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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.

 

The Rise of the Regionals

Lost in all of the noise of the post-Lehman crisis response was an important structural shift in the international development landscape: a much bigger footprint for the regional development banks relative to the World Bank.

Starting in 2009, the G20 pursued a number of measures to help developing countries weather the crisis, one of the most visible of which was an agreement to have the multilateral development banks (MDBs) lend aggressively into the crisis, paired with the commitment of new capital from the institutions’ shareholders in subsequent years.

Five Ways to Breathe New Life into the G-20 Infrastructure Agenda

The Australians are using their G-20 presidency to make a fresh start with the group’s infrastructure agenda, launching a new “Infrastructure and Investment” working group this week in Mexico City.

And not a moment too soon. A recent CGD study group Scott chaired concluded that this highly compelling agenda risks becoming a stale one absent some new approaches.

Summing Up the Summits: Los Cabos and Rio+20

Last month saw back-to-back summits with lots of overlap in agenda but very little among the officials involved or the policy community that attempted to shape the outcomes. Within a single week, leaders of the world’s most powerful countries convened in Los Cabos, Mexico, for the G-20 Summit; some then traveled on to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, a.k.a. Rio+20, the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit.

Win for Ag in Los Cabos: Introducing the AgResults Development Initiative

The G20 leaders at the summit in Los Cabos, Mexico are no doubt focused on the global economic slowdown and ongoing Eurozone crisis, but an ad hoc group of donors took time on Monday to announce the launch of a concrete development deliverable.  The governments of Australia, Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom, and United States, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will provide up to $100 million in results-based financing, using pull mechanism

Cannes G-20 Summit Founders on Europe’s Woes (Will Los Cabos Be Better?)

This is a joint post with Owen Barder

Whether future historians remember last week’s G-20 Summit in Cannes will depend on what happens in the weeks and months ahead. If the eurozone problems spiral out of control, Cannes will be to the coming crash as the 1933 London Economic Conference was to the Great Depression: a lost chance to avert calamity. If Europe muddles through, the brief association of Cannes with the G-20 will be soon forgotten and the resort will again be famous for its film festival.

Development and the Cannes G-20 Summit

It’s G-20 time again, and once again the attention of the leaders of the world’s biggest economies will be largely preoccupied with shoring up the financial sectors in countries that are home to the world’s top billion. This is unfortunate but under the circumstances not entirely unreasonable. Financial crises in the rich world can have far-reaching consequences for poor people in the developing world, including weak demand for developing-country exports, sagging tourism and remittances, and tighter credit, which among other things makes it harder to finance trade.

G-20 Endorses World Food Programme Hedging

This post is co-authored by Vijaya Ramachandran

Last week, the G-20 agriculture ministers meeting in Paris issued a communiqué calling for the World Food Programme to develop hedging strategies to purchase food. In a little-noticed section towards the end of a 24-page document, the ministers stated:

We invite the multilateral, regional and national development banks or agencies to further explore, in connection with the private sector as appropriate:

Development of hedging strategies that could help international humanitarian agencies, in particular WFP, to optimize food procurements and maximize the purchasing power of financial resources, building upon forward purchase… (Annex 5)

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.

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