takes top spot; France, Norway, UK, Germany finish out top 5
Turkey, South Africa, Chile demonstrate growing influence
US, China: Large gap between economy size, development funds made available
LONDON – The Center for Global Development (CGD) released the 17th edition of its Commitment to Development Index (CDI) Thursday, which measures and compares how effectively countries–relative to their economy size–support development in other countries. Central to the CDI is the importance of national policies that go beyond just foreign aid, grouped in seven components: Development Finance; Investment, Migration, Trade, Environment, Security, and Technology.
CDI 2020 also incorporates a number of measures on global health, which are highly relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future pandemics. These include indicators on a country’s R&D, efforts to fight antimicrobial resistance, and ability to prevent, detect, and respond to disease security threats.
This year, Sweden ranks number one in the world in its commitment to development.
“Foreign direct aid itself is an incredibly important resource for poorer nations, but good development policy and practice take into account a country’s holistic approach, ranging from how they treat migrants, encourage trade, fight climate change, and more,” said Masood Ahmed, president of CGD. “That’s the value-add of the Commitment to Development Index and why it remains an important, wide-ranging dashboard for policymakers planning future development budgets in wealthy and emerging economies alike.”
“This year we have expanded the coverage of the CDI to include the emerging donors who are an increasingly important part of global development,” Ahmed added.
Historically, the CDI focused on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) countries and included some of the G20. In preparation for CDI 2020, CGD revised its methodology and expanded its analysis to include 40 countries engaged in substantial global development practices, including all the G20 countries and major economies from beyond the group. Given this expansion and the inclusion of emerging economies, CDI 2020 includes an “income adjusted” ranking for better comparison purposes.
“The Commitment to Development Index 2020 underscores that the policy and funding decisions of major economies within and beyond the G20, make a huge difference in the development of poorer nations,” said Ian Mitchell, senior policy fellow at CGD and the lead researcher of the CDI. “Using the CDI, one can draw clear conclusions on how policies either accelerate or inhibit development. Each country can assess its international contribution, and some countries are punching above their weight like Turkey, South Africa, and Chile, each showing development leadership in different areas.”
Main Findings of CDI 2020:
Sweden comes out on top in its commitment to development, scoring well across six out of the seven components: Its rank of first on migration includes high migrant inflows, a high level of refugees hosted, and strong domestic migrant integration policies. Sweden also comes in third on development finance, and in the top ten on trade, investment, environment, and security. In technology, it has a ways to go.
The European commitment to development remains the strongest in the world, with France, Norway, the UK, and Germany rounding out the top five.
The expansion of the CDI to include major emerging actors in the development space led to some interesting results: Chile ranks first on the environment; Turkey ranks second on migration issues; and South Africa ranks fifth on technology. Importantly, when adjusted for income South Africa ranks sixth overall in its commitment to development, with Chile at 12th.
The United States and China rank 18th and 35th, respectively. The world’s two biggest economies, while significant in dollar figures, come up short in relation to the size of their economies.
Materials and resources:
CDI 2020 Brief
Global Health Security Blog
About the Center for Global Development:
The Center for Global Development is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world's top decision makers. https://www.cgdev.org/page/about-cgd
What's going to happen in the world of development in 2018? Will we finally understand how to deal equitably with refugees and migrants? Or how technological progress can work for developing countries? Or what the impact of year two of the Trump Administration will be? Today’s podcast, our final episode of 2017, raises these questions and many more as a multitude of CGD scholars share their insights and hopes for the year ahead.
An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely. As communities become less poor, more people gain the abilities and wherewithal to undertake an expensive journey to a better life elsewhere. Development often increases migration—at least initially.