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.

 

High Marks for the Paris Climate Agreement

The climate agreement from Paris is far-reaching in its implications. The countries of the world have just stated their collective aim for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak as soon as possible, decline rapidly, and reach near-zero in the second half of the century. Two hundred governments have just sent a powerful signal that the future they want is low-carbon: energy without fossil fuels; agriculture without deforestation.

Violence and Paranoia in the US–Mexico Borderlands

It is a major concern often heard from US border residents: how much might increasing drug cartel violence in Mexico “spill over” into the United States? It’s certainly true that illicit markets—in drugs, guns and people—have long flourished across the 2,000 mile frontier, and pose policy concerns for both countries. To date, the major strategy to tackle this problem has been a law enforcement approach sponsored by the United States. Is this the right approach?

My Holiday Giving Guide

For the reader in a hurry, this gift-giving guide comes in two parts: one for those with $45 billion to spend and one for those of slightly more modest means. Please feel free to skip to the part which is more applicable to your budget for presents.

SDGs Ready To Go? Far From It.

After almost four years and much fanfare, 193 nations agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their associated 169 targets at last September’s UN Summit. You’d probably then assume that we’re all set to start the SDG agenda on January 1, 2016. Not quite so fast. Arguably the most important part of the agenda – the indicators that will determine what we actually measure and how we judge progress – has yet to be decided.

Using “Random” Right: New Insights from IDinsight Team

The unfolding of “thesis, antithesis, synthesis” about the use of randomized control trials (RCTs) as a tool in improving development policies and practices has reached the “synthesis” stage.  A new paper in the 3ie working paper series “Evaluations with Impact” by Shah, Wang, Fraker and Gastfriend (hereafter IDinsight team and, full disclosure, three of which were students of mine) (2015) does an excellent job both in laying out the debate and in articulating a newly emerging conv

How the United States Can Lead on Global Goods and Bads

Climate change is one of many global problems that pose risks to well-being for everybody in the world – and bigger, scarier, and harder to manage risks for poor people in poor countries.  As with non-state terrorism, pandemic diseases, cybercrime, war refugees and microbial resistance to antibiotics, no one country, rich or poor, wants to act alone in dealing with these “global public goods” (in this case bads) since other countries will free-ride on its efforts. Dealing with these development challenges requires America’s leadership.

The WTO Turns 20, But Will It Make It to 30?

The recently agreed upon but not yet signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which will cover 12 countries and 40 percent of global GDP, is certain to loom large as the World Trade Organization (WTO) celebrates its 20th anniversary in Nairobi next week. For US trade negotiators, conclusion of the TPP deal means they can turn their attention to talks with the European Union on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.

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