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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.

 

Podcasts for Development

This piece was originally posted on Owen Barder's blog, Owen Abroad.

The mainstream broadcast media do not always do a good job of covering international development issues. The constraints of the medium mean that they have to pitch much of their content to a broad audience. Poverty porn sells better than nuanced analysis.  One reason I like podcasts is that they are not constrained in the same way as the media. They can be targeted at niche audiences out in the long tail of the distribution. There is a small group of people with an appetite for a more long-form analysis of development which mainstream media are normally not able to serve (though it amazes me that the BBC World Service does not have room anywhere in its schedule for a hour-long programme devoted to development.)

Brookings-UN Report Gets It Wrong on AGOA

The Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, in conjunction with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, recently released an important report on possibilities for renewing the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). The report uses a standard trade model to explore the impact of various scenarios. It has the imprimatur of two prestigious institutions and was launched at a high-profile event with US Trade Representative Michael Froman as featured speaker, so it could be an important contribution to the debate over the future of AGOA.

Do Immigrants Fill Public Coffers, or Drain Them? We Finally Have an Authoritative Estimate

People who move from poor countries to rich countries add colossal value to the world economy. They can do this, my research has shown, because their labor is often several times more valuable in the countries they move to. Workers who move, even in modest numbers, can create economic gains in the trillions of dollars, and most of that value accrues to the destination country.

The Post-2015 Bandwagon: The Wheels Are Still On, and the Band Is Playing in Tune

I admit, I didn’t think things would look so good right now.  This summer of post-2015 reports has been as unexpectedly pleasant as comparatively decent August weather in DC.  Surprised by the depth and reach of the High Level Panel report on the post-2015 development agenda, then taken off guard by the healthy overlap between the Sustainable Development  Solutions Network report and the High Level Panel’s recommendations, now I’ve been mildly shocked—in a good way—by the first interim report of the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group. 

A United Nations Declaration for 2015

Recent thinking around the post-2015 development agenda has focused on the goals and targets of a follow-on set of Millennium Development Goals for the period 2010–2030. These are important discussions that have clarified potential areas for goals and the plausibility of particular targets. But another approach to the post-2015 agenda is to think about what would replace the Millennium Declaration itself. 

Science to Deliver, but No 'Science of Delivery'

The World Bank President Jim Kim has said that the next frontier for the World Bank is to 'help to advance a science of delivery'.  But the problem is not that we are ignoring politics, as Kevin Watkins suggests: the problem is that we are ignoring complexity.

Privacy and the Biometric Revolution

What exactly is privacy? As Bob Gellman points out in his new CGD paper, the concept changes from place to place. Scandinavian countries have strict privacy laws, but tax returns are public; the United States has no broad privacy laws, but tax returns are shield from public scrutiny. In some European countries, nude sunbathing is common; in some Muslim countries, women typically appear in public wearing garments that cover the body from head to feet.  That’s all to say that privacy—and efforts to protect it—depend on context.

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