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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.

 

Five Winning Ideas in Finance and Development Marketplace

Kudos to AFD, the Gates Foundation, and the World Bank for organizing an outstanding Marketplace on Innovative Financial Solutions for Development last week in Paris. The organizers managed to bring together a lot of people with good ideas, and created an energized atmosphere worthy of the ‘marketplace’ idea.

Here is a round-up of the five winners of the contest, and some other ideas that stuck out:

Large-scale finance

The UN Goes to Hollywood—But Is It Ready for a Close-Up?

This is a joint post with Lauren Young.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been getting negative press about the relief efforts after the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile. Perhaps worst is a scathing report from Refugees International accusing the UN of ineffectual leadership, missing coordination, and weak communication while an estimated 1.2 million Haitians remain displaced. Though much of the report consists of standard blandishments (the authors spent just 10 days in-country), there is indeed evidence of serious negligence. To give just one example: the organization initially planned on allowing itself two and a half months—well into the rainy season—to distribute plastic sheeting to protect the displaced. It took a personal intervention from a senior official to get this activity moved up.