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.

 

The Political Paradox of Cash Transfers

Rigorous evaluations show giving poor people cash is a very effective policy. But polls show poor Tanzanians would rather have government services.

This is part II in our blog series about poll results from Tanzania on managing the country’s newfound natural gas wealth. Read part I on fuel subsidies and stay tuned for part III on transparency.

Cashing In on Coal

India is getting some serious cash from coal. According to official estimates, the government will get nearly $250 billion in revenues over a period of 30 years from the sale of over two hundred coal blocks to private bidders. Given India’s record of corruption and mismanagement of natural resources, it is difficult to be optimistic that it will be able to cash in on this windfall and use it for development. But there are a few silver linings that may prove us (happily) wrong.

A Glimmer of Hope for a Carbon Tax in the US?

I’ve spent the last year at CGD working with a team of experts to figure out how to encourage more funders to pay tropical forest countries for results in reducing deforestation.  My CGD colleagues Jonah Busch and Frances Seymour have done extensive research that documents that forests are critical for development and to combat climate change. And paying forest countries for performance – actual results in reducing deforestation – can provide an essential incentive and can complement funding for inputs, as reflected in CGD’s Cash-on-Delivery aid research.  

SDG Thirteen: A Pound of Cure, Sure, But Where’s the Ounce of Prevention?

Expanding economic prosperity while avoiding dangerous climate change is perhaps the defining challenge of the 21st century.  So I’m glad to see that the draft Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a goal for climate.  But I’m puzzled by a pretty fundamental omission. While the draft SDGs list targets for adapting to climate change, and educating people about climate change, and even mobilizing serious money in response to climate change, there’s not actually a target for, ahem, preventing climate change.