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CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Construction workers building a railroad

What a Railway in Laos Can Tell Us about China’s Belt and Road

The Chinese-financed effort to build a national railway through Laos is a quintessential project of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is hard to get a fix on BRI these days, as it is invoked in ever-expanding geographic contexts (Latin America) and fields (poetry!). But the Lao railway seems to be at the core of the economic program that has shaped the initiative—a regional infrastructure project that aims to connect Chinese markets to those of other countries and ports in Southeast Asia. And it is well underway. So if we want to know whether BRI makes sense, or even just answer “how’s it going?”, there’s a lot we can learn by taking a closer look at this project.

A nurse at Merawi health centre in northern Ethiopia prepares a measles vaccine for delivery.

We Asked, You Answered: Reflections on the First Round of MVAC Feedback

In March, our team at the Center for Global Development and Office of Health Economics posted a consultation draft of a policy proposal for a Market-Driven, Value-Based Advanced Commitment (MVAC). The MVAC is a new mechanism that puts middle-income country governments in the driver’s seat to accelerate R&D for diseases that affect the world’s poor—specifically, the 10 million men, women, and children who develop tuberculosis (TB) disease each year and desperately need better therapies. 

A man and woman migrant cross the street, the woman holding a child

Responding to Northern Triangle Immigration with Policies that Benefit Both Migrants and Hosts

There has been an unprecedented increase in people coming to the US from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras—the Northern Triangle. Over the past five years alone, yearly apprehensions of Northern Triangle migrants grew from 139,000 to 226,000. Unlike the undocumented migrants of the past, who were mostly single adult men, migrants from the Northern Triangle are mostly families and unaccompanied children.

 
A room full of internally displaced people in Myanmar, with three women up from

Where Internally Displaced People Live & Three Ways To Support Their Economic Success

There are over 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world, including about 40 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have moved because of conflict or other drivers, including disasters, economic instability, and development projects such as infrastructure construction. To support them in overcoming these challenges, policymakers should focus on helping IDPs achieve greater self-reliance. The best approach to doing so will depend in large part upon the extent to which IDP populations are based in urban or rural areas.

 
Two women buying phones at a phone store

Navigating New Frontiers for Women’s Financial Inclusion: Data and Harmonization in a Digital World

The world of digital financial services (DFS)—mobile money, mobile banking, digital payment platforms, and FinTechs—is the new frontier for financial inclusion. But what does this frontier mean for women—and how can we navigate it using harmonized gender data? Starting with the G7 gender ministerial later this week,  several high-level meetings in the next six months provide an opportunity for the international community to begin addressing that question by setting a common gender data agenda—a necessary step if DFS are to help close the financial inclusion gender gap.

A teacher on strike in Chicago in 2012. Photo by Brad Perkins via Wikimedia

What Makes a Politician Tackle Education?

Josef Ritzen, the Netherlands’ education minister for eight years before he joined the World Bank, once told me: “The view of a prime minister is that an education minister only brings problems. There’s nothing he or she can do to improve quality that has a political upside. So, most ministers try to do nothing.” Ritzen’s recent successors have learned this lesson the hard way with public outcry over heightened math admission requirements for teacher training colleges that have led to a teacher shortage and larger classes. So far, the government has stood firm, convinced that students cannot truly master math without excellent teaching. But the education reform shoe is pinching.

A table showing tax revenue as a share of GDP in sub-Saharan Africa

Enhancing Domestic Resource Mobilization: What are the Real Obstacles?

At the Center for Global Development, we recently initiated a project to develop more effective and equitable strategies for domestic resource mobilization in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). The impetus for the project is the Addis Ababa Action Agenda for financing development, which calls on developing countries to step up their efforts to collect more taxes domestically to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

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