On Monday October 20, Joko Widodo (“Jokowi”) was inaugurated as president of Indonesia. As I wrote at the time of the election in July, Indonesia’s deforestation rate—now the world’s highest—and its oversized effect on global climate emissions are among the burning issues pressing for the attention of the new administration. But perhaps this is the only one that is literally burning.
CGD Policy Blogs
Unilaterally seek to push Asia’s largest economy out of the Asian Development Bank’s club of borrowers. Never mind that China’s “graduation” from the ADB would weaken the institution financially and sever an important channel of influence and dialogue with Chinese officials.
August 9th is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, so it’s an appropriate moment to reflect on how the 2014 theme “Bridging the gap: Implementing the rights of indigenous peoples” relates to the forests and climate change agenda.
On July 9th some 140 million Indonesians went to the polls to vote for a new President. It was only the country’s third direct presidential election, and certainly the closest, with two very different candidates. Each declared victory based on competing exit polls but at the urging of the outgoing president agreed to await the official results, to be announced on July 22nd.
For decades, primary health care in China has been practically forgotten. Most people in China today seek care directly at hospitals rather than local village clinics. With hospitals overwhelmed by patients for even minor conditions, doctors provide low quality care. But a new Health Economics study provides hope that it is possible to shift utilization from hospitals back down to village clinics – and back to the people.
My guest on this Wonkcast is CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas Suarez, who serves as chair of the Latin American Shadow Financial Regulatory Committee (CLAAF). CLAAF is comprised of financial economists and former senior financial officials from the region who meet twice a year to study a current policy issue. They then issue a statement offering advice to policymakers in the region and others interested in Latin American financial regulatory issues—or just in the region’s overall economic health.
The Crisis in Official Development Assistance (ODA) Statistics: Needed Revamp Would Lift Japan, Lower France
Not to be melodramatic, but the official system for counting foreign aid is in crisis. The longstanding mathematical rule determining whether a loan’s interest rate is low enough to qualify it as aid has gone out of sync with the times. The rule’s benchmark interest rate of 10% per year was reasonable when adopted in 1972, but not now. Today, wealthy governments can borrow below 3%, lend a couple percent higher, come in well under the 10% bar, and count the potentially profitable lending as aid.
Suddenly over the last few days, I've been noticing lots of TV and radio ads plugging the benefits of biodiesel. Why now? I thought. Then I remembered. The $1/gallon tax credit for blending biodiesel with regular diesel expired at the end of last year.
My new book The Upside of Down: Why the Rise of the Rest Is Good for the West is published today. Here’s a one-sentence summary: a wealthier, healthier, better educated, more democratic, and more peaceful developing world is fantastic news for Europe and America — so the West should be doing everything possible to ensure the Rest gets even better off in the future.