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.

 

Two girls do homework outside a school in Bamako, Mali. Photo from Adobe Stock.

For Better Learning, Africa Needs Better Data

Which African country is making the most progress in teaching kids to read by the time they reach third grade? Which language-of-instruction policies are most effective in early literacy teaching? Which country is getting the most children to complete primary school equipped with basic literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking skills? The answers? We don’t know because there is no way to know. Comparable data on learning outcomes over the past 10 years in sub-Saharan Africa simply does not exist. 

Construction cranes around a building going up

The Myth of Chinese Exceptionalism in Africa

Chinese firms are a critical, rising force in African economies, yet many of us balk at the hype and hysteria about Chinese businesses in Africa. Using new data, a report finds that there's nothing unique about the way Chinese firms operate in Africa.

A woman working with a laptop and notebook. Adobe Stock.

To Build Stronger Research Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa, We Need Your Help

The ideas that will lead to sustained, transformative change in Africa must and will come from Africans in Africa. Central to this is the building of Africa-led, Africa-based institutions capable of producing research that responds to local needs. Yet, despite decades of global investment targeted at building capacity in African institutions, sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) continues to lag behind all other global regions on key research metrics, including overall institutional rating, research outputs, and trained personnel.

Aisha Mo’hd Kazaure is the prinicpal of a new midwifery school in Jigawa State in northern Nigeria. With support from UK aid and the local government, she’s set up the state’s very first midwifery programme.

Religion and Widowhood in Nigeria

In Africa, where widowhood and divorce are common and the rights of women are mostly conditional on marriage, changes in marital status are likely to influence the success of policies aimed at empowering women. 

Cape Town at morning rush hour

Anarchy Undelivered

Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.  

 

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