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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.

 

What Comes after the Tea Party?

The Tea Party movement in the United States had a big impact on this year’s mid-term election. The energy it channeled can be seen as a pendulum shift from the progressive winds that were blowing in 2008. So what comes next?

Should Natural Disaster Victims Be Offered Safe Haven and Opportunity Abroad?

(Kaci Farrell contributed to this post and preparations for the roundtable)

Last week, I hosted a roundtable here at CGD to discuss how the United States and other rich countries might better provide safe haven and opportunity to potential migrants from developing countries that are in acute need—particularly the victims of natural disasters.

This question has been at the forefront of my mind since the earthquake ravaged Haiti on January 12.

When Rigorous Impact Evaluation Is Not a Luxury: Scrutinizing the Millennium Villages

A version of this blog also appeared on the Huffington Post.

Back in 2004 a major new development project started in Bar-Sauri, Kenya. This Millennium Village Project (MVP) seeks to break individual village clusters free from poverty with an intense, combined aid package for agriculture, education, health, and infrastructure. The United Nations and Columbia University began the pilot phase in Bar-Sauri and have extended it to numerous village clusters in nine other countries. They hope to scale up the approach across much of Africa.

But wait: Before we consider blanketing a continent with any aid intervention, we have to know whether or not it works. For example, we have to know if different things have happened in Bar-Sauri than have happened in nearby Uranga, which was not touched by the project. And we have to know if those differences will last. This matters because aid money is scarce, and the tens of millions slated for the MVP are tens of millions that won’t be spent on other efforts.

Here I discuss a new research paper that I wrote with Gabriel Demombynes of the World Bank.

Are the MDGs Useful for Africa?

Good question as the world prepares for the September summit to assess progress. But this is a slightly odd debate here at The Africa Report. The UN Millennium Promise’s Charles Abugre Akelyira seems to think the MDGs are a rejection of economic policy reform:

Is Your Citizenship Worth $1 Million? An Alternative to Obama’s Proposal on Immigration

President Obama spoke yesterday on overhauling U.S. immigration.  He went straight to the thorniest issue, what to do about the millions of unauthorized migrants already here. Obama wants a third path between the extremes of blanket amnesty and mass deportation.

That compromise approach, he goes on to sketch, would be a combination of sending troops to the border, cracking down on employers, and obliging unauthorized immigrants to:

Migration Is a Spectacularly Good Investment for Most: New Study from Bangladesh

Do the costs of international migration outweigh its benefits for the poor?  Many people I talk with suspect that migration should be regulated on development grounds—because it might bring large social costs, as well as private costs that the migrant is too poorly informed to account for.

A good first step is to measure the private benefits, because that gives us an idea of how large those other costs would have to be in order for international migration to be a net harm.

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