Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

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If Development Finance Institutions Are Providing Aid, They Should Act Accordingly

How should member countries of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee classify their support to private sector investments in developing countries though development finance institutions? Either way, donors have decided that DFIs are in the aid business. And that means that DFIs should follow the principles of effective aid that DAC donors have signed up to.

Stock photo of a man and a woman wearing face masks. Adobe Stock.

An Open Offer for Consumer Masks?

Non-medical masks are a comparatively affordable intervention that could be rolled out at scale in developing countries, were WHO guidance to change. At the moment, apparel firms in developing countries have considerable spare capacity because of cancelled orders. Taking all of this into account, we propose donor support for local cloth mask manufacture and—if WHO guidance were to change—free distribution.

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Development Finance Institutions Should Be Instruments of Public Policy, Not Private Gain

The World Bank Group has some very clear (and very good) guidelines about what makes for a successful public-private partnership where governments contract service provision like energy supply or education from private firms. Sadly, the bank has been ignoring that rule recently. And that is a sign of a broader problem in donor-backed financing of public-private partnership deals.

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Subsidy Use in Development Finance: Competitive, Capped, Transparent

When development finance institutions (DFIs) use subsidies to support private firms in developing countries, they fundamentally change the nature of their business. To ensure the maximum development impact of scarce aid resources, subsidies should be competitive wherever possible, capped if not competitive, and transparent in every case.

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Lending Practices of the Private Sector Window: How Effective are They?

The Private Sector Window (PSW) takes resources from the World Bank’s soft lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), and uses it to support private sector investments in poorer developing countries.This is a comparatively straightforward way for the IFC to move money, but it is hard to know if it is a good way, in part because of the Corporation’s opaque lending practices –which need to change.

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How Cost Effective Is the Department of Defense?

In global development, we spend a lot of time thinking about cost effectiveness. But what if we step back and look at the broader picture when it comes to the effectiveness of different tools of foreign policy and engagement including diplomacy and defense? What are our most effective approaches to deliver on US national security and future prosperity? My new book is an attempt to answer that question.

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