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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.

 

The Calm after the Storm: Why the United States Should Recommit to the Enhanced Partnership with Pakistan Act

The Atlantic Council’s recent event on US foreign assistance to Pakistan kicked off a new round of discussion about US-Pakistan relations, which should gain momentum as we approach the Strategic Dialogue expected later this year.  Anchored in the context of the country’s recent elections and prospects for regional stability, the discussion included remarks b

The Parable of the Visiting Impact Evaluation Expert

Visitans Perito works at the World Bank as an education specialist, and has just set off on a two week mission to the country of Peripheria, a poor, land-locked former Soviet Republic in Central Asia, about which he knows very little, except that everyone seems to agree it has a totally dysfunctional public school system.

Close but No Cigar: Paying for Performance Is Not Necessarily COD Aid

When we make presentations on COD AIDat development agencies, we are frequently told: “Oh, we’re already doing that.” The more we investigate, however, the fewer cases we find where agencies are really disbursing funds against independently verified outcomes in a hands-off fashion. We’re tempted to say “close but no cigar.”

Aid to Pakistan by the Numbers

Tomorrow (September 10th), my colleague Nancy Birdsall and I will attend an event about “Pakistan Elections and Regional Stability: How Foreign Assistance Can Help”.  There are two keynote speakers and Nancy will be speaking on the panel, which should generate a great discussion about Pakistan’s recent civilian election, US interests in the country, and the significant flows of foreign assistance the US government has authorized for economic and military assistance.    We hope it sparks renewed interest in formalizing a strategic dialogue on development, a focused discussion about how the United States and Pakistan can best work together to address Pakistan’s daunting development challenges.

Norms vs. Laws: What About Syria?

International norms matter. Citizens of the more than 80 nations where polls have been conducted do, think, and act taking into account global realities and norms. Most could be called “global citizens”, not in opposition to, but along with their self-identity as citizens of their own country. 

Organize the World Bank Like a University, Not a Consulting Firm

This is a joint post with Alan Gelb.

In response to our August 5 blog criticizing the World Bank’s current reorganization plans, a few readers wrote to ask us if we could come up with a better idea. This is a daunting challenge. We’ve heard that the Bank has spent millions over more than a year to generate more than 40 ideas about how to tweak the Bank’s organization and has intensively discussed three overarching ideas, for none of which we have actually seen a background paper – or even a PowerPoint.  So with brains unfettered by facts, uncluttered by concept papers, bereft of briefings and emboldened by ignorance, here goes…

Counter-Cyclical Macroprudential Regulations: What India and Others Could Learn from a Few Latin American Countries

It’s been a tough few months for emerging-market currencies. The top slider, India’s rupee, has fallen 20 percent against the US dollar. The Indonesian rupiah and the Brazilian real have fallen about 15 percent; Turkey’s lira is down about 10. As the currencies fall, so do the countries’ international reserves, creating what’s known in non-technical terms as a really bad situation.

Podcasts for Development

This piece was originally posted on Owen Barder's blog, Owen Abroad.

The mainstream broadcast media do not always do a good job of covering international development issues. The constraints of the medium mean that they have to pitch much of their content to a broad audience. Poverty porn sells better than nuanced analysis.  One reason I like podcasts is that they are not constrained in the same way as the media. They can be targeted at niche audiences out in the long tail of the distribution. There is a small group of people with an appetite for a more long-form analysis of development which mainstream media are normally not able to serve (though it amazes me that the BBC World Service does not have room anywhere in its schedule for a hour-long programme devoted to development.)

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