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.

 

What’s Happening at CGD? April Events

Maybe it’s some kind of spring fever, but CGD is in events overdrive in the next couple of weeks, spurred on by the World Bank / IMF Spring Meetings, and the plethora of discussions they bring. We are delighted to be pairing up with, and hosting, some big names, and so we thought it would be helpful to give you a handy guide to the insightful, provocative events that we will be holding. You may already have received invites to some of these events; if not, you can sign up here.

Impact Evaluation: How the Wonkiest Subject in the World Got Traction

“3ie has made my job much easier.” This is what we heard last month from a high-ranking government official in Africa, referring to the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), and it made us very proud. Creating 3ie was the outcome of the Evaluation Gap Working Group that we led along with Nancy Birdsall to address the limited number of rigorous impact evaluation of public policies in developing countries. As CGD celebrates its 15th year, it is worth considering what made that working group so successful, the obstacles we confronted, and the work that still remains to be done.

A New Anti-Corruption Strategy: Control Less, Verify Results More

I’ve been reading news of corruption scandals in Brazil with a great deal of sadness. I lived in Brazil during its return to democracy and experienced first-hand the hope and optimism that came with that transition. In a recent policy paper, I argue that decisions about funding projects in other countries should depend more on the results achieved by those countries than by formal actions meant to control corruption. 

Six Recommendations to Strengthen Feed the Future

Ethiopia is facing one of the worst droughts in decades, a painful reminder that food security challenges remain despite low food prices globally. Feed the Future—the Obama Administration’s global food security initiative—has been supporting Ethiopia and 18 other focus countries with projects that aim to boost farmer productivity and improve nutrition. How has the initiative performed in its first five years?

CGD at 15: Established But Not Establishment

In 2016, as we celebrate our 15th year, CGD continues to be a policy crucible, producing independent ideas, nonpartisan thinking, and practical, research-based proposals that cost little or nothing to the rich world but make a huge difference to developing countries. The problems we address and the solutions we create may have changed in 15 years, but forensic scrutiny of existing policies — or policy gaps — is an approach that continues to have real-world impact

Aid Isn’t Reaching the Very Poorest Countries

The good news is that international aid reached a record high, in real terms, in 2014. The bad news is that aid to the very poorest countries fell sharply in 2014, reversing the welcome trend over the last decade of allocating more aid to the poorest countries. This is a problem because low-income countries need aid the most.

Ranking Aid Donors, Revisited: Perhaps Big, Old Donors Are Better Than We Thought

The research organization Aid Data has been getting a lot of attention in the aid world of late with its survey of recipient country policymakers and practitioners and their views of the utility, influence and helpfulness during reform of various aid agencies. Suggests the press release: “According to nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners, the development partners that have the most influence on policy priorities in their low-income and middle-income countries are not large Western donors like the United States or UK. Instead it is large multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria." That conclusion is based on average worldwide agency scores from the survey.

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