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.

 

Strange Bedfellows: The Politics of Penurious Poverty Lines (Part II)

The head of USAID claims that “political momentum” is building to make extreme poverty “central” to the development agenda.  The question is: How does one build political momentum for a global development agenda that excludes 5 billion people and the middle class of (nearly) every large developing country?

Dream Come True: CGD Forest Work in the NYT

It was our dream come true: our CGD initiative – Tropical Forests for Climate and Development  – getting mentioned on the front page of the New York Times, albeit the angle wasn’t quite what we had in mind.  We prefer to focus on the substance.  After all, CGD has been working on Financing Forest Conservation to Combat Global Warming since before the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, and we’re excited about our research that’s currently underway.

A Development Agenda without Developing Countries? The Politics of Penurious Poverty Lines (Part I)

“Dollar a day” poverty morphed from a technical curiosity that interests at most a few dozen technocrats to the first of the Millennium Development Goals. It is now one of only two corporate goals of the World Bank (in spite of its obvious inconsistency with the World Bank’s own Articles of Agreement).  And , according to a recent (August 18, 2014) missive from Rajiv Shah, the head of USAID “political momentum” is “build[ing] to make the end of extreme poverty central to the post-2015 Development Agenda.”

12 Principles for Payment by Results (PbR) in the Real World

Development agencies are increasingly interested in making aid more transparent, stakeholder-led, and effective by expanding the use of payment by results (PbR) — rewarding those implementing projects on the basis of results delivered instead of paying for inputs. For payment by results to work, you have to get a lot of things right. It has to be for the right kind of programme targeting the right results, properly measured and rewarded in the right way. These issues, and more, are laid out in Stefan Dercon and Paul Clist’s 12 principles for payment by results (PDF).

Another Good Reason to Dislike Low-Bar Global Poverty Lines

Angus Deaton said he didn’t mind poverty analysis as long as the poverty line is infinity.  Stevenson and Wolfers (2013) assemble the array of survey based measures of subjective well- being (SWB), such as “life satisfaction” or “happiness” and search for income satiation.

Can California’s Carbon Polluters Save Brazil’s Rainforests?

On a recent trip to California I had the chance to meet with the experts in the state government who are managing the development of the world’s only carbon market program that will generate funding to reduce deforestation in tropical forest countries. Since deforestation is an important source of carbon emissions climate policy experts are watching to see how California’s program evolves.

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