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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.

 

An image of two Afghan children walking.

Giving up the “Statebuilding” Ghost: Lessons from Afghanistan for Foreign Assistance in Fragile States

The end of America’s twenty-year war in Afghanistan will change many paradigms that have dominated US foreign policy for decades. President Biden’s recent assertion that military interventions are not the solution to humanitarian crises is a good place to start.  Just as urgent is the need to revisit the notion that foreign assistance can build a state.

Chart showing carbon price for each CDI countries. Sweden, Norway, and Finland lead, while the US, China, Mexico, South Africa, and others bring up the rear

Assessing International Environmental Leadership: CDI 2021

Today, we publish the 2021 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which tracks powerful countries’ policy efforts on development across eight important areas, from development finance to migration. One of the CDI’s focal areas is the environment, which matters for everyone but is especially critical to people in lower-income countries. In a key year for climate negotiations, the CDI can tell us which countries are doing well on policies to protect the environment and which have room for improvement.

Introducing the Commitment to Development Index 2021

Today we launch the Commitment to Development Index 2021 measuring the policy efforts of 40 major economies in supporting development in other countries. The CDI focuses on the development spillover effects of policies in eight component areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology. Scores can be “income adjusted” to show how countries perform compared to an expected score based on their income. CGD’s been producing the CDI since 2003, and it remains unique.

An image of a title card

Economics & Marginalia: September 10, 2021

There was some good this week, too, though – most notably the ten-year anniversary of Michael Clemens’s seminal Journal of Economic Perspectives paper, Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? The anniversary prompted Michael to discuss the struggles he had in getting it published, generating a quite extraordinary response from the many, many economists who owe the very shape of their worldview to it.

An illustrated image of Europe and Africa side-by-side, with a wheel in between representing the Accelerator Hub

An Accelerator Hub to Foster Investments in Africa

Through its European Investment Advisory Hub, the European Union (EU) has built solid experience in project preparation within its own borders by connecting project promoters and intermediaries with advisory partners who work directly together to help projects reach the financing stage. Building on this approach, we propose the establishment of an Accelerator Hub, which would provide targeted support to identify, prepare, and develop investment projects in Africa.

An image of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany.

Change or Crumble! Germany Needs to Reposition its International Cooperation

As Angela Merkel’s 16 years at the helm of the German government come to a close, Germany’s international cooperation for sustainable development seems, at first sight, to be in good shape. During her tenure, German official development assistance (ODA) more than tripled, reaching $28 billion in 2020 and putting Germany second only to the United States ($34 billion) and well ahead of the United Kingdom ($19 billion) and the EU Institutions ($17 billion). 

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