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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.

Views From The Center Blog

 

What Would a New Merkel-led Grand Coalition Mean for Development? Four Recommendations for the New German Government

Yesterday, the German Social Democrats (SPD) voted in favour of pursuing in-depth coalition talks with Angela Merkel’s Conservatives (CDU). Although the chancellor’s battle for political survival is far from over (as the final coalition agreement will have to be backed by the majority of SPD’s 443,000 party members), it is likely that we will see a remaking of a grand coalition. Here we look what that would mean for Germany’s leadership on development.

German Elections: What Merkel’s "Jamaica Coalition" Might Mean for Global Development

Germans have given Chancellor Angela Merkel a fourth term as chancellor, but once again without a parliamentary majority. It seems likely that Merkel will now try to negotiate a black-green-yellow “Jamaica coalition” (referring to the parties’ colors) with the Greens and the pro-business Liberals replacing the Social Democrats as coalition partners. Despite the gain in vote for nationalists, our analysis suggests the Jamaica coalition could actually strengthen Germany’s role in accelerating global development, as well as benefitting Germany.

New Approach to Managing Environmental and Social Risks in World Bank Programs

On Thursday, August 4, the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a new “Environmental and Social Framework” for bank-financed investment projects. While the new policy framework has cleared the hurdle of Board approval, many questions remain. Will the new framework succeed? Will it enhance country capability and commitment to managing environmental and social risks? And will it reduce the bureaucratic hassles associated with bank lending and bolster demand?

Doing More than Safeguarding the Safeguards at the World Bank

Depending on who you listen to, the World Bank has either just launched an unprecedented reach into the domestic political affairs of sovereign nations, or it has gutted the rules that have helped define its essential character as a global norm-setter. Both can’t be right, and most likely, neither is. To better understand the objectives of the bank's newly adopted “safeguards” regime, and why I’m somewhat encouraged by it, it’s worth looking more closely at the arguments of critics on both sides.

A Preacher’s Daughter Reads the Pope’s Encyclical

In 1989, I was asked to give the “Earth Day” sermon at the Jakarta Community Church.  While there are more than 25 years and an infinite distance between Frances’ sermon and Francis’ encyclical, I was curious to see what the Pope would do with a similar assignment.

Pope Francis: Climate Change Hurts the Poor Most

Pope Francis has firmly pronounced that climate change is a threat to the world’s poor in a long-awaited encyclical released on Thursday.  The Pope is the religious leader of more than one billion Catholics, more than half of whom live in the developing world. But he has addressed the encyclical to “every person who lives on this planet,” Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

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