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.


Europe's Insistence on Naming European to Head IMF is Shortsighted

It's disappointing to see Europe attempting to preserve the outmoded mid-20th century custom of Europeans naming the head of the IMF, and in exchange letting the U.S. name the head of the World Bank. As the Economist today succinctly described the quickly emerging European consensus on France's nomination of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former finance minister of France:

Macroeconomics and the MDGs

While participating in an interesting and thoughtful eDiscussion organized by the UNDP on Securing Fiscal space for the MDGs, I was struck by how much different approaches to the issue-say between the IMF and the UNDP-are driven by different implicit assumptions about the likely effectiveness of additional spending.

Take Off the Handcuffs: A Simple Prescription for Fixing the World Bank

"The World Bank," a colleague once told me, "is less than the sum of its parts." And other colleagues always grinned and agreed when I cited him during my seventeen years at the Bank. They all immediately recognized what no one officially admits: the Bank underperforms because it constantly degrades its most precious resources -- the energy, skills and creativity of the people who work there.

More Change on 19th Street: Rodrigo de Rato Leaves the IMF

Rodrigo de Rato's announcement Thursday that he will step down as Managing Director at the IMF following the Fund and World Bank annual meetings in October took almost everyone by surprise (see Washington Post article). The timing was especially puzzling, as the announcement comes just as much of Mr. de Rato’s reform agenda is moving from concept to reality. Mr.

Zoellick Approved As Next World Bank President: What Challenges Ahead?

Yesterday Robert Zoellick was elected by unanimous vote by the Board of the World Bank to become its next president. He now assumes The Hardest Job in the World, as we called it in a 2005 CGD report to the then-incoming president, Paul Wolfowitz. Mr. Zoellick is an avid reader -- and absorbs ideas and issues like a sponge. This bodes well for the Bank and for Bank staff. Informal meetings he has had with officials around the world, activists, and Bank watchers in Washington's leading think tanks indicate Mr.

Can "Vanity" Lead to Global "Fair"ness?

Can “Vanity” Lead to Global “Fair”ness?The July edition of Vanity Fair guest edited by Bono puts Africa and global development back on newsstands around the country. Americans can choose from one of twenty different covers featuring prominent people--from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Oprah Winfrey, George W. Bush, Queen Rania of Jordan and others--having conversations about Africa.