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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.

 

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Are Development Finance Institutions Getting Too Much of the Aid Budget?

As the world confronts the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, resources to assist developing countries recover and make the transition to a green and equitable future are scarce—scarcer than before the pandemic, given donors’ own budgetary constraints and the slowdown in global GDP growth. If there’s one thing that’s clear, it’s that whatever public financing is available must be used well.

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The Biden Administration Must Do More to Support Survivors of Gender-Based Violence from the Northern Triangle

Right now, it is very difficult for women fleeing violence to seek asylum at US border. Title 42, an unfounded public health order prohibiting the entry of asylum seekers due to COVID-19, ensures that effectively anyone who attempts to cross the border without a visa can be immediately expelled. This standard is arbitrarily applied, given that the United States has now granted tourists standard entry procedure, allowing them to cross the border. Only people who enter the country to seek asylum are subject to Title 42 expulsions under the guise of a public health justification.

An image of solar panels and wind turbines.

Don’t Let Arcane Climate Accounting Shortchange Poor Countries on Adaptation

At a glance, it would seem that if you want to tackle climate finance, you ought to look to institutions with “climate” in the name. Yet, whatever the longer-term potential of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the reality is that it has committed just $10 billion and disbursed a meager $1.7 billion in climate financing since it commenced operations in 2015. Of these total commitments, just $2.5 billion have gone toward adaption, suggesting that actual disbursement of adaption funds number in the low hundreds of millions.

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Why Global Leadership is Key to International Development

Global development leadership is faltering, yet remains necessary for advancing an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling global challenges, and driving progress towards the sustainable development agenda. We suggest that as traditional forums for leadership fail to make progress, informal groups provide an opportunity to advance common interests. 

Five of the speakers at the Bank for the World event

A Bank for the World: A Call to Arms on the Sidelines of the World Bank’s Annual Meetings

Global challenges like pandemics, climate change, biodiversity depletion, and conflict require global collective action. Yet the World Bank, built around country financing as the key product, has had neither the mandate nor the adequate modalities needed to systematically respond to issues that transcend borders. While the issues are not new, they are newly urgent: 242 million global COVID-19 cases have led to nearly 5 million deaths so far, and we are facing likely irreversible damage from climate change and biodiversity loss in the next decades

An image of carbon dioxide smokestacks.

Is $100 Billion a Year Enough to Cover the Cost of Climate Damage?

A central commitment of action on climate is the promise of “developed countries” to jointly mobilize $100 billion of climate finance per year by 2020 (and through to 2025). How does this promise—which developed countries have so far failed to reach—compare to the actual cost of the damage caused by their emissions? Today we publish a paper that answers that question by estimating the liability each country bears for the costs of damage caused by carbon emissions to date. We limit this liability with two assumptions. First, we only count damage from when international awareness of climate issues grew. Second, we reduce the cost applied to older emissions. These limitations are arguably conservative—and we consider other scenarios in the paper.

An image of vaccines.

ODA Rules Must Ensure that Vaccine Donations Count for the Poor

After buying up the World’s vaccine supply to ensure they can protect their own populations, rich countries have found themselves struggling to use the vaccine surpluses they accumulated. One response has been to donate the spare doses to countries who need them more. This is laudable, and countries who have done so want to receive credit for such actions in their aid statistics—what is known as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

An image of a map where large-scale interventions to improve girls’ education have been implemented

Girls’ Education: Going from What Works to What Works at Scale

Girls’ education remains a high priority for international organizations and for governments and non-government organizations in low- and middle-income countries, as it should be! There are many countries in the world where girls lag behind boys in either access or performance, and gender discrimination in the labor market may nudge policymakers to boost girls’ education even after parity in educational access has been achieved, in order to get closer to gender equality in later life outcomes.

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