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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.

 

Stand Up & Vote (RED): Translating Conscious Consumerism and Advocacy into the U.S. Elections

In the days preceding the October 17th United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty we have seen the launch of PRODUCT (RED) in America, led by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage American corporations and consumers in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and “Stand Up Against Poverty,”a worldwide effort to set a Guinness World Record for the most people literally “standing up” against poverty.

Stand Up & Vote (RED): Translating Conscious Consumerism and Advocacy into the U.S. Elections

In the days preceding the October 17th United Nations International Day for the Eradication of Poverty we have seen the launch of PRODUCT (RED) in America, led by Bono and Bobby Shriver to engage American corporations and consumers in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and “Stand Up Against Poverty,”a worldwide effort to set a Guinness World Record for the most people literally “standing up” against poverty.

The World Bank Report on Fragile States: 5 Takeaways

*This post is co-authored by Kaysie Brown
The World Bank's Operations Evaluation Division has just released a lengthy report documenting a rise in the world's "fragile states" and drawing a direct connection between state weakness and transnational threats. As Karen DeYoung reports in today's Washington Post,
“Fragile" countries, whose deepening poverty puts them at risk from terrorism, armed conflict and epidemic disease, have jumped to 26 from 17 since the report was last issued in 2000.
Increased attention to development and stability in fragile states by both the World Bank and the U.S. Government signals the importance of and challenges associated with providing assistance in these critical yet vulnerable states. CGD recently launched the Engaging Fragile States initiative to focus on key unanswered questions for the development community working in these tough environments. A quick read of the Bank report raises a number of issues that our work is focusing on:

Transformational Diplomacy Still Transforming

* This is a joint post from Sheila Herrling and Sarah Jane Hise.
In a meeting hosted by InterAction on Tuesday, staff of the Office of the Director of Foreign Assistance (OFA) provided an updated foreign assistance framework, as last reported by Sheila and me. There are some nice additions since the last round, including several recommendations from a working group of experts in development, diplomacy and defense organized by the Aspen Institute Global Interdependence Initiative. Most notably:
the addition of a category for global/regional issues;
clarification of the category “other USG agency contributions” over which Tobias would have coordinating but not budgetary authority; and
changing one of the basket titles from “reforming countries” to “restrictive countries,” to avoid the eyebrow-raising that the former titled inspired.

Foreign Aid Reform: The Latest Skinny from the Inside

In his April 26 testimony to House appropriators, new Director of Foreign Assistance Randall Tobias left no doubt about his determination to ensure that the fragmented U.S. foreign assistance regime be overhauled to reflect strategic guidance from the Secretary of State -- and to ensure that U.S. aid advances the administration’s broad foreign policy and national security goals, rather than being driven by the desires of individual agencies or country missions.

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