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.

 

Cartoon graphic showing a crowd and a hand with a megaphone

Citizens of the World, Reunite!

The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced destructive nationalism, but it has also highlighted the necessity of international collaboration. Global-minded citizens—starting in the United States—must now push their governments to cooperate and support multilateral institutions

An image of money, to illustrate the proposal for special drawing rights

New SDRs? That Pesky 85 Percent Approval

Last week Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar sent a letter signed by hundreds of lawmakers from 40 countries to the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, urging them to greatly increase the access of developing countries to financial assistance. They called for a new issue of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) at the IMF, echoing the earlier plea of Gordon Brown and Larry Summers for at least $1 trillion in new SDRs.

A map of Nigerian conflict deaths in 2012 by state

Another Hidden Horror of 21st Century Conflict: Children’s Suffering

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize, awarded last week to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad, calls attention to sexual violence during war and civil conflicts—a horror too often unstated and wished away. There’s another largely hidden horror the world needs to reckon with: the toll that civil conflicts, some so local that they rarely make the news, takes on children.

On Global Public Goods: It’s Not Big Money but It’s a Big Breakthrough

There is much to cheer about in last week’s announcement by the World Bank’s shareholders to increase its paid-in capital by $13 billion. It is a healthy signal that multilateralism is alive and well, at least in the development space. And on a practical level it is sufficient to ensure that at a minimum World Bank lending to sovereign borrowers can be sustained at current levels, and private sector operations can continue to grow.

On the Equity-Friendly Property Tax: Time for Developing Countries to Invest?

A large proportion of revenue gains over the last two decades has come from countries’ efforts to improve the design and compliance of consumption and other indirect taxes, particularly the VAT (value-added tax); in doing so, the objective has been to  minimize VAT’s regressive effects by exempting sales of small businesses below a threshold (where the poor typically tend to buy) as well as imposing zero tax on certain food and other products which take up a large proportion of consumption of poor households. Less attention has gone to expanding the coverage of potentially more progressive taxes, such as personal income and property taxes.

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