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.

 

Does US Food Aid Have to Pit the Philippines Against Syria?

This is a joint post with Will McKitterick.

On NPR this morning, Dan Charles told Morning Edition Host Renee Montagne that the Philippines is fortunate that the typhoon struck early in the US government’s fiscal year, when “there's plenty of cash available to spend” for food aid. That means that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was able to immediately provide $8 million for World Food Programme (WFP) relief operations, with a promise of $10 million to $15 million more later. Had the typhoon struck a few months earlier, however, cash for such crises would have been exhausted by relief operations in Syria.

Filipinos Like Typhoon Relief Transparency

Something surprising happened this week after my colleagues Vijaya Ramachandran and Owen Barder posted a call for donors providing help in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a Yolanda) to rapidly post data on their plans and actions. Their post, Let’s Not Help the Philippines Like We Helped Haiti, which argued for helping the Philippines better through aid transparency, went viral overnight as thousands of Filipinos around the world visited the page and “liked” it on Facebook.

How Long Can You Live with This Kind of “Modern” Energy?

Lant Pritchett lambasts the donor focus on eliminating extreme poverty because getting the income of poor people to the $1.25/day threshold is a pathetic definition of success.  A decade ago Lant had proposed $15/day as more sensible minimum for human wellbeing. Today, he worries that setting our sights too low prevents us from meeting the real goal of development—to build modern, prosperous societies.

RCTs in Development, Lessons from the Hype Cycle

Last month, I was on my way to speak at an IDB sponsored conference on evaluation.  Getting on the shuttle to DC I bumped into a friend of mine who is the head of a technology related company.   On the plane I was telling him I was on my way to talk about the fad of doing RCTs in my field of development.  He told me he had a great slide from the tech consulting company Gartner about the “Hype Cycle” in tech industries.  As you see, this wonderful graphic shows a typical cycle of a tech idea or tech

Financial Secrecy and the Commitment to Development Index

Many people cite corruption as the biggest obstacle to development, but corruption has many faces.  Viewed primarily as a poor country problem, corruption can be the basis for arguing against aid, on the grounds that it will be stolen or wasted. Seeing the global nature of corruption in practice, however, reveals the responsibility of aid donors and other rich countries to address their own culpability. Turns out that rich country financial secrecy can facilitate illicit transfers and even make possible grand corruption, to the tune of billions of dollars.

The Premier Research Conference on the Economics of Migration and Development: A Call for Papers

International labor mobility holds some of the biggest opportunities to extend economic opportunity to more people. A small group of economists and other social scientists is working to understand those opportunities better. They have coalesced around an annual but still-young research conference, the Migration and Development Conference—and I’m delighted to say that CGD is involved.

Two Guest Worker Programs that Are Working

With funding for the federal government restored and the debt ceiling crisis averted (for now), President Obama has called on Congress to address three policy priorities in what remains of 2013. I'm thrilled to learn that immigration reform made the cut. I'm particularly interested in the Senate-passed proposal for temporary low-skill employment permits, the W-visa.

Pages

Tags