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.

 

Close up of a hand using a test tube and pipette. Photo from Adobe Stock.

This Is the Perfect Moment to Redesign UK Aid Spend on Research

A new ICAI report issued this week suggests that large parts of UK aid spending on research and development remain hampered by a design that favors British researcher interests over urgent research topics and capacity prioritized by the world’s poorest countries. The next few months are a perfect opportunity to fix that problem, because the two most problematic funds are up for renewal.

An image of the globe sitting on a pile of money

Why is the World So Stingy?

Over the last sixty years, we have seen many changes in what constitutes a "rich" country, but little difference in what counts as a poor country requiring significant development assistance. While donor status appears more closely tied to relative income, significant recipient status appears to have been effectively tied to a low absolute income. Charles Kenny asks why the world has become stingy.

A chart showing that IFC spend is concentrated in middle-income countries

Making the International Finance Corporation Relevant

Philippe Le Houerou, the Chief Executive of the IFC has announced his intention to step down in September. His legacy will include a significant effort to focus the work of the corporation on development impact and the world’s poorest countries. Le Houerou has had some success. But a look at IFC’s portfolio suggests how far the institution still has to go to have the biggest impact.

A photo illustration of a seesaw out of balance. Adobe Stock.

Mobilization: Much Less than Meets the Eye

Imagine the young George Washington said, “I cannot tell a lie. I did not cut down the cherry tree,” then added sotto voce, “’twas the hatchet that did it.” Multilateral development banks (MDBs) and development finance institutions are dissembling in the other direction when it comes to their impact—not unreasonably shifting blame but implausibly taking credit.

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