Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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.

 

Who Has First DIBs?

The Development Impact Bond Working Group convened by CGD and Social Finance UK recently launched its final report, Investing in Social Outcomes: Development Impact Bonds, which has been well received by the diverse groups of actors who could make DIBs happen, including donor agencies, impact investors, foundations, and civil society organizations. 

Separated at Birth? COD Aid and REDD+

Over the last few months, in the context of my new affiliation with CGD, I’ve been making a transition from “Forestry World” — which I inhabited for six years at the Center for International Forestry Research in Indonesia — to “Development Finance World,” headquartered here in Washington with the World Bank, the IMF, and myriad think tanks and advocacy groups interested in development.

How to Spend Climate Finance (If We Had It)

Imagine for a moment a world in which rich countries followed through on their rather vague promise at the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with climate change. How should that money be spent?

What (Some of) You Can Do About the US Debt-Limit Crisis

Hey international community, so you’re feeling helpless as you watch the debt limit crisis unfold in Washington? Here’s something you can do about it.

With the world’s economic policymakers in Washington this week for the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, there is no shortage of commentary from foreign officials about the dire impact of a US government debt default (see here, here, and here), including the harm already done in the form of spikes in borrowing costs for their governments.

 

Signs of Hope for Reforming Energy, Ag Subsidies?

Rising commodity prices and tight government budgets are adding to pressures to reduce subsidies for energy and agriculture in many countries. Two new reports, including my recent paper on agricultural and biofuel subsidies, provide fodder for this debate by documenting the extent of subsidies in these sectors and analyzing their negative effects, particularly for developing countries and the poor.

From the Mountains to the Forests

On my summer vacation in Montana this year, I made my much-anticipated first trip to Glacier National Park.  The scenery was indeed stunning, but the famed glaciers less so.  A hike up to the Grinnell Glacier revealed a weeping patch of snow and ice, greatly diminished from the formidable structure depicted in the century-old photos in the lodge.  According to the park ranger, all of the glaciers in the park may be completely gone by 2030.

7 Questions About Low-Cost Private Schools in India That We Can Finally Answer

Low-cost private schools are popping up rapidly in many parts of the developing world, especially India where even in rural areas 28% of students attend private schools.  Should governments be supporting these schools as a cheap way to boost learning for the poor?  Or is privatization reducing equity and undermining public institutions?   A year ago I participated in a somewhat heated online debate on this topic, see here and here.

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