CGD Policy Blogs
I'm tired of the Priority Review Voucher (PRV)-bashing. For those unaware of the PRV program, it is a new bipartisan incentive mechanism passed by Congress and signed into law in September of 2007. The legislation rewards the sponsor of a neglected tropical disease product with a tradable voucher upon its FDA approval. The voucher can then be used to obtain a priority (speedier) review for another product.
Where There Is No Vision, the People Will Refuse to Perish--But Do-Nothing Institutions Very Well Might
It's been a busy year for citizen action on carbon emissions. On September 11, a UK jury considered charges against six Greenpeace activists who tried to shut down the Kingsnorth power station in Kent, UK. Kingsnorth emits 12.8 million tons of CO2 annually -- among the top 150 of over 50,000 plants worldwide in our CARMA database. It will vault much higher in the rankings after its planned expansion increases its emissions to 24.8 million tons.
A Proposed Ugandan Law Would Punish Those Who Hide Their Infection Status from Their Partners without Rewarding Those Who Reveal It
Former colleague Chris Blattman has just blogged a remarkable legal initiative under consideration in Uganda: the criminalization of "intentional" HIV transmission. "Intentional" transmission is defined as knowing that one is HIV-positive and failing to communicate that fact to one's sexual partner.
My colleague Ruth Levine has recently posted on a new study by Stephen Lim and colleagues at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation of the discrepancies between vaccination rates from two sources: those obtained officially from governments and those estimated directly and unofficially from household surveys from the same countries.
Congressman Xavier Becerra (D-CA) reportedly declined President-elect Obama's offer to be the new U.S. Trade Representative because he "came to the conclusion that [trade] wouldn't be priority number one, and it might not be number two or three." Given the enormous problems facing the American economy, and given American attitudes toward trade ranging from ambivalence to outright hostility, that is not surprising.
Cash on Delivery Aid: Developing Country Officials on Board but Donors Struggle with Innovation Aversion
This is a joint posting with Robin Kraft
When I lived in Zimbabwe a mere 18 years ago, one U.S. dollar was worth about 2.5 Zimbabwe dollars. A few years later I returned and was shocked that the value of the local currency had fallen by more than 50% to Z$6: US$1. (How quaint!) Since the central bank has spent much of the last few years pointlessly trying to defy the laws of money supply -- printing more and more cash to pay its bills -- we are witnessing both hyperinflation (231 million % at last official count) and a mind-spinning vortex of collapsing value for the local currency. The government released a new Z$500 million note last week. As of last Friday, this was worth around US$10. But let's not forget that 14 zeros have been lopped off the currency in the past two years. Thus, using the original Zim dollar (I must still have a few in an old backpack) the exchange rate is really US$1 to:
The annual selection process for country eligibility in FY2009 brought some remarkable decisions by the outgoing MCC Board of Directors. This was the final meeting of the Board as it is currently composed – the five government representatives will change as the new administration takes shape in the coming months.
Notable decisions included:
Nobel laureate Steve Chu reportedly will head the Department of Energy, a huge win for solar power. Chu is a real visionary, and solar is first on his list, so we're sending him a copy of a brand new working paper (posted today!) by David Wheeler and Kevin Ummel called Desert Power: The Economics of Solar Thermal Electricity For Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.