Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

Africa on K Street: Lobbying Is Not Restricted to the Developed World

This is a joint post with Julie Walz.

The aid community is well-accustomed to pushing for transparency in foreign aid transactions. But are we missing another key flow of money?

A recent article by Geoffrey York, African bureau chief for the Globe and Mail, described a contract signed a few years ago by the Government of Rwanda with Racepoint Group, which was tasked with doing an image make-over for the Rwandan government for a monthly fee of over $50,000. The rationale was that public perceptions of Rwanda were dominated by the horrific genocide that occured in the 1990s, along with accounts of human rights abuses and media censorship. The contract with Racepoint reportedly aimed to increase the number of stories of Rwanda’s successes and block criticism of the government and its alleged human rights abuses. The effort landed more than 100 positive articles per month in newspapers from the New York Times to BBC, increased discussions of travel to Rwanda by 183%, and decreased discussion of the genocide by 11%, according to Racepoint.

2012 SOTU: Bingo Win, Development Defeat

Expectations for a global development focus in President Obama’s State of the Union address were low. Still, more than 130 policy wonks gathered at the Commissary watering hole and eatery in Logan Circle to play CGD State of the Union bingo and many were pleasantly surprised that they could mark off a number of development-related words on their bingo cards.

Fast or "Farce"? Whither India's Anti-Corruption Movement?

When I last blogged about India's recent anti-corruption groundswell, a loose coalition of NGOs and citizens led by social activist Anna Hazare had just scored a crucial victory in the ongoing struggle to curb corruption in the world’s largest democracy.  For months Anna's India Against Corruption movement (dubbed “Team Anna” by the press) had engaged in agitations meant to pressure the government of India in

The Perfect Game of (State of the Union) BINGO

This is a joint post with Christopher Molitoris.

On Tuesday, January 24, President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address to Congress, the American public, and global audiences seeking to better understand the domestic and foreign policy priorities for the United States in 2012. With a presidential election year in full swing and a still-uncertain U.S. economic recovery, it’s unlikely global development will get much mention in the president’s address. But that won’t stop us at CGD from tuning in to assess the president’s remarks using our state-of-the art policy proclamation evaluation instrument: CGD State of the Union Bingo.

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Download CGD’s SOTU Bingo cards

Play Online with Interactive Bingo Cards

RSVP for the D.C. Event

Together with CGD friends and colleagues, we’ll track in real-time how the president measures up to his commitment to development by listening for the key development-relevant words listed on our bingo cards. Will he mention his new pledge to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment? Pakistan? Climate? Trade?

India’s Summer of Scams Reaches a Climax

Picture this: an Indian social activist from humble origins, dressed in homespun and espousing the virtues of non-violent civil disobedience, takes on his country’s corrupt overlords by launching an indefinite hunger strike to bring the government to its knees.  Think you’ve seen this movie before?  Think again.  This time around, the year is 2011 and the man in question is 74 year-old Anna Hazare, a Gandhian social activist who is responsible for taking the anti-corruption fight to the Indian government’s doorstep with his leadershi

Corruption Threatens to Undermine Climate Action - Transparency International

The latest Global Corruption Report from Transparency International (TI), launched May 5 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, tackles corruption and climate change. The message is stark: without better governance, transferring funds to developing countries to combat climate change could go awry. This would mean even less progress cutting the emissions of planet-heating gases, a squandering of scarce climate funds, and an intensified risk of dangerous, runaway climate change.

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