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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.

 

SDGs Ready To Go? Far From It.

After almost four years and much fanfare, 193 nations agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated 169 targets at last September’s UN Summit. You’d probably then assume that we’re all set to start the SDG agenda on January 1, 2016. Not quite so fast. Arguably the most important part of the agenda – the indicators that will determine what we actually measure and how we judge progress – has yet to be decided.

New Study of Somali Remittance Flows Does Not Actually Tell Us Much about Somali Remittance Flows

The FAO’s Somalia Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) released an assessment of external remittances to Somalia, based on a survey of both urban and internally-displaced families. The headline result from the report was that apparently remittances were on the decline, but the FSNAU survey doesn’t actually tell us much about how remittance flows to Somalia have changed in the past six months.

Pretending at Evidence-Based Policymaking?

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is a model aid agency in a lot of ways, one of which is its commitment to learning from experience and evidence on what works and what doesn’t when it comes to development programs. Despite that, it still has an egregiously flawed way to deal with the risk of corruption. The MCC takes a slippery and poorly measured concept and puts it to the most blunt of zero tolerance tests: if a country is below the median in its income group on the Worldwide Governance Indicators measure of control of corruption, it doesn’t get a compact.

If the Cost of Sending Remittances Goes Up and No One Is Around to Measure It, Did It Really Happen?

The World Bank does maintain an impressively large database of remittance prices around the world, called Remittance Prices Worldwide, covering over 200 remittance corridors. It is a massive undertaking which involves surveying hundreds of remittance companies across 32 different countries roughly every quarter, but it turns out that the data only cover approximately half of the world’s remittances, even though the number of corridors covered has been slowly expanding every year. For Somalia specifically, while the database covers remittances from the United Kingdom, it only began surveying US firms this year, after the closure of bank accounts.

SDG Negotiations Round 3: Indicators

With the outcome document for the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) now submitted, the development community turns to the final piece of the SDG agenda: the indicators. While the goals and targets have endured unending negotiations, from the Open Working Group to all UN member states, the underlying indicators have largely remained a big question. It’s now time to turn to that question.

How Much Do We Really Know about Multinational Tax Avoidance and How Much Is it Really Worth? Comments Welcome!

At the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa this week, the issue of international cooperation to address ‘tax dodging’ and illicit flows will be higher up the agenda than ever before. Credit for this is due in no small part to the various non-governmental organizations that have built up public consciousness and pressure through sustained campaigns focused on the tax affairs of multinational companies.

DRM and Data: A Deliverable Duo for the USG at FFD

In Washington, rumor has it that the United States will bring commitments on domestic resource mobilization (DRM) and data to the table at the Financing for Development Conference this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As we get down to the wire, our fingers are crossed that the US government will take this opportunity to be ambitious and offer robust packages in both these areas. Here’s what that could look like. 

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