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CGD's weekly Podcast, event videos, whiteboard talks, slides, and more.

Does the Past Condemn Us? A Conversation on the Future of US Foreign Assistance

Join Nancy Birdsall for a bipartisan conversation with Raj Shah and Michael Gerson on the future of US foreign assistance: what works, what doesn’t, why we should care, and what we should do to reform it.

Shah, USAID Administrator under President Obama, and Gerson, assistant to President George W. Bush for policy and strategic planning, are co-authors of “Foreign Assistance and the Revolution of Rigor” in the recently released second edition of Moneyball for Government.

Median Income / Consumption Data as Extracted from the World Bank’s PovcalNet

By making this data public, we hope to encourage more development professionals to use the median in evaluating individuals’ material well-being in developing (and developed) countries and progress toward broad-based economic growth and shared prosperity. We also hope that wider use of the median will provide an incentive for the World Bank to publish the data in an easily accessible format along with the full distribution, in line with its open data policy.

Better Value in Health Spending Is a Four-Letter Word – Podcast with Amanda Glassman

No one really understands why the first letter is lower case and the rest are in capitals. But one thing that is clear to anyone who has heard of iDSI is that it fills a growing gap in how developing countries decide how to allocate their strained health budgets. The International Decision Support Initiative is a network of expert organizations that helps policymakers make effective, efficient, and ethical decisions about how to prioritize limited resources.

Median Income versus GDP

Median measures of well-being give us a better picture than the mean of the well-being of a “typical” individual. Take Nigeria and Tanzania: in 2010, Nigeria’s GDP per capita (at PPP) was $5,123; Tanzania’s stood at only $2,111. This suggests that Nigerians were more than twice as well off as Tanzanians. Yet, if we compare consumption medians, a different picture emerges: a Nigerian at the middle of the income distribution lived on $1.80 a day, while his or her Tanzanian counterpart had 20 cents more to spend, at $2 a day.

The Economics of Poverty: History, Measurement, and Policy

There are fewer people living in extreme poverty in the world today than 30 years ago. While that is an achievement, continuing progress for poor people is far from assured. Inequalities in access to key resources threaten to stall growth and poverty reduction in many places. The world’s poorest have made only a small absolute gain over those 30 years. Progress has been slow against relative poverty, judged by the standards of the country and time one lives in. And a great many people in the world’s emerging middle class remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty.

Countries Most in Need of Aid Are Less Likely to Get It – Podcast with Owen Barder

Which country’s aid is the best? And who is giving what to whom? Recent statistics from the OECD tell us that the amount of aid given to poor countries was at an all-time high of $137.2bn in 2014 – the latest year for which figures are available. That’s up by just over 1% on the previous year, but the proportion of aid going to the poorest countries has fallen.

"Empowering Women Benefits Everyone" – Podcast with Susan Markham

In any given economy, women make up at least half the work force. Yet in many countries, women hold fewer assets and earn less than men. We already know why: income inequality is a direct consequence of gender inequality, highlighting the importance of gender equality for development. In fact, an entire Global Goal has been dedicated to greater gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. The question now is how to achieve that goal, and that’s what Susan Markham, USAID Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, discusses on this week’s podcast. 

Shares of Global Aid vs. Shares of Global Poor

There are big gaps between where aid gets spent and where the poor live. In the graph, countries to the right of the diagonal line receive a share of aid that is less than their share of people living in poverty. Asia is the standout case of this mismatch.

A Wish List for 2016 – Podcast with Nancy Birdsall

As well as being the beginning of a new year, this is also the start of CGD’s 15th anniversary year, so what better way to kick off than to invite our president Nancy Birdsall to cast her gaze back to 2015 and forwards to 2016.

Making Paris Happen: Carbon Markets, Taxes, and Other Policy Solutions for Climate Action

One month since the Paris climate agreement, it’s essential to maintain the momentum of that highpoint in global cooperation towards addressing the problems of climate change. But how can nations now turn words into action? Join us for a panel discussion on tangible policy options to spur the climate action envisioned in the Paris Agreement. How does a carbon market actually work? What is the role of carbon taxes in reducing global emissions? Why is financing tropical forest preservation the cheapest way for rich countries to cut emissions?

Ten Years of Progress at the African Development Bank – Podcast with Donald Kaberuka

The African Development Bank is widely praised these days as one of the premier financial institutions in Africa. The past decade saw it place much greater emphasis on infrastructure financing, a change brought about in part by the instincts of its former president Donald Kaberuka. In this week's podcast, Kaberuka discusses how the AfDB’s success came about.

So That Was 2015

As the year draws to a close, CGD fellows reflect on the most important moments in development in 2015. Check out the full podcast here.

Fiscal Transfers for Better Health – Podcast with Amanda Glassman and Anit Mukherjee

2015 has been the year we have been reminded that there have been major gains in development in many parts of the world, but that hundreds of millions of people still suffer the dangerous consequences of poverty, including high levels of maternal and infant mortality, hunger, illness caused by lack of basic sanitation, and death from easily treatable diseases. How can we improve health systems to make them more effective, as well as less wasteful and more accountable?

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