Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD in the News

December 31, 2015

Six Bits of Good News from 2015 (The New Yorker)

From article:

To be sure, some important qualifications need to be stated. The global poverty line—currently a dollar and ninety cents a day—is a somewhat arbitrary one, and some economists argue that it doesn’t adequately capture reality. And even if we accept the number, roughly a billion people, many of them living in sub-Saharan Africa, are still impoverished. Recent economic troubles in many developing economies, such as China and Brazil, could also end up swelling the figure.

But the over-all trend is clear. In the words of Charles Kenny and Justin Sandefur of the Washington-based Center for Global Development, “Most of the very poorest worldwide are able to buy more of what they need than they could 10 or 20 years ago.”

Read full article here.

December 22, 2015

Which Burns More Kilowatt-Hours: America's Christmas Lights or Tanzania? (NPR)

From article

A headline for a chart caught our eye this week: "US Holiday Lights Use More Electricity than El Salvador Does In a Year."

According to the chart, America burns 6.63 billion kilowatt-hours to shine its end-of-year holiday lights. By comparison, annual kilowatt-hours in the developing world are paltry. In an entire year, El Salvador uses 5.35 billion kilowatt-hours. Ethiopia is at 5.30 billion, Tanzania at 4.8 billion, Nepal at 3.28 billion and Cambodia at 3.06 billion. (Those numbers come from the World Bank.)

Todd Moss and his colleague Priscilla Agyapong put together the graphic. He's a fellow at the Center for Global Development; energy is one of his topics.

Read full article here.

December 17, 2015

Efectos del Alza en las Tasas de Interés en EE.UU. (CNN en Español)

In this CNN interview, CGD Senior Fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez analyzes the impact of the Fed rate hike on interest rates in emerging markets. 

Watch full interview here.

December 10, 2015

From Paris: Government Leaders Emphasize Protecting Nature (Huffington Post)

From article

Panelist Frances Seymour of the Center for Global Development and the Packard Foundation called this work at the state and province level "the most exciting thing going on here at COP." At the same time, she cautioned that we haven't fully turned the corner toward green development, and called for the following measures:

Expanded payments for carbon emissions reductions. Indeed, Norway, Germany and the U.K. pledged5 billion at the COP to do just this. Domestic subsidies and rural assistance programs that discourage further land conversion, like the ones India is testing. Corporate commitments to source commodities from farmers and jurisdictions that champion sustainable practices. Law enforcement and credit restrictions where deforestation persists.

Read full article here

December 10, 2015

Why Luxembourg Outranks the U.S. When It Comes to Helping Poor Nations (NPR)

From article

The United States spends more on international aid than any other nation — more than $32 billion a year. Yet it has come in near the bottom of a newly released ranking that scores the wealthiest nations according to how much they help the world's poorest people.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the famously generous Scandinavian nations lead the pack — Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada rank fairly high as well. The United States, by contrast, falls 21st out of 27 — just behind Hungary, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic.

What gives?

For starters, the Commitment to Development Index doesn't just consider the dollar amount that a country spends on aid. Produced annually by the Center for Global Development, a D.C.-based think-tank, the ranking also factors in benchmarks such as how efficient that aid is and how large a share it represents of the giving country's income. On that last measure, for instance, top-ranking Denmark spends 0.85 percent of its gross national product. The United States spends about 0.18 percent.

Read full article here

December 9, 2015

Denmark Doing Most to Help Poor Countries Develop, Index Shows (The Copenhagen Post)

From article

Denmark is the wealthy nation doing the most to help poorer countries develop, according to the annual Commitment to Development Index released yesterday by the Centre for Global Development (CGD).

The index ranked 27 of the richest countries in the world according to their approach to aid, trade, finance, migration, the environment and security.

Denmark was ranked as the best overall, with high scores in all seven areas measured, particularly in aid and technology.

Read full article here

December 8, 2015

US Scores Low Grade in Index of Rich Nations Helping Poor Led by Denmark (Thomson Reuters Foundation)

From article

The United States ranks among the lowest of the world's wealthy nations in its policies toward helping people living in poorer nations, according to an annual report comparing 27 countries.

Denmark scored at the top for the fourth year running, followed by Sweden and Norway, in the index ranking the policies and practices of the world's richest nations compiled annually by the Center for Global Development (CGD).

The United States ranked at No. 21, largely unchanged from last year, due largely to its poor performance on financial transparency and high greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel production, said the CGD, a think tank operating from London and Washington to help reduce global poverty and inequality.

Read full article here

December 7, 2015

Tracking Refugees Puts A Vulnerable Population At Risk (Buzzfeed)

From article

Security isn’t the only reason to collect biometric data. In India, 950 million citizens have participated in the government’s biometric registration program; as a result, some 200 million people, mostly migrants from rural villages to cities, who had never had identification before were able to open bank accounts for the first time. This gives the government the ability to track citizens with greater accuracy than ever before. Anit Mukherjee, an International Development Research Centre fellow with the Center for Global Development, worked as an early adviser to the project. He said the information collected by the government is never deleted. “Your biometrics live in the database for perpetuity,” he told BuzzFeed News. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re dead or alive.”

Read full article here

December 4, 2015

The Republican Candidates Fight Over Immigration (The Atlantic)

From the article: The confrontation between Donald Trump and John Kasich in Tuesday night’s Republican debate over immigration was telling—not because they shared practical solutions, but for what it revealed about how each views the country and its ideals.

The debate laid bare clear divisions among the party’s presidential candidates on the hot-button issue. Trump fielded a question on immigration, and offered a response that he has regurgitated several times on the campaign trail—and which accounts for his surge in the polls.

Read full article here