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.

 

How to Spend Climate Finance (If We Had It)

Imagine for a moment a world in which rich countries followed through on their rather vague promise at the 2009 climate conference in Copenhagen to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and cope with climate change. How should that money be spent?

What (Some of) You Can Do About the US Debt-Limit Crisis

Hey international community, so you’re feeling helpless as you watch the debt limit crisis unfold in Washington? Here’s something you can do about it.

With the world’s economic policymakers in Washington this week for the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF, there is no shortage of commentary from foreign officials about the dire impact of a US government debt default (see here, here, and here), including the harm already done in the form of spikes in borrowing costs for their governments.

 

Signs of Hope for Reforming Energy, Ag Subsidies?

Rising commodity prices and tight government budgets are adding to pressures to reduce subsidies for energy and agriculture in many countries. Two new reports, including my recent paper on agricultural and biofuel subsidies, provide fodder for this debate by documenting the extent of subsidies in these sectors and analyzing their negative effects, particularly for developing countries and the poor.

From the Mountains to the Forests

On my summer vacation in Montana this year, I made my much-anticipated first trip to Glacier National Park.  The scenery was indeed stunning, but the famed glaciers less so.  A hike up to the Grinnell Glacier revealed a weeping patch of snow and ice, greatly diminished from the formidable structure depicted in the century-old photos in the lodge.  According to the park ranger, all of the glaciers in the park may be completely gone by 2030.

7 Questions About Low-Cost Private Schools in India That We Can Finally Answer

Low-cost private schools are popping up rapidly in many parts of the developing world, especially India where even in rural areas 28% of students attend private schools.  Should governments be supporting these schools as a cheap way to boost learning for the poor?  Or is privatization reducing equity and undermining public institutions?   A year ago I participated in a somewhat heated online debate on this topic, see here and here.

Extreme Poverty Is Too Extreme

The momentum seems to be building for a goal to “eradicate poverty by 2030.”   Reducing poverty is a noble goal, one to which I fully subscribe.  But the “eradicate poverty” campaign is actually only focused on “extreme” poverty which is an absurdly low and completely arbitrary definition of the poverty.

We Read the New World Bank Group Strategy, So You Don't Have To

This is a joint post with Mead Over

The new World Bank Group Strategy posted this week for discussion by the Development Committee, the ministerial-level forum that oversees the World Bank and the IMF, provides a solid analytical foundation for what has so far been a messy and disjointed re-organization effort. The release of the paper coincided with a speech by bank president Jim Kim that covered much of the same ground, but the strategy paper digs deeper.  For those of us who believe that the World Bank has a crucial role to play in addressing the problems of the 21st Century, there is much to applaud.

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