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CGD in the News

December 10, 2018

Mobile savings helping women (The Citizen)

From the article:
The emergence of digital channels is seen as the best alternative for bridging the gender gap when it comes to accessing financial services, new research shows.
According to the Washington DC-based think tank, Centre for Global Development, their recent research in Tanzania and Indonesia indicated a large and unexplored demand for movile saving platforms, which play a great role, especially for women.
"Mobile savings reduce transaction cost, provide privacy and increase economic self-reliance for women who are good at saving," said a senior fellow with the Centre for Global Development, Ms. Mayra Buvinic, who conducted the research in Tanzania.
Read the full article here.
October 16, 2017

Left Behind: Girls’ Education in South Sudan (Borgen Magazine)

From the article:

GESS provides training to teachers all over the country, a service desperately needed given that only 47 percent of South Sudanese primary school teachers and 57 percent of secondary school teachers are properly certified. Furthermore, GESS provides female students with grants of up 2,300 SSP to spend on books, clothing and sanitary products, which allow them to attend school more regularly and stay enrolled longer. Since the start of the program, 184,254 girls have received grants. The goal is to reach 200,000 girls by 2018.

The results of this groundbreaking program have been significant. A study conducted by the University of Sussex & Center for Global Development found that cash transfers and grants allowed schools to stay open longer and increased enrollment numbers from 2014-2016, even in the face of widespread violence and economic instability. These small but profoundly meaningful steps toward enhancing education in South Sudan, particularly for girls, give hope that gender inequality in South Sudan may one day be a thing of the past.

Read full article here.

October 10, 2017

Where Are All the Women in Economics? (Marketplace)

From the article:

Sarsons wrote in the paper: "While solo-authored papers send a clear signal about one’s ability, co-authored papers do not provide specific information about each contributor’s skills. I find that women incur a penalty when they co-author that men do not experience."

(Her paper, she added in a footnote, was intentionally single-authored.)

There are more studies — ones that suggest that female economists’ papers take six months longer to get a peer review in a top journal, and that even when women do get tenured faculty jobs in economics, they get paid less. And then, even if a woman makes it to the front of a lecture hall — there might be no men listening to them. 

"There was a very interesting and quick bit of number crunching that was done by the Centre for Global Development which has headquarters in both Washington and London," said Cambridge's Bateman.

"When they looked at male attendance at the seminars that they run they found that it fell off quite dramatically whenever gender was mentioned in the in the seminar topic."

Batemen said the fact that there are so few women at the top has meant that many young women can't view themselves in those positions. She said that in the early 2000s the proportion of women studying economics in British universities was around 30 percent. It's down to just 26 percent today. 

Read full article here.

August 10, 2017

How Financial Incentives Can Boost the Number of Women Peacekeepers (News Deeply)

From the op-ed:

U.N. Peacekeeping Operations are a great deal. For the United States, they cost about half as much as a unilateral mission to implement, and the United States pays less than one-third of that cost, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. And the international evidence suggests they work to keep the peace by considerably reducing the risk of civil wars reigniting.

But these operations are far from free of failure and scandal – from bringing cholera to Haiti to child and sexual abuse. There were “145 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse involving all members of the U.N. in 2016,” and surveys suggest these are conservative estimates.

One important factor behind these failures is the gross gender inequality in security operations. Of the 106,286 U.N. military and police peacekeepers active in July 2015, a mere 4 percent were women.

The Security Council recently called for a doubling of women in peacekeeping by 2020 – but on current trends, we’ll hit gender parity in U.N. peacekeeping forces sometime around the year 2352. That suggests we need more than grand statements to foster change.

Read full op-ed here.

July 26, 2017

How Significant Were the Pledges at the London Family Planning Summit? (Devex)

From the article:

Advocates have welcomed the news that an estimated $5 billion was pledged to improve and expand reproductive health services in developing countries at the London Family Planning Summit earlier this month — double the figure cited in initial reports — but say it still falls far short of the sums needed, and that better monitoring systems are required to ensure the commitments materialize...

Rachel Silverman, assistant director of global health policy at the Washington, D.C.- based Center for Global Development, also applauded “notable” commitments from India, which committed to spend an additional $1 billion by 2020 and increase modern contraceptive usage from 53.1 percent  to 54.3 percent, and satisfy 74 percent of the demand by 2020.

“We see three countries making up the bulk of the $4 billion — that’s great for those countries but it skews the [perception of] overall momentum,” she said.

Read full article here.

July 14, 2017

Blog Posts Highlight Pledges Made At London Family Planning Summit, Next Steps For Donors (Kaiser Family Foundation)

From the article:

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Family Planning Summit Raises Much-Needed Funds. Now It’s Time for Donors to Stop Being Polite and Start Getting Real.

Rachel Silverman, senior policy analyst with CGD, discusses her attendance at this week’s London Family Planning Summit, writing, “With significant new money raised for the cause — an important accomplishment given the uncertainty around sustained U.S. funding and the reinstatement of the Mexico City policy — it’s now time for donors to get serious about optimizing the efficiency, impact, and sustainability of family planning programs.” Silverman highlights a CGD report published last year that provides “recommendations for donors to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability of their investments” (7/13).

Read full article here.

February 15, 2016

Shine A Light On The Gaps (Foreign Affairs)

From article:

Agriculture forms the backbone of African economies, accounting for 32 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). A majority of the continent’s farmers earn their living on small plots of less than two hectares, which represent 80 percent of all farms across sub-Saharan Africa. But these smallholder farmers are largely excluded from financial services and are therefore constrained from improving their wellbeing and transforming their farms into economically viable businesses. Although smallholder farmers face a number of challenges to raising productivity, bridging the financial access gap must be a priority.

There is much literature on expanding financial inclusion among the world’s poor. The issue has been a development priority since Group of Twenty (G20) leaders launched the Financial Inclusion Action Plan in 2010. But Africa’s smallholder farmers have received little attention, and women farmers—who make up half of the continent’s agricultural labor force—have received even less.

Being excluded from financial services has negative consequences for smallholder farmers. Access to credit can help raise farm productivity by expanding access to inputs as well as better storage, marketing, and processing. Access to savings instruments at harvest enables families to put money aside and helps smooth consumption at other times of the year. Access to payment platforms can offer a secure and efficient way to make transactions. And access to insurance products can protect against illness and weather-related shocks. In the absence of these formal mechanisms, smallholder households often rely on informal instruments. Although they are accessible and flexible, informal financial services can also be inefficient and costly in the short term, and they do not always offer the services needed to help transform subsistence farming into a profitable business.

Read full article here.

October 20, 2015

Where The Girls Are (And Aren't): #15Girls (NPR)

From the article: The world's girls are healthier than ever. They live longer and more of them are going to school than at any time in history.

But most of them face discrimination simply because they are girls. The discrimination happens at every point in their lives.
In some cases, it starts even before they're born, when parents decide to abort a pregnancy if the fetus is female.
A good way to get a sense of the progress — and the remaining gaps — in worldwide gender equality is by looking at the data. Numbers can tell a compelling story. The story we're going to tell focuses on girls ages 10 to 19, an age range used by the World Bank and other groups to track populations. Worldwide, about 600 million girls fall into this age range. Nearly half of them live in just seven countries. Those countries are the focus of our story.

Read full article here