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.

 

Economic Reform and Growth in Middle East: Obama on the EBRD and Other Smart Proposals

This is a joint post with Lawrence MacDonald.

Even an avid consumer of the news and commentary on Obama’s speech on the Middle East yesterday could easily miss his proposals for supporting job-creating economic growth and development in the region. But long after we have forgotten the media bluster over a possible shift (or not!) in U.S. policy towards Israel and Palestine, the president’s seemingly modest suggestions on development just might be making a difference.

The one that intrigues me most involves putting the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to work in the Middle East and North Africa.

Nicholas Kristof and Aid

I am a big admirer of Nick Kristof, of the passion and concern that animate his books and columns, and of the must-do-can-do spirit that they embody. But sometimes his soft heart gets ahead of the hard head, leading to misleading and intellectually insupportable advocacy of foreign aid. A good example is today’s column.

Youth in the Middle East: Nowhere to Go but the Street

The firestorm of events across the Middle East over the past few days can't be explained by long-term development factors: the link between politics and economic development (or lack thereof) is complex in the extreme.  Still, the staggering lack of opportunities for young people, especially young entrepreneurs without political connections, is clearly an important part of the mix.

Endorsing the No-Exit Strategy in Pakistan, and Patience on the Hill

This is a joint post with Wren Elhai.

Vice-President Joe Biden is way ahead of the U.S. foreign policy community on the basics of what the United States can do in Pakistan. Let’s review two things he said during his recent visit to Islamabad, speaking to reporters from the perspective of someone who, during his time in the Senate, helped develop and championed the 5-year, $7.5 billion aid package now called Kerry-Lugar-Berman. First:

“The one last misconception I'd like to address is there are those who point to America’s history in this region and claim that eventually we will abandon Pakistan . . .we have learned from the past that . . . the only productive way forward is a long-term enduring partnership.”

Ten Zero-Cost Ideas for Development Progress in 2011

A new year calls for a development policy wish list.  My wish list is about what the rich and powerful global actors– mostly but not solely in the United States – can do to improve lives among the poor and vulnerable around the world in the coming year.