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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.

 

Spain, the G-20, and the Need for Reform of Global Governance Systems

The Spanish press reports that Spain's prime minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, has been officially invited to the G-20 summit in London in April as well as the preparatory meeting in Berlin. Spain was invited by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and German Chancellor Angela Merkel (El Mundo (Spain)/Factiva). The Spanish government has campaigned vigorously to be included in the G-20, despite the fact the European Union is already represented.

Another Task Force on Development: Member Nancy Birdsall Reflects on What More and What Next

Last week the German Marshall Fund released the report of a Transatlantic Task Force on Development. Formed in spring of 2008, the Task Force was led by former U.S. Congressman Jim Kolbe and Swedish Minister for International Development Gunilla Carlsson. Its purpose was to formulate a common U.S.-Europe development agenda, as a basis for renewed transatlantic cooperation in tackling global challenges. I was one of 22 European and American task force members.

CGD's 2009 State of the Union BINGO!

Party On!President Barack Obama’s first address to a joint session of Congress on Feb. 24 isn’t officially a State of the Union Address, since he has just recently taken office. But it will look and sound exactly like a State of the Union, and that can mean only one thing: time for CGD’s ever popular State of the Union (SOTU) BINGO!

How Will We Cope with Downside of Global Hyper-Connectivity?

By providing fiscal stimulus and strengthening financial sector regulation, of course. But that may not be enough. Will the U.S. and the Europeans also revisit the idea of a global social contract -- to protect millions of people losing their jobs in developing countries? In a speech I delivered to the Dutch Scientific Council in December, I argued that

(Mostly) Good News on Trade Front in Stimulus Compromise

Although we still do not have all the details, CQ Politics is reporting that most of last week's compromise on Trade Adjustment Assistance made it back into the stimulus bill. It had been pulled from the Senate version because of demands from Senator Kyl (R-AZ) that TAA reform be linked to a date certain for voting on the free trade agreement with Colombia.

The World Bank's Mess in Albania

This is joint posting with Owen McCarthy
As word leaks out that the World Bank effectively funded the demolition of homes of the very poor residents of a small village, Jale, in Albania, and then refused to speak about it for more than a year, one can only hope that the Bank will spend as much time thinking through what went wrong as it will doing damage control. The Project Appraisal Document (otherwise known as the PAD) for the Albania Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Clean-Up Project stated that the Albanian government and the Bank had reached an agreement that no demolitions would take place until "procedures and criteria" were in place to assist affected citizens; in fact no such agreement existed. The Bank's Board approved the project.

Davos Dispatch #5

For development aficionados, here are three notes and quotes worth remembering. My last (and late) dispatch will be posted tomorrow, and will outline my main frustration at Davos this year.

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