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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.

 

Economic Reform and Growth in Middle East: Obama on the EBRD and Other Smart Proposals

This is a joint post with Lawrence MacDonald.

Even an avid consumer of the news and commentary on Obama’s speech on the Middle East yesterday could easily miss his proposals for supporting job-creating economic growth and development in the region. But long after we have forgotten the media bluster over a possible shift (or not!) in U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine, the president’s seemingly modest suggestions on development just might be making a difference.

The one that intrigues me most involves putting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to work in the Middle East and North Africa.

What WOULD It Take for the US and Europe to Give Up Control of World Bank and IMF Leadership?

This is a joint post with David Roodman.

The Dominique Strauss-Kahn debacle has unexpectedly forced the first leadership turnover at a Bretton Woods institution since the global financial crisis—the first leadership transition in what we might call the G-20 world. The tacit deal that has long put an American atop the World Bank and a European in charge of the IMF, rooted in the geopolitics of the 1940s, looks more archaic than ever. That’s why this time around, the calls have grown even louder to make the leadership selection process of the World Bank and IMF open, transparent, and meritocratic. Owen Barder suggests on his widely read blog that transparency and merit are key to maintain the reputation and relevancy of these international institutions, and Nancy Birdsall agrees that the decision needs to be based on merit, not nationality. The Financial Times and others news media say that it is time for everyone to acknowledge that we are in the 21st century with several emerging powers that must have a larger role in the Bank, the Fund and other multilateral organizations. One of us (Vij) has made this argument too, constructing a model of global governance that factors in GDP and population as of 2011, not 1941.

United States Should Boost Trade with Poorest Countries

The United States could help developing countries by opening its trade with poorest countries.

WASHINGTON — With a complex and difficult situation grinding on in Libya, the uprising in Syria, war in Afghanistan and fresh uncertainty about U.S. assistance to Pakistan, many Americans feel beleaguered about international involvement.

At the same time, they recognize that the U.S. cannot disengage from a globalized world. If only there were a simple, low-cost way for the United States to intervene for good in the world.

Can the World Bank Pay for Results or Will Critics Make It Impose Conditions?

Recently my colleague Alan Gelb and I attended a consultation at the World Bank’s annual meeting of its proposed “Program-for-Results” (P4R) policy. This is a remarkable step for the World Bank – the first time in 30 years that it is proposing a significantly new lending instrument. For now, the Bank can disburse funds to clients for expenditures on inputs (investment loans) or when those clients have enacted policies (policy loans).

The New Education Crisis

Last year, the Center for Global Development convened a roundtable of education experts to discuss global education policy, including what is hindering progress and where the focus of current efforts should be. The roundtable was led by former CGD Visiting Fellow Desmond Bermingham, who asked attendees to reflect on his essay Reviving the Global Education Compact and assess how the development community is doing on global education reform.

Guest Post: Five Reasons I Am a Fan of Cash on Delivery, and Five Ways to Make It Sharper

Rakesh Rajani, is founder and head of Twaweza, an initiative that promotes transparency and accountability in Tanzania and other countries in East Africa. This post is based upon comments he made in response to Nancy Birdsall's presentation (see blog post and slides) at the UK Department for International Development on March 9, 2011.

Here are five reasons why I am a fan of Cash on Delivery (COD) Aid:

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