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.

 

Robotic arms in a factory. Adobe Stock.

Dissecting Different Views on the “Technology Revolution” and the Future of Work in Developing Countries

Caroline Atkinson and I recently posted a blog summarizing our main takeaways from a year-long study group that CGD hosted on technology, comparative advantage, and development prospects. A notable reaction I got to this piece is why there seemed to be such a wide divergence of views about this issue—notably relating to automation, robotics, and AI—across a range of experts. 

A bar chart showing the number of female full-time employees hired by each Nigerian tech firm surveyed

Nigeria's Tech Sector May Be Booming, but Where Are the Women?

The participation of women in the Nigerian tech sector is low. In a survey of tech firms conducted by the ONE Campaign and the Center for Global Development, only about 30 percent were owned by women, mostly concentrated in e-commerce and enterprise solutions. Of women-owned firms, the median share of ownership is 20 percent. Tech firms do not employ many women either—31 firms in our sample employ no women at all. The median value is two female employees per firm.

A server in a datacenter. Photo from Adobe Stock

Governance and Statistics Are Both Playing Catch Up in the Global Digital Economy

Information and communication technologies have been rewiring the global economy for more than a quarter of a century. However more is known about tangible goods than about the growing intangible flows between nations. Multinationals have long allocated their financial transactions, leases, and intellectual property across economies based on a number of considerations, including to reduce their tax payments. These internal transfers are quite opaque. And two newer phenomena related to the digitalisation of economic activity are making it particularly difficult to analyse the modern global economy: contract manufacturing and cloud computing.

A close-up of a hand holding a phone. From Wikimedia Commons, photo by Mpande

More than the Sum of their Parts: How an ID, a Phone, and a Bank Account Can Help Achieve the SDGs

As the United Nations General Assembly meets this week, global leaders will be taking stock of their countries’ progress towards the SDGs and mapping out where they still have to go. Our research has shown that, together, financial accounts, ID, and mobile phones can facilitate a wide variety of cross-cutting programs to meet the SDGs, which can be cost-effective at scale.

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