Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

December 30, 2014

5 Years After Quake, Haiti Still on Shaky Ground (USA Today)

From the article:

"It would be incredibly useful to know where all this money was spent, what it was spent on, what lessons can be learned from this disaster to use that money better in the future," said Vijaya Ramachandran, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Global Development.

She said fully opening the books on Haiti aid would be the best way to see what's worked and what's gone wrong.

Read the article here

December 29, 2014

Publish All Government Contracts (Al Jazeera America)

From the article:

On Nov. 3, police arrested two top officials at the state-owned Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. for failing to share with parliament oil and gas contracts the government had signed with investors. The oil agency’s acting director general insists he is bound by confidentiality agreements not to release the production-sharing agreements governing huge new natural gas deposits.

“Transparency of contracts is fundamental for ensuring proper management of natural resources,” Zitto Kabwe, chair of the parliamentary committee, said in demanding the agreements’ release. “Without transparency, no accountability.”

Tanzania’s troubles have a simple answer: Proactively release government contracts. That change, which is now being adopted by a growing number of countries around the world, will undoubtedly improve the quality of contracting and promote trust in government.

Read the article here

December 22, 2014

The Africa I Know Isn't the Africa in the Headlines Today (NPR)

From the article:

Over the years, what always struck me was the vast chasm between the dynamism and optimism that I witnessed in Africa versus the popular notion of a place stuck in war and famine. It was thus heartening to see this image gap begin to close in recent years.

Buoyed by booming economies and growing confidence, Africa-as-disaster was being quickly replaced by Africa-as-opportunity. Instead of quizzical looks when I told people what I did for a living, I began to get serious questions about the best destinations to visit or where to invest.

Until Ebola. The outbreak has terrified Americans and thrust the continent to the top of the news cycle, reviving the old idea of Africa as a primordial catastrophe, best kept at bay.

Read the article here

December 19, 2014

La Advertencia de la “Fed” (CNN Dinero)

Senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez discusses reasons for the Fed’s announcement about the timing of increases in interest rates. She also explains how the significant increase in private sector debt issued by a number of emerging markets in the last year is a concern in the face of the expected raise of US rates in 2015.

Watch the interview here



December 19, 2014

Official Aid In Line for a Makeover as Donors Announce 'Historic Agreement' (The Guardian)

From the article:

Owen Barder, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, said: “Now, [donors] can make a sensible judgement about how to structure a loan without having to push it over a threshold to get the whole thing to count, because the more concessional it is, the more it counts as aid.”

“Before there was a cliff-edge problem: [donors] made the loan just concessional enough to get over the 25% grant element threshold and then the whole value of the loan counted as ODA,” he said.

Read the article here

December 18, 2014

Migration: Global Development's Biggest Good News Story... Almost (Al Jazeera America)

From the article:

Researchers have examined the size of economic losses caused by current restrictions on international migration, and the findings are frankly remarkable. As development economist and world-leading migration expert, Michael Clemens, puts it, “The few estimates we have should make economists’ jaws hit their desks.”

In his review of the available evidence, Clemens reports that an expansion of international migration, realized through the removal of some (read: not all) restrictions on people’s movement, could generate economic gains equivalent to 20 percent of global GDP. And that’s a conservative estimate - some studies place the figure closer to 60 percent.

Read the article here

December 18, 2014

The End of an Era for USAID (Devex)

From the article:

From the start, Rajiv Shah was Obama’s man to lead U.S. foreign aid efforts, and Nancy Birdsall, founding president of the Center for Global Development underscored how the outgoing USAID chief was a “major force” behind President Barack Obama’s goal to eliminate global extreme poverty by 2030.

Shah, she told Devex, managed to sustain congressional support for the USAID budget, “including by clarifying that development progress around the world helps undergird long-term global stability and U.S. security.”

“I give Shah high marks for USAID Forward. He spearheaded unsexy internal negotiations with the State Department and the White House, which allowed USAID to once again have a serious policy shop, its own chief economist, a focus on technical expertise and innovation, and an office with some budget and planning expertise if not formal authority,” Birdsall explained. “That pushed the envelope of what was bureaucratically and politically possible.”

Read the article here

December 17, 2014

Former Minister Biti: Zanu-PF Succession Dispute Burdening Zimbabwe Economy (Voice of America)

From the article:

Zimbabwe's former finance minister Tendai Biti says he has no faith in the new look Zanu PF team, including newly-minted vice presidents Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekhezela Phoko, and their capacity to pull Zimbabwe out of the political, economic and social abyss.

Biti, who is currently in Washington DC as a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Development where he is working on issues that affect fragile states, debt management, re-engagement with international financial institutions, economic recovery, among other issues, said Zimbabweans need to start looking to the youth for their salvation.

Biti told a meeting here Tuesday that the recent reshuffle of positions both in the ruling Zanu-PF and cabinet was a non-event, adding Zimbabweans must look to the youth and progressive elements in the country for a change in the nation’s trajectory.

Read the article here

December 15, 2014

Why Raising Taxes Won't Fix Global Inequality (Bloomberg Businessweek)

From the article

OECD economist Federico Cingano also argued that “[r]edistribution policies via taxes and transfers are a key tool to ensure the benefits of growth are more broadly distributed.” Despite such recommendations, survey data from around the world show people are suspicious of taxes as a tool for greater equality. There’s good reason for skepticism: Existing tax and transfer systems across much of the developing world, in particular, have failed to take a dent out of inequality. 

Read the article here

December 8, 2014

Win a Trip in 2015 (New York Times)

This year, the Center for Global Development was mentioned in New York Times reporter Nick Kristof's "Win a Trip" announcement.

Read his annual "Gifts That Inspire" column here.

Read about CGD's involvement in choosing the winner on his "On the Ground" blog here.