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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.

 

Extending the UK Charity Commission’s Anti-Terror Powers Could Backfire

During the Queen’s Speech, newly re-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron proposed an extended counter-extremism bill in order to confront “head-on the poisonous Islamist extremist ideology.” A press release from the Prime Minister’s office said that the Bill would give new powers to the UK’s Charity Commission to identify charities that use their income to fund extremism and terrorism.

How Can We Make Illicit Finance Less Illicit?

The truth is: we don’t know much about illicit finance. We don’t have exact figures on the volume of transactions which could fall within this category, and we also don’t know whether these transactions have any significant impact in developing countries and elsewhere. Adding up estimates of different types of illicit flows provides lurid headline figures (one trillion dollars a year) but more specific analysis is needed to determine whether, and how much, better policies might improve development.

0.7 Percent Is Stupid

I’ve been sitting in lots of meetings and covering paper with lots of ink recently about the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development.  And when the topic of aid comes up I nod sagaciously along with others in the room when someone says “well, of course, there won’t be any more aid coming out of the Addis financing conference, it is all about redistributing the pot.” Sometimes I’m the one to write or say it, then have a brief chat about that redistribution before switching to other topics like private finance or trade.

ADB’s Merger Means ‘Big Gains for Development’

Good news from the Asian Development Bank's annual meetings in Baku, Azerbaijan this past weekend, where shareholders approved a plan to almost double the amount of financing available to developing countries. Bank president Takehiko Nakao's proposal to merge the ADB's concessional and non-concessional lending was nearly two years in the making. His persistence - and that of his team - shows that creative thinking and a bold approach to engaging with shareholders can yield big gains for development.