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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.

 

G-20 Brisbane Showing Cracks in Infrastructure Agenda

As we approach the G-20 Leaders Summit in Brisbane, it is worth giving credit to Australia for its robust presidency, and particularly the attention paid to the G-20’s development agenda. Sandwiched between the Russian and Turkish presidencies—countries considerably more controversial these days in the West—Australia faced the difficult task of generating sufficient goodwill among the membership within a year to make some progress on a sprawling work plan.

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

My Two Big Worries about the World Bank

For the first time in its seven-decade-long history, World Bank staff staged a work stoppage earlier this month. Staff are unhappy about the “Change Process,” aka the ongoing internal reorganization that President Kim initiated on his arrival at the bank now more than two years ago.

Secretary Lew in Cairo: More Jobs for Egyptians or More of the Same?

Treasury Secretary Lew was in Egypt today, meeting with Egyptian finance minister Hany Dimian and central bank governor Hisham Ramez to discuss, among other things, Egypt’s renewed focus on economic reform.  Pro-poor policies, support for small and medium enterprises, and meeting the demands of Egypt’s youth for political and economic freedom should be central to the Secretary’s message.

Congratulations, Arvind Subramanian

This morning (Thursday) came the news that Arvind Subramanian, a joint fellow at CGD and at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, is being appointed Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India. This appointment (for our American readers), is more or less equivalent to being the head of the US President’s Council of Economic Advisors. The current Chief Economist of the World Bank, Kaushik Basu, is a former CEA in India, and the current head of India’s Reserve Bank, Raghuram Rajan is a former CEA. (In Arvind’s case, I dearly hope he will be back at CGD—and yes PIIE—here in Washington within a few years.)

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