CGD in the News

Visas as Aid (The Economist)


A new study by Michael Clemens and Hannah Postel of the Centre for Global Development compares those Haitians who secured visas through the project with unsuccessful applicants left behind. The benefits were mind-boggling: the temporary migrants earned a monthly income 1,400% higher than those back in Haiti. Most of their earnings flowed back home in the form of remittances. For comparison, a 10-30% raise would normally be cause for celebration. The sample for the study was small. But its findings match those for a similar scheme that offered temporary agricultural work in New Zealand to people from Tonga and Vanuatu. That policy was assessed by economists at the World Bank as “among the most effective development policies evaluated to date”.

Draft of Trump Plan to Halt Refugee Flow to U.S. Causes Alarm, but Some Welcome the Idea (Los Angeles Times)


“There is a much larger symbolic impact in terms of the global responsibility to resettle refugees and the responsibility to address the crisis that is destabilizing the region,” said Cindy Huang, a visiting policy fellow at the Washington-based Center for Global Development and an expert on migration and refugees (and no relation to Margaret Huang, the Amnesty official). “It’s not just the number of those who would not be able to come to the U.S.; it’s about what this is signaling about the U.S. and its role in addressing the larger crisis.”

How Do You Know If Aid Really Works? Turns out ... We Often Don't (NPR)


Even at the World Bank and USAID, only a small portion of projects are subject to impact evaluations, agreed Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development. Every year, her group does an exhaustive review to identify large-scale health programs that made a big impact. Of about 250 that they looked through this past year, "only 50 used rigorous methods to establish the attributable impact. And none of the very largest programs in global health had done any impact evaluation" of the type she argues are needed — including two major international nonprofit organizations: Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis as well as GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. This doesn't mean the health products that these health programs use — medicines or vaccines, for instance — haven't been proven effective through, say, medical trials or studies of what happens to the incidence of disease when you vaccinate a certain population, explained Glassman.

Trump, Mnuchin Could Use Obscure Committee to Ignite Trade Wars (The Hill)


During his confirmation hearing Thursday, Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin offered a glimpse into an obscure, but powerful government committee that could join an emerging toolkit the Trump administration could use to launch a global trade war.Asked about the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an interagency committee chaired by the secretary of the treasury, Mnuchin tipped his hand by referring to the committee’s role in “protecting American workers.” But CFIUS is decidedly not about worker protections or economic protectionism.

Britain Gambles on Free Trade Deal with Europe (CNN)


The fact that the U.K. and EU are starting from a position of completely free trade may help the process, said Ian Mitchell, a senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development in Europe. "The fact we already have tariff-free trade with the EU may make the negotiation easier," he said ... Britain could set the same tariffs that the EU has in place, including on dairy products, meat, autos and textiles, said Mitchell. Or it could set tariffs at zero to boost trade with international partners, he said.

Tom Hiddleston at Golden Globes: Maybe Not the Best Charity Spokesman (NPR)


Rajesh Mirchandani, the vice president of communications at the Center for Global Development, agrees. But there is a down side, he notes: Celebrities can be distracting because of their celebrity. "If they [celebrities] are too famous, or infamous, the media is going to be more interested in their personal doings than the project they are supposed to be fronting," he said. 

What Does the Trump Administration Mean for Power Africa? (Forbes)


Power Africa, President Obama’s signature African electrification push, is in limbo. The initiative was launched in June 2013, but—consistent with the nature of large-scale long-term infrastructure investments—is really just getting started. Until we see key appointments (e.g., OPIC president, USAID administrator, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs) we probably won’t know what’s in store for Power Africa under a Trump administration.

The Other Kind of Immigration (The Economist)


Yet that pressure will not necessarily find an outlet, says Michael Clemens of the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank. European voters are not keen even on current levels of immigration and will be still less enthused by a doubling or even a tripling of their immigrant populations. So there will be an enormous number of potential African migrants and not enough places for them in the West. They are highly likely to head for other African countries, for the Middle East and perhaps even for Asia. Countries such as China and South Korea have resisted mass immigration, but they badly need more young people. In short, says Mr Clemens, south-south migration is likely to grow a lot.

Will Trump Embrace the Funding of Overseas Aid? (BBC)


Scott Morris from the Centre for Global Development in Washington says he is troubled already by these early signs, and by Trump's general attitude towards engaging with multilateral bodies. He also thinks sizeable cuts in this area cannot be discounted. "Trump could go for the foreign aid budget as a sacrificial lamb very early on - even though the dollars aren't huge," Mr Morris says. "He could try to deliver something symbolic to show his supporters that he is getting tough and putting America first."

Remarks by Administrator Gayle Smith at the Center for Global Development (Foreign Affairs)


Over the last 8 years, President Obama’s signature development initiatives have reduced poverty, malnutrition, and mortality, all while spurring entrepreneurship and innovation, empowering women and girls, and helping to build more stable, accountable, and inclusive partners for the United States. Whether it’s combating hunger, preventing the spread of deadly diseases, or increasing access to education and clean energy, USAID is achieving real results that change people’s lives for the better – despite the often harsh realities of the sharp-edged world we live in.