Ideas to Action:

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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.

 

New Initiative in India Is Mobilizing Communities to Improve Children’s Learning, but Will It Work?

Every year, hundreds of thousands of volunteers in South Asia and East Africa walk many miles crossing rivers, mountains, deserts and farmlands to do something amazing: reach remote rural communities to assess whether children can read or do simple maths. Collectively known as Citizen-led Assessments (CLA), every year they show that most children are going to school but less than half of them can read or write at grade level. However, in spite of these universally damning reports, policy change to improve children’s learning has been painfully slow. So the NGO Pratham that started this movement is turning its army of volunteer data collectors into change agents to mobilize entire communities and raise awareness about the learning crisis across India.  

Half a Million Syrians Didn’t Hurt Turkish Wages. Will the Rest of Europe Notice?

There’s growing recognition that the situation in Syria can’t be “fixed”. Western governments have instead lowered their sights to negotiating some kind of detente. That means that many more people will leave their homes in search of safety overseas. A key question coloring Europe’s debate over immigration policy is whether those new arrivals will hurt the wages of existing workers.

Aid Isn’t Reaching the Very Poorest Countries

The good news is that international aid reached a record high, in real terms, in 2014. The bad news is that aid to the very poorest countries fell sharply in 2014, reversing the welcome trend over the last decade of allocating more aid to the poorest countries. This is a problem because low-income countries need aid the most.

Corporate Leadership in 2016: Intimidation Out, Engagement In

Last week marked the transition from commitments to compliance for a number of companies that have pledged to get deforestation out of their supply chains.  Wilmar International, the world’s largest trader of palm oil, set a December 31, 2015 deadline for suppliers to adhere to its path-breaking “No Deforestation, No Peat, No Exploitation” policy. December 31st was also Jim Bob Moffett’s last day at work as the chairman of Freeport-McMoRan, the company that developed one of the world’s largest copper and gold mines in eastern Indonesia. The coincidence of these milestones leads me to reflect on the changing norms of corporate leadership, and my brief interaction with Mr. Moffett 20 years ago.

What’s Hot and What’s Not for 2016

One of the biggest years for global development has come to a close, but it left us with plenty to look forward to in 2016 and beyond. Keeping with CGD’s annual tradition, we polled our colleagues to come up with predictions of what’s going to be hot and not in development (and otherwise) this year based on trends we saw in 2015.

Identification and Gender Equality: A Two-Way Street

The importance of ID for empowering women and girls is spot-on, but so far discussions about identification and gender haven’t given equal attention to the other side of the equation. And new data shows that when it comes to identification and gender equality, we encounter a two-way street. Identification isn’t just critical for achieving gender equality; addressing underlying gender discrimination is essential to making sure that all people have identification and the benefits that come along with it.

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