Here’s a list of the ten most popular Wonkcasts of this year, and the number of times each audio file has been downloaded. Of course, downloads aren’t listens. Some files may have been downloaded once and listened to more than once. I suspect that more commonly they are downloaded but not played.
CGD Policy Blogs
The wait is finally over: President Obama has announced Senator John Kerry’s (D-MA) nomination as the next Secretary of State. Given Senator Kerry’s leading role in advocating a smarter approach towards development in Pakistan, his appointment could be a game-changer for the US’ work in the country.
The House was expected to vote on the Foreign Aid Transparency and Accountability Act of 2012 (H.R. 3159) this week but didn't quite get to it before concluding business. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), requires standard monitoring and evaluation across all US foreign aid agencies and would make the Foreign Assistance Dashboard a lasting—and required—tool to track US aid spending.
I'm delighted to congratulate my colleague David Roodman on his winning the first ever Editor's Prize of the Stata Journal for his 2009 and 2011 articles. Here is one of the more easily understood bits of the citation:
The State Department and USAID get a gold star this week for publishing a detailed plan for reporting all US government aid data to the Foreign Assistance Dashboard and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) by the end of 2015.
Liberia, Sierra Leone and Niger are the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)'s newest eligible partners. The MCC board selected these three new countries--plus two new countries eligible for second compacts and four countries already developing compact proposals--as eligible for FY13 assistance. We predicted 8 of the 9 picks. The outlier? Morocco. The big takeaway: MCC is putting competition back into the compact proposal process.
Here are the decisions:
Two months ago, Hurricane Sandy swept through Haiti, bringing winds and heavy rain that wiped away buildings, roads, crops, livestock, and fishing boats. By the time the extent of the damage and the humanitarian needs were understood, Americans had their attention fixed almost entirely on New York and New Jersey, not the Caribbean.
The global health legacy of 2012 will be twofold, a year of both increased commitments to health and flat lining budgets. Just look at this past summer: world leaders made a call to end preventable child deaths, the London Summit on Family Planning has resulted in $2.6 billion of commitments, and the International AIDS Conference saw a commitment to the “beginning of the end of AIDS.” While these are all great news, it is still uncertain as to who will pay for these ambitious goals: biggest donors are already scaling down their health aid budgets, and there remains a tremendous resource gap to reach the end of AIDS.
I thought I would take a look to see if the recently released National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends 2030 report had anything of interest to say on development-related issues.
This week, eight polio vaccination workers in Sindh and Peshawar have been killed in Pakistan during a three day anti-polio drive (see here). Last week in Afghanistan, two polio vaccinators were also killed. Suspicions of CIA involvement in the campaign have been identified as causes of the attacks. “Our teams are getting attacked, and we are having a hard time hiring health workers because they are worried about being called a spy,” said the Head of Medicine in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province earlier this summer.