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.


Gates Foundation Explores Securitizing Aid

Yes that’s right. Securitizing is a bad word nowadays, but in fact it’s a great idea that I’ve written about -- as a wishful dream not a possible Gates-sponsored reality. Yet here it is in a recent Economist article: “Or the foundation might provide insurance against the non-payment of aid promised by a donor, so that a government will know that, one way or another, the money will come.”

Wanted Now: A Pragmatic and Visionary Leader for the Improved UN Entity for Women

This is a joint post with Geeta Rao Gupta.

In all of last week’s hoopla in NYC with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and the Clinton Global Initiative in full swing, news about an improved, composite U.N. entity for women (still to be formally named) went under the radar. The idea for consolidating several U.N. agencies into one has been in the works for about three years, but was finally adopted just two weeks ago. The resolution merely approves the creation of the entity and states that the Secretary General should announce the final plan for the structure and mission of the agency at next year’s UNGA. Now that’s classic UN style—to take one entire year to figure out what has already been figured out! It’s time for urgent and quick next steps, which if implemented smartly (not just politically) can make all the difference.

The IMF beyond Istanbul

This post originally appeared in the Business Standard.

Wanted: An Asian Managing Director and new approaches to capital flows.

The IMF will strike a triumphalist tone at its forthcoming annual meetings in Istanbul. Some of this will be warranted because the IMF’s record in responding to the global financial crisis was commendable, even if its record leading up to it was less stellar (see for more details).

CGD Storms the Steel City

Ben Edwards in PittsburghAs part of an ongoing effort to persuade the leaders of the G-20 countries to better address the needs of poor countries in their Summit, CGD president Nancy Birdsall visited Pittsburgh yesterday with a small band of CGDers in tow, myself included.

Selling Some IMF Gold: A Good Idea Finally Happening

In 2002, John Williamson and I proposed that the gold at the IMF be used to deal with global public good (bad) of unsustainable debt of poor countries – and in particular to allow the IMF to finance suspension of debt service to the IMF and the multilateral development banks following an external shock.


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