Our Work

Global Prosperity Built on Smart Policy.  v

The Center for Global Development works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world’s top decision makers. We focus on the intersection of developing countries and the governments, institutions, and corporations that can help them deliver greater progress. Our scholars conduct rigorous, impartial analysis informed by evidence and experts from around the world, to shape intellectual debate and design practical policy solutions. We are currently focused on the following areas critical to development progress. 

What We Do


Despite tremendous progress, education has not yet fulfilled its promise of being the great societal equalizer: gender inequality remains acute, intergenerational mobility is declining, and poor children often go to much worse schools than rich children. Our research examines the mechanisms through which education can give children equal life opportunities and build the human capital that nations need to prosper.

Global Health Policy

With more countries rising out of poverty, global health progress faces new challenges. CGD work focuses on building sustainable health systems, efficient global health financing, improving global health security, addressing disease and treatment inequities, and designing fiscal policies for better health. 

Migration, Displacement, and Humanitarian Policy

Today's displacement crisis calls for more than closed-border policies or traditional short-term humanitarian aid: it requires far-sighted development solutions that create economic opportunities. CGD brings evidence to these contentious political issues and devises policy solutions so migrants, refugees, and their hosts can thrive together.

Sustainable Development Finance

To meet the Sustainable Development Goals, development finance must increase from billions to trillions. Our work focuses on unlocking more finance more effectively from existing and emerging sources, and on allocating those funds to meet both ongoing needs and future challenges.

Technology and Development

Policy innovation is not keeping pace with technological change. How can digital ID and payments be used to increase state capacity and reduce inequalities? Will automation bring new jobs—or no jobs? How should we manage and regulate growth in biometric ID and governance? How can digital payments be safely and effectively scaled up? CGD research helps policymakers catch up with our changing world. 

Governments and Development

Development is about more than foreign aid. Policies and programs of major country governments across many areas wield enormous influence on global progress. CGD provides data, evidence, and solutions that can help guide US Development Policy, UK Development Policy, and European Development Policy. We also produce the Commitment to Development Index that annually ranks the richest countries in the world according to how well their policies help improve lives in the developing world. 

More from CGD

CGD researchers also work in other areas that impact development progress, including:
Gender and Equality Energy Financial Inclusion and Regulation

You can also browse our latest work focused on specific international institutions such as the World Bank and G20, and focused on a specific  region. You can find our full list of publications here. 

CGD’s Impact and Influence

CGD has helped to change the policies and practices of the world’s most powerful decision makers, and has made a real difference in the lives of people in the developing world. Click here to read more about how we’ve done it.

Past Work

Over the years CGD has contributed important research on several other development topics. Our findings and recommendations remain relevant, even though we are not planning future work in these areas: