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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.

 

Let’s Not Help the Philippines Like We Helped Haiti

The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, such as that the typhoon which devastated part of the Phillipines on Friday, can bring out the best of the global community. There will come a time to discuss how we can do more to prevent the environmental changes which make such events more likely; but the immediate priority is to get water, food and shelter to people who urgently need it. 

The Rush for the Entrances in Myanmar

Over the decade, donors have publicly declared that they would improve how they operate in order to make aid work better. They would coordinate better, let recipient countries take more ownership of project design, and so on. Ten years and ten days ago, there was the Rome Declaration.

Debt Deal Reunites Myanmar and the Donors

In the last few days, a delicate dance of reconciliation between Myanmar and its estranged foreign creditors reached its final measures. At the Club de Paris---the collective negotiating forum for creditor governments such as Japan and the United States---a press release just announced a debt deal with the poor and long-isolated Asian nation. The creditors committed to what is by Paris Club standards an exceptionally generous deal: cancelling half the debt in arrears---Myanmar defaulted in 1998---and instituting a 15-year repayment schedule for the remainder, including a 7-year grace period. Because the interest rates on most of these the loans are low, typically about 1%, this stretching out of repayment further reduces the debt's economic cost ("net present value" or NPV). Overall, the NPV will fall 60%. Meanwhile the World Bank and Asian Development Bank made their first loans to Myanmar in more than 20 years, in the process erasing their own arrears issues with the country.

India’s Summer of Scams Reaches a Climax

Picture this: an Indian social activist from humble origins, dressed in homespun and espousing the virtues of non-violent civil disobedience, takes on his country’s corrupt overlords by launching an indefinite hunger strike to bring the government to its knees.  Think you’ve seen this movie before?  Think again.  This time around, the year is 2011 and the man in question is 74 year-old Anna Hazare, a Gandhian social activist who is responsible for taking the anti-corruption fight to the Indian government’s doorstep with his leadershi

Deforestation Is Already Declining in Indonesia – Someone Tell President Obama!

This is a joint post with Robin Kraft and Dan Hammer.

President Obama is in Indonesia today, and according to Reuters he will make forest conservation a focus of his first official visit to the country. The president is expected to pledge more than $100 million for programs aiming at a 50% reduction of deforestation and forest degradation (e.g. selective logging) by 2014. But we wonder what the benchmark will be for a 50% reduction.

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