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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.

 

An image of an African woman making a financial transaction on her phone.

Governments Looking to Increase Women’s Economic Empowerment Might Want to Look in the Mirror

Government leaders worldwide are trumpeting the need for greater equality in the workplace. That’s the correct thing to do on the grounds of both rights and efficiency, but those leaders might want to start by looking within their own organizations. Today we publish a new policy paper that studies the choices governments have made in their own hiring and compensation decisions.

An image of a woman working on her laptop at a desk.

Off to a Good Start: How the Biden-Harris Administration Can Strengthen DFC’s 2X Initiative

In March, the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) held its first board meeting of the Biden-Harris administration. At that meeting board members voted to approve just one project—a $300 million loan to expand a Brazilian bank’s lending portfolio to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The loan is notably focused on increasing lending to women borrowers, as well as those in underdeveloped regions of the country, making the new administration’s first board-approved DFC investment a 2X Initiative project—a promising starting point.

A graphic of an open lock surrounding the earth

The Way We Access Research Isn’t Working for Development. We Need to Fix It.

Research findings are most impactful when considered a global public good, accessible by anyone, and, for publicly funded research, there is no reason why this should not be the case. The current research publishing system—dominated by a number of large for-profit publishers—is expensive and ineffective at its main goal: disseminating the findings of research to all who need them. While the myriad problems of research publishing in high-income countries are often overcome by simply paying up, this option may not be available to many in low- and middle-income countries.

An image of two girls with masks on going over their schoolwork.

From Mexico City to Paris: Generation Equality Needs Evidence-Based Commitments

Women’s History Month came to a close last week with the first virtual convening of the Generation Equality Forum in Mexico City. Originally scheduled for 2020, the Forum commemorates the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, while bringing urgent attention to global leaders falling short of their stated objectives to achieve gender equality. Over the course of the three-day session, Forum participants heard from leaders of six Action Coalitions, each of which presented a blueprint of actions that coalition members will take to achieve their stated goals by 2026. Here we examine these newly announced goals, assess their scope and scale of ambition, and propose some next steps.

A crop of the cover of Your World, Better by Charles Kenny

Your World, Better?

The last eighteen months have shattered any pretense that global development can be taken as given. As ‘impatient optimist’ Bill Gates declared “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only stopped progress — it's pushed it backwards.” Beyond health, the COVID-19 crisis increased global poverty as well as national level inequality and cut into education.

A close up of a woman's hands with a ring on. She is using a sewing machine to sew a face mask

Are Multilateral Development Banks Doing Enough to Close the COVID Gender Gap?

The evidence to date suggests that the pandemic and resulting global recession have exacerbated pre-existing gender inequalities in economic standing and broader well-being in low- and middle-income countries. Now, the question is: are donors like the World Bank and other regional development banks doing enough to close the gender gaps exacerbated by the pandemic?

An image of a patient receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from a doctor.

A New IMF Pandemic Window Could Provide $30 Billion to Finance Vaccines for Developing Countries

While those lucky enough to live in the United States or Europe fret about the extra weeks before their vaccine jab is scheduled, 6 billion people in developing countries will need to wait months, if not years. COVID-19 vaccine production lags far behind demand, and one reason why developing countries find themselves at the back of the queue is that they were unable collectively to make the firm financial offers for advance purchases when these vaccines were still in the making.

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