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.

 

Is Your Impact Evaluation Asking Questions That Matter? A Four Part Smell Test

In 2006 I was in West Bengal with a World Bank team and was asking questions of a group of women about a “livelihoods” program that built and financed women’s self-help groups as a means of increasing women’s productivity and incomes.  After asking them questions for an hour or so I asked them if they had any questions for me or the team—after all, they had been so gracious to answer our nosey questions we would be rude to not allow them to ask us anything they wanted to know.  After an awkward silence, one woman said “You all are from countries

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.

All That Glisters: The Golden Thread and Complexity

David Cameron co-chairs the UN Panel on the future of the development agenda, so his 'golden thread' view of development is likely to have a global impact. In the second of three blog posts looking at development policy through the lens of complexity thinking, Owen Barder asks whether the British government's golden thread is good development policy. He concludes that though it has much to commend it, it also has significant weaknesses.

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, wants us to stop talking simply about the quantity of aid we give, and:

“start talking about what I call the ‘golden thread’, which is you only get real long-term development through aid if there is also a golden thread of stable government, lack of corruption, human rights, the rule of law, transparent information.”

This is not a new wheeze: Mr Cameron has been talking about the golden thread since before he became leader of the Conservative party. Given that he is a co-chair of the UN High Level Panel on the global development agenda after 2015, we can expect to see some of this thinking in that panel’s recommendations.