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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.

 

Delivering on the Data Revolution in Sub-Saharan Africa

Since the term “data revolution” was brandished in the High-Level Panel report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, there has been a flurry of activity to define, develop, and drive an agenda to transform the way development statistics are collected, used, and shared the world over.  And this makes sense — assessing the new development agenda, regardless of its details, will need accurate data.

At Long Last, A Paris Club Deal with Argentina. But What Will Congress (and the Lobbyists) Think?

In the world of sovereign debt workouts, the relationship between Argentina and the Paris Club has tended to look like Lucy, Charlie Brown, and the football. Time and again, Argentina (Lucy) would earnestly declare interest in striking a deal to repay its debt to club creditors only to pull back at the last minute. So imagine everyone’s surprise at this week’s announcement that Charlie Brown finally got to kick the football.

Using “Value of Information” Concepts to Prioritize the Data Revolution

I recently proposed that any assessment of a country’s statistical capacity be structured around the functions of government, such as those offered by the UN statistical office here.  When this list is fully expanded, it includes all of the data that advanced countries like the US or Japan use to manage government and inform citizens.  Most developing countries will fall below such an ambitious standard.  So how should investments in improved statistical capacity be prioritized?

Debt Deal Reunites Myanmar and the Donors

In the last few days, a delicate dance of reconciliation between Myanmar and its estranged foreign creditors reached its final measures. At the Club de Paris---the collective negotiating forum for creditor governments such as Japan and the United States---a press release just announced a debt deal with the poor and long-isolated Asian nation. The creditors committed to what is by Paris Club standards an exceptionally generous deal: cancelling half the debt in arrears---Myanmar defaulted in 1998---and instituting a 15-year repayment schedule for the remainder, including a 7-year grace period. Because the interest rates on most of these the loans are low, typically about 1%, this stretching out of repayment further reduces the debt's economic cost ("net present value" or NPV). Overall, the NPV will fall 60%. Meanwhile the World Bank and Asian Development Bank made their first loans to Myanmar in more than 20 years, in the process erasing their own arrears issues with the country.

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