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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.

 

Where Is Life Better…?

Last week, we sat down with Lawrence to record a Wonkcast on our new working paper The Median is the Message: A Good-Enough Measure of Material Well-Being and Shared Development Progress. In the paper, we argue that survey-based median household consumption expenditure (or income) per capita should be incorporated into standard development indicators, as a simple, robust, and durable indicator of typical individual material well-being in a country.

Five Ways to Breathe New Life into the G-20 Infrastructure Agenda

The Australians are using their G-20 presidency to make a fresh start with the group’s infrastructure agenda, launching a new “Infrastructure and Investment” working group this week in Mexico City.

And not a moment too soon. A recent CGD study group Scott chaired concluded that this highly compelling agenda risks becoming a stale one absent some new approaches.

Grants for Fresh Approaches to Development Reporting

As a recovering foreign correspondent who once benefitted greatly from a mid-career journalism fellowship at the University of Michigan, I have a soft spot for funders who provide opportunities for hard-working hacks to try new approaches to difficult topics. So I was delighted to learn that the European Journalism Center is offering grants for  innovations in reporting on development. Here’s the announcement:  

Have Hammer, Looking for Nails

The UK Secretary of State for International Development has made a big speech emphasising economic growth. That's good, but it is a shame that it is all about how DFID will use its aid budget, and makes no mention of all the other things that Britain can do to improve the prospects for growth and prosperity in the developing world.

A Solution for the Inequality Politics of Post-2015?

Two main objections have been raised (by the High Level Panel on Post-2015, for example) to including an income inequality target in the post-2015 framework. One is technical, namely the claim that there isn’t a good enough measure of inequality. I don’t take this very seriously. Is this one area of measurement too complex? 

Why Don't African Firms Create More Jobs?

Many countries in Africa suffer high rates of under-employment or low rates of productive employment; many also anticipate large numbers of people entering the workforce in the near future. It is estimated that the working age population will rise to almost 800 million in 2030, up from the current number of 466 million.  In our new paper , we ask the question— are African firms employing fewer people than firms located in other parts of the world? And if so, why? 

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