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.


An image of Almaty City in Kazakhstan.

Will Countries Ever Learn How To Do Fuel Subsidy Reform Well?

Consider the situation. Faced with growing fiscal stress, the government of an energy-exporting country decides to cut generous subsidies, doubling the price of fuel overnight. Protestors are out on the streets, clashing violently with security forces called in to maintain law and order. They vent their frustration not only with rising fuel prices but also with living costs, lack of social services, crumbling infrastructure, corruption, and political repression.

A man wears a hard hat, face mask, and vest in the foreground of a factory

The EU Should Build Skills in Africa, Not Just Promote Mobility

The European Union's New Pact on Migration and Asylum, published in 2020, aimed to implement “Talent Partnerships” with African countries, to better link migration and skills development. Since then, much progress has been made, but there is still further to go. This blog outlines how the European Commission can put Talent Partnerships (that generate meaningful benefits for countries of origin, countries of destination, and migrants themselves) into practice.

German Aid to Education: Good for Development or Good for Germany?

Germany supports the universal basic education goals of the SDGs, wants to eradicate global poverty and promotes multilateralism as the way to achieve these goals. So why does it route most of its education aid to higher education? Why does most of its aid go to upper-middle-income countries and its own federal states? And why does it allocate such a small share of its aid budget to multilateral institutions? In this blog we dig deeper into Germany’s unusual approach to education aid and consider the ways in which its development architecture works.

An image of a 'Refgees Welcome' sign.

#LiftTheBan: The Impacts of the Work Ban on UK Asylum Seekers

This blog is part of CGD and Refugee International’s #LetThemWork initiative and written in conjunction with Refugee Action. It is one of a series of blogs exploring the issues facing refugees’ economic inclusion within the top refugee and forced migrant hosting countries. All are being authored with local experts and provide a snapshot of the barriers refugees face and what the policy priorities are going forward.

COVID Testing in the Philippines run by USAID

One Year of the US National COVID-19 Strategy: Assessing Progress on Pandemic Response and Preparedness

Even as the fight to control COVID-19 at home is far from over, to bring an end to the pandemic, the administration must dramatically expand its global response work—and continue its efforts to rally the international community. Here we provide a rundown of the administration’s progress toward achieving goal seven and offer suggestions for advancing the fight against COVID-19 and readiness to combat future global health threats.

An image of a glass globe on financial papers.

How Could Country Platforms Facilitate the Delivery of Global Public Goods?

Ongoing and looming global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change have brought renewed attention to the delivery of global public goods (GPGs)—goods that benefit the entire world and can only be provided through cooperation between countries, like public health, climate action, and peace and security. At the same time, it has become clear that strong international cooperation will be required to solve challenges associated with preparing for or mitigating these crises.

Close-up of a French passport

Good News: Africa Needs More Jobs While Europe Needs More Workers

We look at the challenges that Europe faces with an aging population, and ask if the challenges that Africa faces with a burgeoning working-age population might be a mutually beneficial part of the answer. We think they might, but the scale of migration under “business as usual” is grossly insufficient to meet Europe’s needs or to maximize Africa’s benefit.

An image of international currency

Fix the Common Framework for Debt Before It Is Too Late

When the pandemic first struck, dealing with excessive debt and debt service burdens of developing countries figured prominently on the international response agenda. The G20 produced the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI)—a program to defer official debt service due by mostly low-income countries (LICs) in 2020 which was then extended through the end of 2021.