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.

 

The Informal Sector: What Do We Know So Far?

The informal sector is a major source of economic activity and job opportunities in poor countries as well as emerging economies. In sub-Saharan Africa, the size of the informal sector is estimated to employ over 70 percent of the population. Why do businesses remain informal? What gains in productivity or profitability do they forego by as a result of that choice?

The World Needs More Bad Schools

A commission led by the UN's special envoy for education, Gordon Brown, is calling for a doubling of global aid for education, without any clear reform agenda to raise learning levels in the world's failing school systems. That might be ok: bad schools in poor countries still seem to produce big benefits.

What a UK Election Manifesto on Development Might Look Like: 19 Proposals from CGD

Attention UK political parties: we know you are pretty busy right now, what with Prime Minister Theresa May calling a snap general election in a few weeks. So, we wrote an election manifesto on development for you. Feel free to plagiarize it; in fact, we’ve written it so you can just copy/paste parts of it if you want. To M Macron and Mme Le Pen, your manifestos are written, but you will find some good ideas here too. Needless to say, not all our CGD colleagues will agree with all our ideas, nor will many readers. So please let us know what we have missed or got wrong, in the comments below.

Should Theresa May Ditch the Aid Target?

Aid is amazingly good value for money. For the same money the government willingly spends to save a life in a developed country such as the UK, we save around 100 or even 1,000 lives in the developing world.

Reducing Poverty in India with the Power of Digital Payments and UBI

Demonetization is yesterday’s news. The India of today is going full steam ahead towards a digital economy powered by financial inclusion, the mobile revolution, and Aadhaar—the biometric ID system that now covers 90 percent of its 1.3 billion population. And the social compact of the future will restructure subsidies and provide a basic income for the poor.

Addressing the Global Refugee Crisis: 10 Recommendations to Design Refugee Compacts

The global refugee crisis will undoubtedly be top of mind this week as representatives from ministries of finance and development, international finance institutions, the private sector, civil society, and academia descend on Washington, DC to discuss issues of global concern. As conflicts and crises continue to burn on, forcibly displacing more and more people worldwide, 2017 must be about turning rhetoric into action. This week’s spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF therefore come at an opportune moment—one where key actors can reflect on progress against last year’s commitments; determine and learn from what is and isn’t working well; and put measures in place to ensure that efforts moving forward lead to a real and positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of refugees and their host communities. Our new report, Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement, the result of a study group co-chaired by CGD and the IRC, is one input towards this end.

For Faster Education Progress, We Need to Know What Kids Know

We need an international assessment that will pinpoint educational challenges by providing consistent information on the status of all youth, not just those who have somehow stayed in formal schooling into adolescence. Think of a universal test of nine-year-olds in basic math, reading, and problem solving skills.

What’s Happening at CGD during Spring Meetings Week?

Adesina, Birdsall, Brown, Georgieva, Gillard, Miliband, Ngozi, Subramanian—these are some of the development heavyweights speaking at CGD at a series of events in the run up to the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings. We hope you will join us—either in person or online—for timely conversations on some of the most pressing development challenges—and their potential solutions.

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