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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.

 

Poverty Matters Most: A Comment on the Volcker Report

Today the Volcker Commission released a report with a set of recommendations about how the World Bank can strengthen its anti-corruption procedures by reforming its Department of Institutional Integrity. This is an important and timely conversation and the report will no doubt receive a high level of attention. But it is equally important that the Bank does not put corruption ahead of its central task—the alleviation of poverty.

Solar Power for the Lamps of Africa: World Bank and IFC Back a Bright Idea

The World Bank and the International Finance Corporation have just launched an ambitious new program to bring electricity to millions of people in Africa who live without it. The Lighting Africa Initiative seeks to bring clean and safe lighting via solar lamps and other clean-fuel methods to thousands of villages and small towns that are not connected to the public grid and rely on kerosene lamps which are both polluting and unsafe.

China ExIm Partners with the IFC for Sustainable Investments

Last month, I reported on the first public release of China's Export-Import Bank's environmental policy and suggested that China's overtures of increased transparency might present an opportunity for other donors to engage China in a more cooperative partnership. It seems the International Financial Corp. (IFC), the World Bank branch for private sector lending, is doing just that.

Beyond a Reasonable Doubt: Climate Change and Criminal Liability

In U.S. jurisprudence, the standard for conviction in a criminal proceeding is "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- at least 90% certain, in the conventional understanding. The prevailing standard in civil proceedings is the "preponderance of evidence" -- more likely true than not -- which implies greater than 50% likelihood.

Madame President

While most of us were taking a holiday yesterday, Molly Kinder, who previously worked as a program coordinator at CGD on Millions Saved, and is now a graduate student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, sent the following reflections on Presidents' Day.
Yesterday the United States celebrated Presidents' Day, a holiday which rarely gives reason to pause, beyond perhaps the gratitude for a long weekend. This year, however, I did a double take. The image that Presidents' Day has long evoked in my head -- George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan -- has recently undergone a makeover and now has a striking new feature: her gender.

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