Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

Beyond Brexit: Is Unilateral Tariff Reduction Really Such a Crazy Idea?

If the UK leaves the EU (as unfortunately seems most likely), the single market, and customs union, it will need to decide on a new schedule of tariffs for imported goods from both Europe and other countries. One of the options being touted is the unilateral removal of tariffs on all goods, as Hong Kong and Singapore do. There are three main possible objections to this approach based on UK interests, and one for developing countries, none of which are entirely convincing.

Literacy of Adults in Developing Countries: New Data from a Skills Survey

Recently, Lant Prichett blogged about the latest round of the OECD international assessment of adult skills (PIAAC), which included for the first time measures for Jakarta, showing the dismally low levels of skills even in the capital city of a typical middle income country like Indonesia. This prompted me to look at the World Bank’s new skill survey of working age adults in urban areas of developing countries (STEP) that includes a literacy assessment calibrated to the same scale as PIAAC, thus allowing for comparisons. Two striking findings emerge.

Why School Systems Matter, and How We Can Fix Them

Accountability in school systems is essential to deliver better learning and accelerate progress in developing countries. What is still really lacking—and what RISE is working towards—is a coherent and complete analytical framework capturing the key elements of a system of school accountability that can explain the divergent experiences we have seen in school reform.

"The Worst Aid Project in the World:" EU Support for Detention Camps in Sudan

More than a million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe in 2015, with thousands dying in the attempt to cross by sea. EU development policy has swung into action, in an attempt to address the “root causes” of the movement of people. But this rapid reaction has led to some poor decisions, with the potential to waste a lot of money, and potentially cause serious harm.

The RISE World Tour: What We’ve Been Reading on Education Systems (Education Links)

This periodic summary of what we’re reading from RISE (Research on Improving Systems of Education), CGD’s initiative on education reform in the developing world, is a little late as we’re in the middle of touring the world speaking to potential bidders for RISE Country Research Programs, in London, Dar es Salaam, Abuja, Delhi, Islamabad, and Jakarta. We’re accepting expressions of interest until 27 August; please see the RISE website for more details.

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