An increasing number of aid agencies are experimenting with programs that incorporate the main features of COD Aid: paying for outputs, giving the recipient greater discretion to spend as they see fit, independent verification, and transparency. (See our brief and book for more details). We’ve argued that the design of COD Aid programs can be rather easy, though the quality of the indicators chosen and the verification process are certainly critical to success. We have spent less time talking about what happens once the program is up and running. In particular, what happens when you find out how much progress actually occurred?
CGD Policy Blogs
This is a joint post with Ben Leo, former CGD research fellow and now Policy Director at ONE.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is the best US development agency you’ve probably never heard of. Known as OPIC, it’s often mistakenly confused with the oil cartel. But if you care about promoting economic opportunity around the world, then OPIC should be on your radar. And with a few changes, the Government could make OPIC a whole lot more impactful.
Launched in 1971, OPIC leverages public money to create market opportunities and crowd-in private capital by providing insurance, loans, and seed capital for new private equity funds. Over four decades, OPIC has helped to generate nearly $200 billion in new investment, enabling US investors to enter new markets and building a private sector in support of US policy objectives. The bonus of OPIC is not only that it works, but that it comes at no cost to US taxpayers. In fact, for 34 years in a row, OPIC has generated profits and contributed funds into the US Treasury (the FY2012 budget expects a $188 million contribution).
Last week saw the opening meeting of the High Level Panel on the Post-2015 Development Agenda –AKA the HiPoPoDomAe. That’s the body set up by the UN Secretary General to mull what follows on from the Millennium Development Goals. There’s a brief round-up of some of what was said here. Reports of the discussion, some wonderful meetings in London two weeks ago, and recent interventions from Ben Leo at the ONE campaign as well as the WEF Global Agenda Council on Benchmarki
What’s going to be President Obama’s legacy on Africa? President Clinton championed AGOA, still the core of US-Africa trade relations. President Bush built PEPFAR and the MCC. There’s an outside chance that Feed the Future could be Obama’s lasting contribution, but I think the jury’s still out. So what kind of big impact-big splash effort could we hope for in the next four years, from either a second Obama term or a new Romney administration?
This post is joint with Ross Thuotte
Today, the World Bank announced that Jim Yong Kim will be the institution’s next president. As the dust settles from the leadership selection debate, the focus will necessarily shift to the issues that confront Kim and the world’s leading development institution. One of the most difficult and important questions is: how can the bank more effectively engage in fragile and conflict-affected countries?
With eight days to go before the nomination deadline, chatter about the next World Bank President has predictably focused on whether America’s monopoly on the post is an anachronism or if it’s still a good way to keep US engagement.
First Edition of the Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa Features Essays by CGD Staff and Board
This is a joint post with Julie Walz
Since the mid-nineties, many African nations have ushered in dramatic economic and political changes. But growth in other countries is stalled due conflict, repressive regimes, and lack of infrastructure. A new publication captures the diversity across Africa, using an economic lens to evaluate the key issues affecting Africa’s ability to grow and develop. The Oxford Companion to the Economics of Africa is a compilation of 100 essays on key issues and topics across the continent. It includes contributions from young African researchers, longtime researchers on Africa and four Nobel Laureates. Authors were given the freedom to write their own perspectives, thus the result is not a literature review but an engaging snapshot of concerns and possibilities across the continent. With 48 country perspectives (from Algeria to Zimbabwe) and 53 thematic essays, the book rejects a one-size-fits-all approach yet recognizes that there are continent-wide opportunities and challenges. As the first work of its kind, it is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in the field, from graduate students to policymakers.
If last night’s SOTU was, as expected, short on development, at least the Obama Administration finally made good on last year’s SOTU promise to try to consolidate the USG agencies that work on economic promotion. (I say “try” since the request is simply for fast-track authority; no plan has actually been revealed yet.) I’m torn on what I’ve been hearing so far:
This is a joint post with Christopher Molitoris.
On Tuesday, January 24, President Obama will deliver his third State of the Union address to Congress, the American public, and global audiences seeking to better understand the domestic and foreign policy priorities for the United States in 2012. With a presidential election year in full swing and a still-uncertain U.S. economic recovery, it’s unlikely global development will get much mention in the president’s address. But that won’t stop us at CGD from tuning in to assess the president’s remarks using our state-of-the art policy proclamation evaluation instrument: CGD State of the Union Bingo.
Download CGD’s SOTU Bingo cards
Play Online with Interactive Bingo Cards
RSVP for the D.C. Event
Together with CGD friends and colleagues, we’ll track in real-time how the president measures up to his commitment to development by listening for the key development-relevant words listed on our bingo cards. Will he mention his new pledge to increase access to HIV/AIDS treatment? Pakistan? Climate? Trade?
What the Solyndra Scandal Can Tell Us about Fixing Our Broken Aid System (Hint: Be More Like OPIC & MCC)
As the troubling details of the Department of Energy's loan program continue to roll out, I can’t help but think of another beleaguered agency…USAID. And, I also wonder if, in thinking how to generate new clean energy technology at home, we might also find insights to better promote development abroad? Here’s how: