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.

 

Beneficial Openness: Is More Transparency Always Better?

Financial transparency has been promoted as a key solution to improving governance and accountability. Some approaches are targeted such as open contracting (focused on public procurement), and regulations requiring extractive industry companies to ‘publish what they pay.’ Other proposals cast a much broader net such as calls for company owners to be listed on registers of beneficial ownership and mandatory publication of ‘country-by-country’ reports by all multinational corporations.

Criminal Finances: Should the UK Be Imposing Public Registers of Beneficial Ownership on Its Ex-Colonies?

A new Criminal Finances Bill is making its way through the UK House of Commons which aims to make it harder for criminals and kleptocrats to use the UK financial system to launder ill-gotten gains, while minimising the burden on legitimate businesses and individuals. The bill gives expanded powers to law enforcement agencies and makes banks and other businesses liable for prosecution if they fail to prevent facilitation of tax evasion. It also introduces ‘Unexplained Wealth Orders’ (UWOs). These would allow the authorities to demand explanations about any assets that appear suspicious. These measures should have both domestic and international benefits in tackling illicit financial flows.

Time for a Global Gender Equality Partnership

This year’s Open Government Partnership (OGP) summit just wrapped up in Paris, and it looks to have been a great success. The OGP is a partnership of countries that make voluntary but concrete commitments to promote transparency and empower citizens, with the oversight of a steering committee that includes government and civil society representatives. It is time to replicate the model—and a focus on gender equality would be a great place to start.

How Can Digital Payments Strengthen State Capacity? Four Areas with High Potential

These recent developments in identification, combined with rising mobile phone ownership, broadening Internet access, and innovative payment delivery mechanisms, can be harnessed to transform the way states implement poverty-reduction programs and improve the lives of their citizens. Digital payments promise faster, more transparent, and lower-cost delivery for existing cash-based government transfers, and can also transform the way governments deliver subsidies. In a new background paper, Dan Radcliffe reviews the evidence on the gains from digital payments and pinpoints four ways in which they can improve development outcomes.

Making Gender Data Count: Can IATI Help?

CGD recently co-hosted a workshop with Data2Xthe Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), and Development Gateway on the potential of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) to comprehensively track aid flows and outcomes. Specifically, the discussion explored how IATI can be used to improve the availability of gender data and ensure that women and girls benefit equally from development investments. A full summary note of the workshop can be found here—and in short form, here’s what we learned from the discussion.

How to Help Haiti in the Aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

In Haiti, already the poorest country in the western hemisphere, Hurricane Matthew’s devastation is still being calculated. We know that hundreds of people have died, and the damage to Haiti’s already-fragile infrastructure is immense. So what can people in rich countries do to help? Based on the latest research on humanitarian disaster relief and on the lessons learned in the wake of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, here are some do’s and some don’ts for policymakers and individuals.

Trade Policy under Siege

A key argument for trade liberalization is that benefits are generally large enough to compensate the losers and leave no one worse off. In practice, compensation rarely occurs. So part of what is happening is the chickens are coming home to roost for policymakers, especially in the United States, who paid too little heed to the losers from trade. But there is more to the opposition to trade agreements, especially in Europe where the safety nets and adjustment programs are more robust.

Pages

Tags