Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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.

 

COVID-19 and Seizing the Opportunity for Reforming Tax Expenditures in Africa

In this blog post, we argue that the COVID-19 crisis has made it imperative for developing countries to begin reforming their tax systems to generate more resources domestically—reforms which they have postponed until now because of vested interests. Reforming tax expenditures would not only generate additional revenues, but it would also improve taxpayer perception of the fairness of the tax system and enhance budget transparency.

Two teachers lead students in a game at a school in Liberia

Diaries from the Frontline: Preparing for School Reopening

Policymakers making difficult decisions about when to reopen schools are balancing the health concerns of the pandemic against the social and economic repercussions of school closures. Ultimately, schools cannot stay closed forever and governments need to start planning for an eventual reopening, whenever that may be. In this fourth installment of our “Diaries from the Frontline” series, we highlight how TCF and Luminos are preparing their teachers, principals, and children for school reopenings.

Chart showing total users, with Ubongo and then Eneza far ahead of all other companies

Why the COVID Crisis Is Not Edtech’s Moment in Africa

With schools closed for hundreds of million students around the world, many have hoped that “edtech” can help keep children learning via internet, apps, and mobiles. A new database published by the EdTech Hub shows that though use of edtech products serving African countries has doubled in the last month, the total number of users is still very low, and most were viewers of one TV show. That, coupled with the fact that most firms come from just a few countries, suggests that edtech in Africa is far from maturity.

Five Findings from a New Phone Survey in Senegal

Better data can help us have a better response for COVID, so we piloted a mobile phone survey on 1,000+ respondents in Senegal in partnership with the Centre de Recherche pour le Développement Économique et Social. We published the results of the survey yesterday and we are now publishing some of the key findings.

A chart showing that commodity prices fell rapidly during the Ebola outbreak

An Epidemic and a Commodity Price Rout at the Same Time? It Happened in 2014

The COVID-19 health crisis has been paired with sharply lower global demand and a Saudi-Russian price war in the oil market that has reduced commodity prices by around a third. While this seems unprecedented, a concurrent economy-halting epidemic and commodity price rout has happened before, in Liberia, West Africa during the Ebola outbreak of 2014.

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