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.

 

Two Cheers for the New Republican Proposal on "STEM" Immigration

Republicans in the US House of Representatives have proposed a step toward immigration reform. The bill would change who can receive an annual block of 55,000 US permanent resident visas. Currently those visas go to people from countries with relatively low rates of immigration to the US via a lottery system. The new bill would close that program and reallocate the visas toward people earning doctorates in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Post-2015: The UNGA Games

Last week saw the opening meeting of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda –AKA the HiPoPoDomAe.  That’s the body set up by the UN Secretary General to mull what follows on from the Millennium Development Goals.  There’s a brief round-up of some of what was said here.   Reports of the discussion, some wonderful meetings in London two weeks ago, and recent interventions from Ben Leo at the ONE campaign as well as the WEF Global Agenda Council on Benchmarki

This Beats Most Aid by Miles - And It’s a Migration Non-Profit

Yesterday I discovered a development organization so revolutionary, most people wouldn’t even call it a development organization. It’s a non-profit called the Independent Agricultural Worker Center (CITA).

CITA is a matchmaker between farms and seasonal agricultural workers. The farms are in the United States; almost all of the workers are in Mexico. CITA brings them together and unleashes the vast economic power of labor mobility for development.

CGD Puff Piece

A few weeks ago, I started a weekly blog/column in Businessweek, “Small World.”  This week’s piece is about the negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership and the opportunity it presents for the US to use trade talks to level the playing field for anti-smoking efforts.  That rather than the traditional approach: helping manufacturers of the only consumer product that kills if used as directed ope

Postcard from Haiti: Life after the 2010 Quake

This is a joint post with Julie Walz.

On January 12, 2010, at 16:53 hours, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck the city of Port-au-Prince, killing over 200,000 people and leaving several million homeless. Foreign aid poured into Haiti, at the rate of almost a thousand dollars per Haitian. For the past two years, we have been putting together the various pieces of data we could find on aid flows and foreign involvement after the quake. We found that the big international NGOs and private contractors have been the primary recipients of billions of dollars in U.S. assistance have been not been required to report systematically on how they use the funds. There has been a lack of accountability to both the funders and recipients. Our preliminary impressions based on our visit to Haiti are that this lack of accountability is if anything worse on the ground: the NGOs are frequently not accountable to the Haitian government or to the people they aim to serve. We even learned something about earthquakes--for example, did you know that Haiti’s two major faults (the northern Sententrional fault and the southern Enriquillo-Plantain Garden fault) are called slip-strike faults, and are similar to the San Andreas Fault in California? It was the southern fault that triggered the quake two and a half years ago.

Thunderstorm over Port-au-Prince

Credit: Vijaya Ramachandran

Three Questions about Honduras's New Charter City

This is a joint post with Milan Vaishnav.

One of the biggest experiments in development economics is about to begin on Honduras's Northern Coast. Honduras has altered its constitution to open the way to ceding a large tract of land to build a new "Special Economic Zone", modeled on NYU economist Paul Romer's idea of charter cities -- new cities, built up from scratch, where first-world institutions and third-world immigrants can meet and do business.

Pages