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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. He has also participated in CGD's Advisory Board.
He took over as CGD president from Nancy Birdsall, who served as the Center's founding president for its first 15 years from 2001 and will stay at the Center as a senior fellow.
Global growth is expected to slow down over the next two years. Trade and investment flows are likely to be more moderate and access to finance more difficult. Risks to the global economic outlook include greater volatility in financial markets, trade tensions, and heightened policy uncertainty.
In May 2017 the G20 Ministers of Finance appointed the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on global financial governance, led by the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Tharman Shanmugaratnam, to review the governance of the international financial institutions, looking at their coherence and effectiveness in supporting the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, managing capital flows, assessing risks to financial resilience and addressing non-financial threats to growth and stability.
This unique conference is designed to convene both the new industrial policy thinkers, who have studied the history of government intervention, and blended finance practitioners, who are involved in setting up the institutions and procedures that will use official development finance to subsidise private enterprise in developing countries. These two communities too often work in isolation and have much to learn from each other.
The conference will combine scholar presentations with high-level policy discussions. Please see the preliminary programme for a list of sessions and speakers, in addition to more details about the conference.
Please join us for this “first of its kind” conference and feel free to share this invitation with your network and encourage your colleagues to attend. We want to reach as many people who work in private sector development as possible.
Commitment to Development Index Ranks World’s Richest Countries on How Well Their Domestic Policies Improve Lives in the Developing World
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WASHINGTON – Today, the Center for Global Development announced that Sweden claimed the #1 spot in the Commitment to Development Index, which ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries by how well their policies help improve lives in the developing world.
The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) is released annually by the Center for Global Development. It is a quantitative, broad based analytical tool that measures contributions in seven policy areas: aid (both quantity as a share of national income, and quality), finance, technology, environment, trade, security, and migration. Within each component, countries are measured on how their domestic policies and actions support poor countries in their efforts to build prosperity, good governance, and security.
“Good development policy is about much more than foreign aid,” said Masood Ahmed, the president of the Center for Global Development. “While aid is important, policymakers in rich countries need to assess all the ways their choices, from refugee policies to intellectual property rights, help or hinder developing countries.”
In this year’s Index, Sweden edged out Denmark (which led the index last year). Sweden’s top performance was driven by excellent scores on foreign aid, environment, trade, and migration. It also led all 27 countries in the migration ranking, with a high share of refugees and strong policies to help integrate migrants.
You can view the full 2018 rankings at www.cgdev.org/cdi.
“Domestic policies can have a major impact on other nations around the world – both intended and not,” said Ian Mitchell, a senior fellow and the report’s author. “Sweden sets a great example on its approach to environment and has migration policies that benefit migrants, Sweden, and developing nations alike, but Sweden’s work isn’t finished. As new global challenges emerge, we hope Sweden will continue to put in place domestic policies that improve outcomes in the developing world.”
Other findings from this year’s results include:
For the first time a G-7 country, Germany, clinched a place in the top three, overtaking France and just behind the Nordic powerhouses Sweden and Denmark.
The U.S. ranked 23rd in this year’s Index, while European countries dominate the top spots.
Australia surged up 4 spots in this year’s Index.
The Netherlands takes the top spot in the trade rankings, and Japan rises 10 slots.
Learn more about the rankings and how countries performed at www.cgdev.org/cdi.
About the Methodology: The CDI is transparent about its method and data, with full details available at www.cgdev.org/cdi. All the data and calculations are published with full sources in a series of spreadsheets. The CDI uses an updated methodology each year, making improvements in the way we measure how policy impacts development. Year on year changes reported above can reflect new data, or an improved method, or both.
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.