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.


Shocked! Scandal-Driven Management Is No Way to Address Corruption

Politicians and agency officials are always morally indignant when it comes to corruption in foreign aid, pointing to elaborate procedures and investigative offices to prove that they are “tough” and calling for zero tolerance (most recently here and here). However, for most governments and agencies, corruption is only a problem when it is discovered. That is when it becomes an obstacle to disbursing funds and keeping business moving.

What Should Think Tanks Do? Read This Book to Find Out

A prior version of this post appeared in the On Think Tanks blog.

Andrew Selee, vice president for programs at the Wilson Center, a think tank in Washington DC, has written a slim volume that will be useful to anybody who is part of a think tank leadership team. The book, What Should Think Tanks Do? A Strategic Guide to Policy Impact, focuses on Washington tanks and will therefore be of particular interest to those of us inside the beltway. Nonetheless, the issues Andrew discusses will resonate with think tank leaders—and funders—everywhere.

Haiti Quake: Four Years Later, We Still Don’t Know Where the Money Has Gone

January 12, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the massive quake in Haiti that left over 200,000 people dead and several million people homeless.  The response from rich countries was overwhelming—over $9 billion was disbursed towards relief and reconstruction efforts ($3 billion from the United States, an estimated $3 billion in private contributions, and another $3 billion from foreign governments).

Ten Wishes for 2014

CGD is especially concerned with the policies and practices of rich countries, corporations, and individual citizens that affect the world’s less fortunate people, especially the 5 billion least fortunate people who live in developing countries. In 2013 life for most people in those countries continued to get better as it has for several decades. In the advanced economies, the largely self-imposed austerity following the financial crisis of 2008-09 may finally be lifting.