Commitment to Development Award

The Center for Global Development annually presents the Commitment to Development "Ideas in Action" Award to honor an individual or organization that has made a significant contribution to changing the attitudes, policies, and/or practices of the rich world toward the developing world. CGD president Nancy Birdsall and senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Moisés Naím co-chair a selection panel that includes distinguished leaders of the development community.

2014 Award Recipient: The Open Government Partnership

The Open Government Partnership (OGP)
The Open Government Partnership won the 2014 Award for securing more than 2,000 commitments from participating governments to be more open and accountable to their citizens since it's inception in 2011.


Previous Award Recipients


Paul Polman
Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the multinational consumer goods company Unilever, won the 2013 Award for a range of activities including his global leadership in efforts to reduce tropical deforestation.



US Senator Richard Lugar received the 2012 Commitment to Development Award for his statesmanship in overcoming partisan divides to enact smart policies that support widely shared global prosperity.  CGD and Foreign Policy Magazine will present the award during a public event on January 29, 2013.



Geeta Rao Gupta, former president of the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), received the 2011 Commitment to Development Award, for providing strong leadership in ensuring a steady flow of research evidence about how to translate advocacy for women in the developing world into policy priorities and practical programs. Gender would not have such a fundamental role in development if not for the work that Geeta championed at ICRW.


Publish What You Pay, a global civil society coalition, received the 2010 Commitment to Development Award for their dedication to promoting revenue transparency in the oil, gas, and mining industries. The 2010 Commitment to Development Award gives special revognition to Publish What You Pay United States for its role this year in promoting the Cardin-Lugar Transparency Provision of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. This landmark provision requires oil, gas, and mining companies registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to publish how much they pay to foreign countries and the U.S. government.


Diego Hidalgo Schnur received the 2009 Award for his resolute dedication to helping the world's poorest people. He is the founder or key sponsor of numerous organizations committed to promoting development and democracy across the globe. These include Development Assitance Research Associates (DARA), which produces the Humanitarian Response Index; The Foundation for Research and Investment for the Development of Africa (FRIDA), an NGO that promotes cooperation and development projects in the continent's poorest countries; and the Toledo International Centre for Peace (CITpax), a Spanish think tank.


The ONE campaign received the 2008 Commitment to Development Award for their tireless effort to raise awareness of global poverty during the 2008 presidential election. Through its ONE Vote '08 initiative, ONE mobilized 2 million supporters to sign petitions, raise awareness in their communities, and encourage the presidential candidates to explain how they would improve U.S. policies that affect poor people in developing countries.


Global Witness received the 2007 Commitment to Development Award for exposing how corruption and environmental betrayal go hand-in-hand. Global Witness, a small U.K.-based NGA, helped to bring the problem of conflict diamonds to the world's attention and has crusaded to stop the plunder of rain forests in Cambodia and Burma.


U.S. Congressman Jim Kolbe received the 2006 Commitment to Development Award for promoting innovation within the U.S. foreign aid program. As chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Kolbe helped to make the case for the Bush Administration's aid program, the Millennium Challenge Account. Kolbe was also frank about the broader problems of the U.S.'s highly fragmented and poorly administered aid programs.


Gordon Brown, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Treasury of the United Kingdom, received the 2005 Commitment to Development Award for his efforts to improve the lives of people in developing countries. Brown, who later became the U.K. prime minister, played a key role as chancellor of the exchequer in the notable effort by the U.K. to apply solid economic analysis to the formation of specific proposals to improve rich country policies towards the developing world.


Oxfam International's Make Trade Fair Campaign has been a powerful tool in shaping global trade debates -- at the individual, national and international level. The campaign's efforts to change world trade rules so that trade can make a real difference in the fight against poverty have been a positive force in demonstrating the effect of rich country policies on developing nations.


The Ulstein Group received the 2003 Commitment to Development Award for its dedication, vision, and leadership in reducing global poverty and inequality in developing countries, challenging the norms of the development establishment, and highlighting the importance of policy coherence.