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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.

 

Using Aid for Cash Transfers: What Do 10,000 People in 28 Countries Think?

Cash transfers might be the next big thing in international development. Yet our analysis of new survey data suggests that public support for cash transfers is modest and fragile. Donors—who are poised to leverage a promising new way of delivering aid to do more good for less money—must continue to make the public case for cash transfers, and continue to present the remarkably strong evidence that they are not misspent.

Small Changes, Big Impacts, and Lingering Questions: The Inaugural Birdsall House Conference Series on Women

As part of our new Gender and Development program, CGD just hosted the first annual Birdsall House Conference on Women. This year’s session, “Small Changes, Big Impact: Creating Conditions for Women and Girls to Thrive,” explored the possibility that cheap and scalable aid-funded interventions could considerably improve the lives of women and girls. Short answer: small changes do have big potential, but their limits should be acknowledged — and they require continued study and fine-tuning in order to be more effective.

The Political Paradox of Cash Transfers

Rigorous evaluations show giving poor people cash is a very effective policy. But polls show poor Tanzanians would rather have government services.

This is part II in our blog series about poll results from Tanzania on managing the country’s newfound natural gas wealth. Read part I on fuel subsidies and stay tuned for part III on transparency.

What Cash Payments Can’t Do: Lessons from #BringBackOurGirls

I have had the privilege of living and working in West Africa for the past 15 years. In 2007, I spent several months in northern Nigeria, interviewing grain traders in cross-border markets. These markets were some of my favorite places in West Africa—bustling, chaotic, open-air markets that brought together hundreds of farmers, traders and consumers, all from different villages and cultures, to exchange, talk and trade. I enjoyed walking through those markets, observing, negotiating and asking questions.

Impact Evaluation and Political Economy: What Does the “Conditional” in “Conditional Cash Transfers” Accomplish?

Some economists, with their recent fad for "evaluation", have managed to get themselves deeply confused about what the "conditional" in "conditional cash transfer" (CCT) is really about. They often interpret the "effectiveness" of CCTs relative to the action/behavior/outcome that was conditioned on—for example, the impact of schooling-conditioned transfers on enrollment rates.

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