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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.

 

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How Can Countries Escape the Natural Resource Curse? Answer: Democracy

How can countries escape the natural resource curse? And to what extent do cohesive and democratic institutions facilitate this process? In a new CGD working paper, we look at Nigeria—often seen as the prime example of a country cursed by its wealth. We show that when political institutions are cohesive and power is shared among the diverse groups in a multi-ethnic society, political contests over resource revenues are less likely to be violent. What produces cohesive institutions? Democratic elections.

A woman working at a stall in Accra, Ghana. Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage, via imagesofempowerment.org

Leveraging American Enterprise to Deliver Women’s Global Development and Prosperity

Today, the Trump administration rolled out the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP). Pillars one and two seem to suggest a rebranding of existing funding for women’s economic empowerment efforts in USAID and a repackaging of previously announced initiatives at the World Bank and Overseas Private Investment Corporation. But the third pillar is potentially more encouraging.

Photo of the World Bank headquarters

Time, Gentlemen, Please

It is time for an open, fair, merit-based process to appoint the next President of the World Bank. And I’ll explain below why I think the Europeans may, at last, break the cartel that has prevented this.

Nicolás Maduro speaks at a UN Human Rights Council meeting in 2015.

Why US Oil Sanctions on Venezuela Could Be Too Little, Too Late

The scale of the humanitarian disaster in Venezuela is almost inconceivable. Despite the world’s largest proven oil reserves, the economy barely functions. People struggle just to survive. Store shelves are nearly empty of food, medicine and other necessities. The few goods available are out of reach for most people because of hyperinflation that the International Monetary Fund estimates reached a shocking 1 million percent in 2018. An estimated 3 million Venezuelans have already fled to neighboring countries, and more will likely join them.

Stock photo of various currencies

How Will Donors Spend $170 Billion This Year and Next?

In 2019-20, donors will commit roughly $170 billion of public funding to an alphabet soup of international aid organisations, many of which their citizens may never have heard of. Each replenishment will be considered as a separate exercise, ignoring the reality that they are competing for limited donor resources.

Bogotá

Making GCFF Financing a Win for Venezuelans and Their Colombian Hosts

As dueling claims to the Venezuela’s presidency threaten to spark further violence and devastating economic and social turmoil accelerates, the exodus of Venezuelan migrants continues. In a context of increasing pressure and the possibility of larger inflows, the World Bank recently announced that Colombia is now the third country to be eligible for the Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF)—a partnership among the World Bank, United Nations, Islamic Development Bank, and others. The GCFF, which is hosted by the World Bank, offers highly concessional financing to middle-income countries hosting significant numbers of refugees. But financing is just the first step. It’s critical to learn lessons from past experience and ensure that policies are in place so that financing yields results and promotes self-reliance.

Top 10 worst-affected countries by gross decline in UK exports

Why a No-Deal Brexit Would Be Bad for Developing Countries

Last week, the British Parliament rejected the Prime Minister’s EU Withdrawal Agreement by a resounding 432 votes to 202, making the odds of a no-deal Brexit greater than ever. Having survived a motion of no-confidence, the government now has fewer than 70 days to devise an alternative exit plan that MPs will support. If it fails, then under Article 50, the UK will leave the EU without an agreement on 29 March.

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