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.

 

A wooden carving of a federal building and a satchel of coins in front of a red background

The Kindest Cuts of All

If further cuts are to come from the ODA budget, how should they be selected and managed? And is there a way to rescue those things of greatest value in the portfolio? In a new note, I argue that there is—and that such a process can improve the quality of ODA spending in perpetuity.

A collage of book covers from CGD's summer reading recommendations blog.

What We’re Reading in Summer 2020

In a year marked by pandemic and protest, good books are more important than ever. We're back with more hand-picked recommendations from CGD's staff and researchers to help you better understand, empathize with, or escape the world.

A hedgehog (sans fox) on a white background. Photo via Adobe Stock

Expanding the Menagerie: Why the FCDO Needs To Be Both Hedgehog and Fox To Reach Its Potential

In Isaiah Berlin’s famous essay, he divided the world into hedgehogs, who have a singular vision uniting all action, and foxes, characterized by the breadth of their intellectual curiosity and locus of attention. The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office needs to be both hedgehog and fox to fulfill its promise, being able to relate all of its work to its central vision of being a force for good in the world, while retaining the fox’s ability to work on multiple problems in multiple ways.

Image of a scale used to compare the weight of two things. Adobe Stock

Evidence-Based Decision Making During COVID-19: How to Navigate Extreme Uncertainty and Urgency

Evidence-based policy generation is an aspiration more than reality at the best of times. With COVID-19 generating extreme uncertainty and urgency of action across the world, it has become harder than ever. This blog considers three areas where both researchers and policymakers need to engage more effectively: asking better questions; being clearer about how well we can answer them; and broadening collaboration and challenge.