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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.

 

international investment agreements

International Investment Agreements: Not Fit for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda

In a world with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international investment policy system stands as an obsolete regime in urgent need of revision and reform. This is the main conclusion of the analysis that the think tank CIECODE conducted for CGD’s 2017 Commitment to Development Index (CDI). The analysis measures the amount of “sustainable development content” included in International Investment Agreements (IIAs) signed between developing and developed countries. Here, we look at best practices, main issues and which countries could do better.

Solving the Private Sector Aid Imbroglio

In 2014, Mark Lowcock, then head of the UK’s Department for International Development, pulled off an unexpected coup: securing an agreement between donor governments on new rules for counting official loans as aid. Some neat diplomatic footwork is needed again now, because negotiations over extending this agreement to donors’ investments in the private sector are threatening to fall apart. Among the consequences could be that the UK walks away from using internationally agreed standards for measuring aid and starts to create its own statistics. Other countries may follow.    

Four Challenges for Blended Finance and Development Finance Institutions

Overseas development assistance amounts to about $135 billion dollars annually, but the cost of paying for the Sustainable Development Goals will be in the trillions. As a result, blended finance is something of a buzz phrase these days. I left a workshop on blended finance last week in Paris excited about the potential of these new structures and instruments to deliver social returns. But I was also struck by the challenges DFIs and their advocates must overcome in order to fully realize that potential. 

Addis: A Good First Step, but a Terrible Last Word, for 2015

The Financing for Development Conference, which drew to a close yesterday in Addis Ababa, was never going to solve all the world’s development problems.  What it could do was establish a shared policy framework within which decisions for the rest of 2015 can be taken. The outcome document, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, actually does that pretty well.  But the real test is still to come: what specifically will countries commit to which will make these ideas real?

The Rainmakers in Addis

The rainy season, known as kiremt, began in earnest today in Addis Ababa, host city for a huge UN conference on Financing for Development. The arrival of kiremt is good news for the farmers in Ethiopia’s highlands, but bad news for the thousands of delegates from government, business, and civil society sploshing in their Birkenstocks through the puddles between the hotels and the UN conference centre.