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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.

 

0.7 Percent Is Stupid

I’ve been sitting in lots of meetings and covering paper with lots of ink recently about the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development.  And when the topic of aid comes up I nod sagaciously along with others in the room when someone says “well, of course, there won’t be any more aid coming out of the Addis financing conference, it is all about redistributing the pot.” Sometimes I’m the one to write or say it, then have a brief chat about that redistribution before switching to other topics like private finance or trade.

What’s the Point of the Post-2015 Agenda?

The UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals completed its outcome document a few weeks ago, putting forth 17 goals and 169 targets.  The optimistic take: that’s only just over twice the number of goals in the Brazil-Germany World Cup match.  But for all the space devoted to targeting almost every conceivable area of global progress, there was one topic on which the OWG was notably silent: what’s the purpose of all of this?

Why Isn’t the World Bank Asking What Works Before It Revamps Its Procurement Rules?

The World Bank is in the process of reforming its procurement system, the set of rules that borrowers have to follow when they use Bank financing to buy goods and services. Most of the proposals sound very sensible: much less “prior review” of the process for smaller contracts (World Bank staff looking over bid documents, evaluation reports, and contract documents before they are finalized); more flexibility to use other people’s procurement systems if they’re high quality; more flexibility to use quality alongside cost in evaluating bids in return for greater transparency.

Post 2015: Ownership in All the Wrong Places

With the Sustainable Development Goals Working Group busy in New York trying to whittle down its areas of interest into a plausible list of targets, two issues of ‘goal ownership’ have come to the fore.  First, everyone seems very keen the goals should be universal but ‘country-owned’ — this is the excuse for all of the Xs in the High Level Panel Report (“Cover X% of people who are poor and vulnerable with social protection systems,” for example).  Such Xs should be decided at the country level, they suggest.

Post-2015: A $1 Trillion Financing Package?

A $1 trillion financing partnership to support ending extreme poverty, stopping avoidable child deaths, and meeting other widely supported post-2015 development goals sounds far-fetched.  But improbable action is what will be needed if we’re going to come close to making such historically unprecedented progress.  Indeed, delivering on proposed zero goals is going to take a broad and deep global partnership that’s about far more than aid.