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.

 

A server in a datacenter. Photo from Adobe Stock

Governance and Statistics Are Both Playing Catch Up in the Global Digital Economy

Information and communication technologies have been rewiring the global economy for more than a quarter of a century. However more is known about tangible goods than about the growing intangible flows between nations. Multinationals have long allocated their financial transactions, leases, and intellectual property across economies based on a number of considerations, including to reduce their tax payments. These internal transfers are quite opaque. And two newer phenomena related to the digitalisation of economic activity are making it particularly difficult to analyse the modern global economy: contract manufacturing and cloud computing.

A close-up of a hand holding a phone. From Wikimedia Commons, photo by Mpande

More than the Sum of their Parts: How an ID, a Phone, and a Bank Account Can Help Achieve the SDGs

As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week, global leaders will be taking stock of their countries’ progress towards the SDGs and mapping out where they still have to go. Our research has shown that, together, financial accounts, ID, and mobile phones can facilitate a wide variety of cross-cutting programs to meet the SDGs, which can be cost-effective at scale.

Chart showing survey respondents responses to different issues in the PDS reform in Krishna

Technology and State Capacity: Lessons from “Digital Krishna”

India is now recognized as a leader in digital government service delivery, enabled by the Aadhaar unique identification platform which has registered the equivalent of almost 15 percent of the world’s population. Many service delivery programs have been deployed at the state level, providing a rich comparative context. Some states have struggled to move towards effective and inclusive digitized programs while others have seemingly achieved a sophistication that is on par with, or surpasses, many developed countries’ capacities.

Screenshot of the analytics dashboard for Ukraine's Prozorro

Measuring the Impact of Open Contracting

In a new CGD working paper, we try to measure the impact of one of the most significant open contracting reforms worldwide, which took place in Ukraine in the last few years. Since 2015, the country has overhauled its procurement system, including the introduction of an e-procurement platform called ProZorro.

Stock photo of a woman working on a tablet computer

Putting “Account” at the Center of “Accountability”: Why ICT Won’t Improve Education Systems (and Beyond), and What Will

If you work in or on international development, the last time you heard, saw, thought, or said the word “accountability” was probably this week—maybe even today. Lant Pritchett and I argue in our new paper that accountability is, indeed, central to high-performing governance and welfare-enhancing service provision (education, health, etc.) systems.

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