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On Monday, I will join USAID as Director of Evaluation, Policy Analysis & Learning. In this position, I'll be supporting initiatives that are already underway to apply the best available evidence to decisions at many levels, and to generate new knowledge as an integral part of the agency’s work.
On January 30 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the IMF, announced a possible new initiative – a multi-billion dollar Green Fund (that name is popular – see below) that would help developing countries finance the measures needed to tackle climate change – possibly with partial funding through issuance by the IMF of new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).
I attended a conference convened and hosted by Jean-Michel Severino, the head of the French bilateral agency, outside Paris last week. The question participants addressed was: What should be the goals of the international development community in the post-MDG period after 2015? Should the MDGs be retrofitted and complemented with goals
Dubai has many unique features—it is a city state arising improbably out of the desert, boasting some extraordinary buildings, including a hotel shaped like an Arabian dhow and a 12 million sq ft shopping mall, with a fountain four times the size of the one at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. But despite this uniqueness, its labor market policies may well serve as a model for other countries. Dubai has actively sought talent from all corners of the world—its population of 1.7 million has four times as many foreigners as locals. These guest workers staff hotels, drive cabs, build skyscrapers, and
2010 is supposed to be the ‘Year of Education’. The Global Campaign for Education and the 1-Goal Campaign are lobbying soccer supporters around the world to sign a petition pressuring government leaders to provide a good quality education to all children and adults by 2015. Stars and international leaders have already committed themselves to joining an event on the eve of the World Cup in South Africa in June to bring attention to the shameful fact that more than 70 million children worldwide still do not have the chance even to go to primary school.
Dubai must be seen to be believed. Even its skyline is unreal--rising straight out of the desert and now dominated by the 2625 ft tall, 160-story, silver and glass structure, the Burj Khalifa, built by Samsung to be twice as tall as the Empire State Building in New York. But two months after its grand opening, the Burj remains mostly empty with its observation deck closed to visitors--perhaps symbolic of the fate of this Emirate, which has recently become dependent on huge amounts of short-term debt to keep its economy going.
Under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, eligible countries can export apparel to the United States duty-free, using fabric and other inputs from wherever it is produced most cost-effectively, as long as the fabric is cut and sewn in the African beneficiary country.
Financial regulation – what to do about the banks – dominated the headlines from Davos. But this year development issues were also prominent in one form or another.
First, climate change. A cloud analysis of topics of the day at Davos would include in big prominent letters Copenhagen/Climate. I sat in on: