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Still more on the First G-20 Summit

Here's my wish list (as a development economist especially concerned with the effects of the financial crisis and a subsequent global downturn on poor people in emerging markets and low-income countries) for the G-20 Summit. I’ll return to ask how they did next week.

Dear Mr. President-Elect, Some Early Steps to Begin Elevating Development

This is a joint posting with Sheila Herrling
This week the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network, a fast-growing bipartisan coalition of international development and foreign policy leaders that I am privileged to co-chair, will be sending to the Presidential Transition Team its recommendations for jump-starting the process of strengthening our development programs. A growing number of voices agree that now more than ever, we must substantially bolster our capabilities to fight poverty and create economic opportunities around the world, both through increasing our investments over time and by making these investments much more efficient and effective. Strengthening these programs may well be one of the best investments we can make over the long term to restore global stability, security and prosperity.

Stopping the Emerging Markets Contagion Boomerang

The U.S. rescue package is (rightly) focused on shoring up our domestic financial markets, ground zero in the global credit crisis. Even if this effort is successful, the United States and other global financial leaders cannot ignore the impact on emerging markets. As the crisis has now spread to Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere, we need to ensure that all available tools are used so that the downturn doesn't eventually boomerang back to us.

Smart Obamanomics for the President-Elect's Top Priority: Energy and Climate Change

This is a joint post with Kevin Ummel, Robin Kraft, Joel Meister and Dan Hammer
During the second presidential debate on October 7, an exchange took place that tells us a lot about what to expect from an Obama administration:

Tom Brokaw: Senator Obama, if you would give us your list of priorities, there are some real questions about whether everything can be done at once.
Barack Obama: We're going to have to prioritize, just like a family has to prioritize … Energy we have to deal with today … So that would be priority number one.

Food Aid, With a Twist

This is a joint posting with Rebecca Schutte
Is purchasing food aid locally the answer to higher global food prices and the inefficiencies associated with imported food aid? The World Food Program (WFP), the Bill and Melinda Gates and Howard G. Buffett Foundations seem to think so. While donors and international organizations have been purchasing food aid in recipient countries for years, the idea got a new boost in late September with the "Purchase for Progress (P4P)" initiative. The idea is simple: Rather than import food aid from the U.S. or Europe, WFP will purchase food commodities for distribution within the same country or region. As Josette Sheeran, WFP executive director, explained, "Purchase for Progress is a win-win -- we help our beneficiaries who have little or no food and we help local farmers who have little or no access to markets where they can sell their crops." The program will be piloted in twenty-one countries in 2008/2009, fourteen of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

Weekly Development Policy News

Click here (opens Google Reader) to access my weekly selection of mainstream news articles covering rich-world policies and practices that affect poor people in developing countries.
This week's development policy news centered on the U.N.’s efforts to stop the violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the impact of the financial crisis on the food crisis.

Slouching Towards Copenhagen?

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold
-W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming
Could two U.S. delegations end up at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen next year? I’m beginning to think so. There have been some suggestive developments in recent weeks, although you could be forgiven for missing them in the furor over the financial crisis and rescue plan.

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