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A few weeks ago I applauded the release of a very useful report from the General Accountability Office on the extra budgetary and timeliness costs associated with how U.S. food aid is delivered—in kind and mostly on U.S.-flagged ships.
The U.S. House and Senate passed the $105.9 billion war supplemental last week, which includes $5 billion to secure $108 billion in additional lending by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Congress’s approval for increased IMF lending supports President Obama’s G20 commitments and paves the way to unlock the $1 trillion (mostly contributions from other high-income countries) for emerging and developing countries coping with the economic crisis.
CGD friend Alcyone Vasconcelos, Senior Education Specialist at the Education for All – Fast Tack Initiative (EFA-FTI) (an international partnership of developing country governments and donors to make progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goal of universal primary education by 2015), brought to our attention a very interesting idea: a campaign to support
In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade last week, CGD president Nancy Birdsall argued that support for the G-20 commitments to increase lending resources at the IMF is a critical part of ensuring U.S. recovery from the economic crisis and global prosperity and security. She was, however, confronted with a host of concerns about whether multilateral lending would go to governments like Iran, Sudan, and Syria, and with one member of Congress’s view that he “is a citizen of the United States, not the world.”
Gorik Ooms and European colleagues are organizing a small meeting in Brussels in October to be called the Global Responsibilities for Global Health Rights Conference. The Conference is organized by the Helene De Beir Foundation and has the moral or financial support of AIDS Fonds, Netherlands; Parliamentarians for the MDGs, Belgium; International Centre for Reproductive Health, Belgium; International Civil Society Support, Netherlands; Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium and The Lancet, United Kingdom.
What would Barack Obama be like if he was still president in 2051? We would expect that despite whatever initial good intentions, that four decades in power would inevitably give way to entrenched corruption, mindless sycophancy, and probably destroy our democracy. Such an outcome is not only barred by the U.S. constitution, but sounds like an absurd question today.
Last week the Guardian reported that the Obama Administration has approached President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil about becoming the next President of the World Bank. Seems unlikely to me – for one thing it’s early, since Robert Zoellick’s term lasts another three years, and the Administration has many other fish it is frying right now.
This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post on June 5, 2009.
According to a testimony before congress yesterday and a new Government Accountability Office report, congressional restrictions on U.S. food aid raise the costs of delivering it by as much as a third and delay it reaching hungry people by up to 100 days. When donors purchase food locally or regionally, it not only gets to needy people faster and more cheaply, it may also better match local preferences and nutrition needs. Yet, in the midst of last year’s global food price crisis, Congress passed a farm bill that continued the long-standing practice of requiring that food aid be purchased in the United States and that 75 percent of it be delivered by U.S.-flagged ships.
Next week, President Obama will meet with Congress to begin discussing changes in the way that the United States regulates who can enter this country and what they can do here. The elephant in the room: global development. U.S. immigration policy transforms the lives of low-income people from all over the world, but you won’t hear much about them.