Measuring empowerment is a perennial challenge for those of us evaluating programs targeting women. Last Wednesday’s launch of J-PAL’s new Practical Guide to Measuring Women’s and Girls’ Empowerment in Impact Evaluations at CGD was an exciting opportunity be inspired by impact evaluation powerhouse Rachel Glennerster, the former Executive Director of J-PAL and current Chief Economist at DFID, while simultaneously getting a bit discouraged about the quality of existing quantitative measures of empowerment. Here are a few takeaways for economists doing impact evaluations.
CGD Policy Blogs
The Proposed SDG Indicator on Illicit Financial Flows Risks Conflating Ordinary Business and Dirty Money
“Illicit financial flows” means dirty money crossing borders. It is an umbrella term which covers diverse actors including organised crime groups, business people making bribes, political leaders engaging in grand corruption, and major tax evaders hiding undeclared wealth. What they all have in common is that what they are doing is illegal (although they may be getting away with it), and they often use opaque international networks of legal entities, bank accounts, and property holdings to facilitate and store ill-gotten gains. There is a clear development case for rich countries to act to prevent their financial systems being used as havens for illicit financial flows that harm developing countries.
Whether you want to take an in-depth look at the human smuggling industry, find out how a Mars rover works, or beat the heat with a vivid depiction of a Cornish Winter, you're sure to find something here to round out your summer reading list.
Myths, Challenges, and (Maybe?) a Consensus around Commercial Confidentiality in Government Contracts: Grist for a New CGD Working Group
Last week, the Open Contracting Partnership released a new report, Mythbusting Confidentiality in Public Contracting, during the Open Government Partnership meetings in Georgia. The report is a fascinating and helpful read, based on a review of recent contract publication practices in eight countries as well as legal frameworks in another seven.
Last week, the World Meteorological Organization announced Ethiopia as the location of its new Regional Office for Africa. The office will be hosted in the headquarters of Ethiopia’s National Meteorological Agency, a one billion birr complex expected to be constructed over the next few years to meet increasing demands in Africa for reliable weather and climate services.
The bill, which would create a modernized US development finance institution, just passed the House. Todd Moss explains how the new agency could help the US step up energy investments.
Making Sexual and Reproductive Health Services a Priority for Rohingya Refugees and Host Communities
In refugee and other crisis contexts, women and girls are disproportionately affected by limited access to essential services, including health care. There is a clear need for provision and access to consistent, reliable, and effective sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, which save lives and promote resilience in humanitarian contexts. Here are some questions that the government of Bangladesh and international partners should consider when looking to expand access to quality SRH services for Rohingya refugees and host communities.
Former president of Malawi Joyce Banda on how leaders are made, the challenges she faced as Malawi's first women president, and how the development community can help African girls reach their full potential.
In development circles these days, there is considerable emphasis on developing countries collecting more taxes domestically to help achieve the SDGs. But with this attention to domestic resource mobilization, we shouldn’t lose sight of a critical point: collecting more taxes will only advance the SDGs if the revenues are spent efficiently.
When the US Opposes Evidence-Based Efforts to Promote Breastfeeding, What Comes Next? Three Recommendations for Policymakers to Move Forward
“An important dimension of the controversy is the role of formula companies in putting profit over the wellbeing of babies,” write Cindy Huang and Joan Lombardi.