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.


Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?

This is a joint post with Julie Walz.

The Assessing Progress in Haiti Act (H.R. 1016) was approved by a voice vote in the Senate this week, almost a year after it was passed by the House. The Act “directs the President to report to Congress on the status of post-earthquake humanitarian, reconstruction, and development efforts in Haiti” including progress of programs, alignment with the Haitian government priorities, and coordination among U.S. agencies and other donors.

New Structural Economics: Industrial Policy 2.0 or Same Old Structuralism?

This is a joint post with Julia Clark and Christian Meyer.

Industrial policy—as many have already commented—is back. (See here, here and here).

The recent wave of post-financial-crisis interventionism has reignited the classic (and often heated) debate about whether governments can in fact nurture economic growth. Previous analysis of the East Asian miracle, and frustration at the perceived failure of certain liberalization policies, has led many to (again) embrace a more activist role for governments in economic development.

Coming Clean on Publish What You Buy

A couple of weeks ago, CGD hosted a workshop on a transparency proposal we’re calling (at least for the moment) Publish What You Buy.  In the spirit of openness, I meant to blog about it straight after --but where would have been the irony in that?   So, two weeks later, (still) faster than a speeding freedom of information request denial, here’s a brief write-up.

Coming Clean on Cookstoves

The Washington Post on Monday highlighted the latest results from a randomized study of a development intervention by the folks at MIT.   This time, the subject of the study was clean cookstoves.  As the Post noted, that’s timely because Hillary Clinton has been a strong advocate, backing the

Breaking the Addiction to a Failed Policy

My column for Foreign Policy this week was on the global war on drugs.  It recounts how the war, begun four decades ago by President Nixon, has failed to raise drug prices or reduce consumption in the US.  Yet the spillover effects at home are grim: spending on enforcement and imprisonment along with the huge social costs of a bulging prison population.  And the impact on the rest of the world has been even worse.  Tens of thousands have died in the conflict between drug cartels and police –many of whom were inno

Beam Me Back, Scotty: How Young Liberians Are Coming Home

This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz

Scott Fellow Idella Cooper 2nd from right

When in Liberia last February, we kept running into dynamic young Liberians with American accents in high-powered jobs. They also seemed to have something else in common. Idella Cooper, the newly-appointed Deputy Justice Minister, had returned to her home country first as a Scott Fellow. Gyude Moore, President Sirleaf’s deputy chief of staff and head of the President’s special Program Delivery Unit, is a Georgetown grad and former Scott Fellow. The Scott Fellows, literally, seemed to be everywhere.

A Challenge for Jim Yong Kim, New President of the World Bank—What to Do in Fragile States?

This post is joint with Ross Thuotte

Today, the World Bank announced that Jim Yong Kim will be the institution’s next president. As the dust settles from the leadership selection debate, the focus will necessarily shift to the issues that confront Kim and the world’s leading development institution. One of the most difficult and important questions is: how can the bank more effectively engage in fragile and conflict-affected countries?