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.

 

Zedillo Warns of a “Frightening Failure” of Global Institutions

The wake-up call came as a bit of a shock. Ernesto Zedillo, the highly regarded former president of Mexico and director of the Yale Center for the Study of Globalization, was discussing the record of international institutions and the powerful countries that run them. On their response to unprecedented international cooperation and coordination challenges, he was in no mood to mince words.

United States Should Boost Trade with Poorest Countries

The United States could help developing countries by opening its trade with poorest countries.

WASHINGTON — With a complex and difficult situation grinding on in Libya, the uprising in Syria, war in Afghanistan and fresh uncertainty about U.S. assistance to Pakistan, many Americans feel beleaguered about international involvement.

At the same time, they recognize that the U.S. cannot disengage from a globalized world. If only there were a simple, low-cost way for the United States to intervene for good in the world.

The True True Size of Africa

The Economist has a nice piece here on the True Size of Africa. It’s about geographic size (Africa is bigger than you think – which is true for all countries and regions near the equator that don’t benefit from the Mercator distortion in our two-dimensional map world).

New and Improved: Much Ado (and To Do) about Innovation in Development

“Innovation” is popping up everywhere you turn these days. In her recent speech at the Center for Global Development, Secretary Clinton cited “innovation” as one of the priorities of U.S. development policy. Both the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Treasury are exploring ways to more systematically include “innovation” in the development agenda. The G8 is rumored to be launching an “innovation and development” initiative for Africa at its next meeting.

Major NGOs Comment on COD Aid

This is a joint post with Nancy Birdsall and Bill Savedoff.

During a panel discussion we hosted at the World Bank and IMF annual meetings in Istanbul last month on mutual accountability and outcomes in aid, Max Lawson from Oxfam, in referring to COD Aid, said that CGD appears to have more effective publicity strategies and reach than the European Commission. While we do have a (small but) stellar communications team, our ideas spread far primarily because other organizations are seriously engaged in exploring and debating new ideas like the ones we have proposed (otherwise our tiny team would be sleepless, to say the least!).

One case in point is the recent COD Aid briefing paper issued by the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) – a large international development organization based in the UK which raises about 75% of its funds from individual supporters.

Can the MDBs Jump-Start the Market for Country Risk Management Tools?

World Bank President Robert Zoellick, CGD President Nancy Birdsall, and CGD Non-resident Fellow Guillermo PerryCGD recently hosted a roundtable discussion on a set of important questions confronting the multilateral development banks (MDBs) as the market for their loans shrinks: can they help to foster a greatly expanded market for new risk management tools -- such as insurance and other hedging mechanisms -- to

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