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A woman raises her hand to speak at a community meeting in Aurangabad, India. Photo by Simone D. McCourtie, World Bank

Money Can’t Buy You “Country Ownership”

Efforts to make aid more effective in the last two decades have given prominence to "country ownership." With true country ownership, aid is supposed to follow the priorities of recipient countries, rather than those of the funders. Yet funders have their priorities too. So recipients and funders have sought to resolve this potential conflict through policy dialogue and alignment of priorities. My new paper, "What is 'Country Ownership'?" explores this basic problem using a formal model to unravel three interrelated factors affecting country ownership.

book covers

What We're Reading in Summer 2019

The Center for Global Development's annual summer reading list, presenting a selection of recommendations from CGD researchers and staff, is back with more ways to explore, analyze, or escape the world around you (reader's choice!). Swing back to the 1860s to visit New Zealand during the gold rush or stroll around Lincoln's Washington. Step into mythology for a new take on one of the world's earliest feminists. Or if you're more forward-looking, visit a future where technology has allowed us to achieve immortality... of a sort. 

A row of beer glasses. Photo from Adobe Stock.

New High-Level Report Calls for Higher Taxes on Tobacco, Alcohol, and Sugary Beverages to Prevent Millions of Deaths

The Task Force on Fiscal Policy for Health, co-chaired by Michael Bloomberg and Lawrence Summers just launched a report calling on governments to substantially raise taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and sugary beverages. Such policies could avert an estimated 50 million premature deaths while raising $20 trillion of new revenues. This isn’t particularly new news to the global health community which has been pushing for increased taxes to reduce consumption of products which are toxic to health. But it IS news that this Task Force has issued such a strong report for at least two reasons.

The monument to an anonymous reviewer in Moscow

A Better Process for Better Evidence: My Review of Open Review

Peer review is an important part of establishing the credibility and quality of research, yet it has been controversial since its inception. My recent experience with a relatively new approach which publishes reviewers’ comments along with their names—open peer review—led me to reflect on the not so subtle ways it altered the way I refereed a paper. I was originally lukewarm to the idea. But after trying it out, thinking on it, and reading a little further, I've decided I'm all for it.

Indonesia

When Foes Become Friends: Indigenous Rights and REDD+ in Indonesia

Last year, Indonesia’s tree cover loss declined by 60 percent to its lowest level since 2003. This kept some 0.2 gigatons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere which, by itself, represented about 0.5 percent of all global greenhouse gas emissions that year. Many factors were involved, but one was a tentative shift in domestic politics toward protecting the country’s forests and its indigenous peoples’ rights. This shift could not have been confidently envisioned even a decade ago.

An indigenous woman speaks into a microphone

What Will It Take to Stop Tropical Deforestation? Lessons from a Case Study of Indigenous Peoples and REDD+ in Peru

When I first heard about international programs that would pay to reduce deforestation, I assumed that indigenous peoples who inhabit tropical forests would be unanimously supportive. As I should have anticipated, indigenous peoples and their organizations are quite heterogenous in their reactions to forest conservation initiatives for many reasons, including past experiences of repression and current political movements to claim their rights.

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