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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.

 

Guess Who’s (Not) Coming to Dinner? The Unrepresentative Statistics of White House State Dinners

Here at the Center for Global Development we’re concerned with how the practices of rich countries affect developing countries.  So with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff visiting President Obama this week, it’s a natural time to ask, who gets invited to White House State Dinners and who gets left out in the cold?  It turns out that Europe and Latin America get wined and dined, while Sub-Saharan Africa has gotten snubbed.  So, for that matter, has Southeast Asia.

What If 'Grade' Means Nothing? (Part I)

The next few posts on education are a bit unusual, in a good way I hope, but unusual entrants into the blogosphere.  As part of the CGD initiative on education in the developing world and the pivot from schooling to learning, we are going to post links to and discussions of some of the new empirical evidence that is emerging.  However,  the new evidence on learning trajectories--the gains in skills/capabilities/knowledge as students progress through grades--both requires some common background and, to my view, challenges some of the fundamental assumptions about the schooling

Scrap the G8

Once again the G8 has come up tragically short on climate change and a host of urgent problems affecting poor people in developing countries. The good news is that they are at least discussing the right topics. The first Hokkaido G8 document, on the World Economy spills lots of ink on relations between rich and developing economies, including for example, reaffirmation of support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.

The Value of Rejecting Expert Advice

This is a joint posting with Peter Timmer.
This past weekend, the New York Times published a provocative story titled "Ending Famine, Simply By Ignoring the Experts" (login required), about how Malawi has rescued itself from endless cycles of famine. The Times argued that Malawi accomplished this seemingly impossible goal by ignoring experts from the World Bank and rich-country aid organizations who have insisted that Malawi should cut back or eliminate its subsidies on fertilizer. But Malawi's newly elected president, Bingu wa Mutharika, did just the opposite--he reinstated and deepened the subsidies, which in turn increased yields and resulted in exports of corn to neighboring countries. Was the president right to do this?