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CGD in the News

July 11, 2017

G20 Development Pledges Overshadowed By Climate Rift (Devex)

From the article:

World leaders at the G-20 summit reached a consensus on an array of development issues, from investment in Africa to pandemic preparedness, during their two-day meeting in Hamburg, Germany, this weekend.

Yet amid one of the most visible policy rifts between the United States and the rich-country grouping, many analysts and advocates are concerned that those areas of consensus papered over broader disagreements on trade, finance and climate that will ultimately have a greater impact on the developing world...

The summit ended with an official G-20 Africa Partnership, with the Compact with Africa as a core component. Also included are commitments to develop infrastructure — especially around sustainable energy — and to improve economic growth and employment. A youth employment initiative will aim to create 1.1 million new jobs for young people by 2022 worldwide, with a particular focus on Africa. But the compact is the clear centerpiece.

“Conceptually, it’s strong and really reflects good thinking about how to spur particularly private investment in lower-income countries,” said Scott Morris, an expert at the Center for Global Development. “And then, of course, it clearly has the strong backing of the full G-20, which is something we shouldn’t take for granted given other areas of clear division for the U.S.”

Read full article here.

June 11, 2015

Global Health Leaders Determined to Find Permanent Solutions after Ebola (CCTV Africa)

From interview:

"It's important for people to understand that weak health systems in Africa have negative consequences for people in Iowa, people in San Francisco, and people in Liverpool, England," explained Mead Over, senior fellow with the Center for Global Development. 

Watch full video interview here

February 4, 2015

Lessons from Africa’s Hard-Won Victory over Ebola (Bloomberg Business)

From the article:

The lesson of the Ebola crisis is that when faced with emerging infectious disease threats, the world needs to react faster and stronger—based on enhanced global cooperation and better preparation. Failing to do so could mean an even deadlier epidemic the next time.

Read the article here

February 4, 2015

One-Third of Aid for Ebola Is MIA (International Business Times)

From the article:

Karen Grepin, a professor of global health policy at New York University, used an aid tracking system hosted by the United Nations to find that only $1.09 billion of the world's pledges were made available by December 31, 2014 to the region of western Africa where the outbreak was at its worst. 


“If we think that most aid arrives too late to be useful to the outbreak itself, you would really expect to see more going to governments to deal with the long-term vulnerability of the health system,” Amanda Glassman, Director of Global Health Policy at a nonprofit called the Center for Global Development, says.


Glassman adds that the fact that two-thirds of the promised aid has so far been delivered struck her as positive. She says she wishes there had been data available comparing the delivery of aid for Ebola to that of other crises. She would also like to see more information on how the aid money was used in order to gauge whether the funds were truly effective. “The international community doesn't have something in place to say, let's look at how funds are used and how we can use them better next time,” she says.

Read the article here

January 14, 2015

Is Ebola Response Repeating Mistakes in Haiti? (Devex)

From the article:

“The money for Ebola is not actually coming to Liberia.” the Liberian minister of public works, W. Gyude Moore, said at a Center for Global Development event on a post-Ebola Liberia.

“And in terms of Ebola response, the aid infrastructure to respond to Ebola does not translate into permanent structures, most of them are tents, it’s going to be very different to imagine a more permanent response,” Moore added.


Moore and other experts, including Amanda Glassman, the director of global health policy and a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, fear that overzealous aid groups, while well-intentioned, could derail these national ambitions.

“Comparing Haiti five years on and [the Ebola] response, there is a similar magnitude financially,” she told Devex, “I fear we’re going to be the ‘republic of NGOs’ Haiti-style all over again.”

Taking the stated “zero cases” approach literally could make matters worse. With aid organizations too focused on eliminating the disease, Glassman explained, they could lose sight of other issues and opportunities to make Liberia more aid-independent.

Read the article here

November 19, 2014

IMF, World Bank Policies May Share Blame in Ebola Crisis (AFP)

From the article

Amanda Glassman, director of Global Health Policy at the Center for Global Development, was not ready to blame the two Washington-based institutions. "The external world thinks that IMF and World Bank have much more influence that they actually do," she said.

According to Glassman, conflicts and bad governance were more responsible for the weakening of health spending in the sub-Sahara region, which fell from 6.9 percent of GDP in 2005 to 6.5 percent in 2012.

Read the article here

October 26, 2014

Fear, Not Ebola, is the Biggest Threat to West Africa's Fragile Economies (Vox)

From the article

Mead Over: I think that so far, I have not noticed that the funding itself is constrained. I think the constraint has been the sheer difficulty of building out the Ebola treatment centers, and particularly staffing them.

What I still don't understand is whether the international community has a plan for how to put properly trained, properly motivated, properly paid, and properly relieved health personnel in the Ebola treatment units.

So that's part of the answer. But the other part of the answer is that it's mathematically impossible for a linear progression to catch up to an exponential one, so we need to do something to ensure that the progression of the epidemic, in terms of new cases, slows down in other ways, other than through the construction of treatment units.

Read the article here

October 22, 2014

Ebola Fears Dragging Down African Economies (The Globe and Mail)

From the article 

“The epidemic is moving faster than we economists can work,” said a blog last week by World Bank senior economist David Evans and Center for Global Development senior fellow Mead Over.

“The latest information suggests that even the World Bank’s ‘High Ebola’ scenario may be optimistic,” they said. They cited especially the effect of “aversion behaviour” – the fear factor that leads to closed borders, reduced trade, suspended airline flights and the curtailing of commercial activities by multinational companies in West Africa.

The latest Ebola cases in Spain and Dallas “generate aversion behaviour towards Africa which threatens to persist and damage African economic growth for years to come,” the two economists said.

Read the article here

October 17, 2014

Did We Neglect Ebola Because It Was In Africa? (MSNBC The Cycle)

From the interview:

Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan said in an interview with the BBC that the world neglected Ebola because it was it Africa, is that really the case? Author and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Todd Moss joins to discuss.


“If your neighbor’s bathtub was leaking, would you go help them fix the leak, or would you try to paint rubber walls or something? It would make no sense. And the way we are really going to contain Ebola is at the source…what we need now is a surge of health workers.”

Watch the interview here

October 6, 2014

Fighting Ebola: The American Argument against an African Travel Ban (Bloomberg Businessweek)

From the article

We live in a global disease pool. In the end, once a disease begins to spread, there’s no escaping an infection, whether it first appears in Africa, Asia, or the U.S. Travel bans are less effective than hiding under a rock and considerably more costly. To battle continuing epidemics and any future potential pandemics, we need strong health and surveillance systems in every country and research and development not just for the diseases of the rich but for the infections of the poor. Hitting emerging disease threats early and where they emerge is far less costly in terms of lives and financing than trying to play catch-up once they have spread.

Read the article here