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.

 

Could Solar Lighting Be the Next Mobile Phone?

Between 2000 and 2010, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in developing countries increased from 215 million to 4.1 billion.  From a luxury for the rich, the mobile has become a ubiquitous presence in rural and urban areas alike, even in some of the most fragile countries in the world.  Afghanistan saw 38 subscriptions per 100 people in 2010, an average of more than one phone per household.  And while ubiquity in Afghanistan is evidence enough that mobile phone access hardly guarantees quality of life or sustainable development, mobiles have proven themselves powerful tools to improve

2012 SOTU: Bingo Win, Development Defeat

Expectations for a global development focus in President Obama’s State of the Union address were low. Still, more than 130 policy wonks gathered at the Commissary watering hole and eatery in Logan Circle to play CGD State of the Union bingo and many were pleasantly surprised that they could mark off a number of development-related words on their bingo cards.

P4R: Looking to the Pilot Phase

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis.

After many stages of drafting, debates, and consultations, the World Bank´s proposed results-based financing instrument, Program-for-Results is going for approval to the Bank´s Board on January 24. The latest draft of the policy can be found here; we´re pleased to see that Bank staff listened to comments at a CGD roundtable and many other consultation meetings and incorporated changes to previous drafts. CGD hosted a final discussion of P4R on Thursday January 19, with a presentation by World Bank VP for operations, Joachim von Amsberg, and a panel that included Anne Perrault of the Center for International Environmental Law, Marta Garcia Jauregui, who represents Spain, Mexico and several Latin American countries on the World Bank board, and CGD president Nancy Birdsall (see event video here).

Is CGD’s Pakistan Initiative Off the Mark?

This is a joint post with and Danny Cutherell.

Over on the Global Dashboard blog, Seth Kaplan has posted a critique of CGD’s Pakistan initiative. In a post titled, “What’s Wrong With CGD’s Pakistan Initiative” Kaplan knocks the CGD Pakistan initiative for saying “almost nothing specific about Pakistan”; “ignoring the “drivers of its political economy”; and relying on “one-size-fits-all solutions.” As members of CGD’s Pakistan initiative, we welcome Seth’s critique of our work (indeed, we were happy to feature another one of our critics in a previous blog) and take this as an opportunity to clear up any misunderstanding about our approach and findings.

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