CGD Policy Blogs

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Improving Energy Access: What the US Did in Eight Years, Kenya Has Done in Three

In the twelve months to June 2016, nearly 1.3 million Kenyan households were connected to the grid for the first time. This impressive feat pushed Kenya’s national electricity connectivity rate to 55 percent from just 27 percent in 2013, one of the fastest connection increases recorded in the region. These latest connections illustrate the Kenyan government’s commitment to a goal of achieving universal energy access by 2020.

Development Finance Institutions "a Proven Theory of Change" – Podcast with Heads of OPIC and CDC

OPIC and CDC are among the largest bilateral development finance institutions (DFIs). They are designed to use their funds to attract more private capital into developing markets through, for example, lending or insuring projects against political risk. CEOs Elizabeth Littlefield and Diana Noble discuss why the DFIs' business model is successful and how their institutions can do more. 

Can Payment for Results Repair Political Accountability Relations?

When people hear that a foreign aid program is paying for results, they can think about it in two very different ways. Some people think that paying for results is a way to control recipients, making them more strictly accountable to the people or organizations that are paying them. Others think that paying for results is a way to give recipients more autonomy and encourage them to be accountable to their beneficiaries (in the case of service providers) or their constituents (in the case of governments). It turns out that both perspectives are right—depending on just how the program that pays for results is designed.

The Tillerson Hearings

No one expects to hear much on development-related matters during next week’s hearing for Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson. But even if they aren’t asked outright, I’ll be listening closely to Mr. Tillerson’s testimony for answers to some fundamental questions about what we can expect from the next four years for US development policy.

The Competition is Heating up for Climate Leaders

A Trump administration and a Republican-controlled Congress may spell hard times for progressive climate action at a national and international level. But emerging economies are increasingly realizing their own stake in protecting their populations from climate change while also capitalizing on clean energy technology and manufacturing.

Will Trump be the Grinch that Steals US-Cuba Environmental Cooperation?

Last week, I had the privilege of sitting in on a conference on United States-Cuba relations in Havana that brought together experts on the politics of both countries. The conference was dominated by uncertainty over the future of bilateral ties under a Trump Administration. One of the many prospective casualties of a reversal in US policy toward Cuba would be cooperation on the environment.

Minding Privacy in the Use of Health Data

The power and potential of digitized and linked data require careful stewardship. For example, integrating routine data and HIV registers could generate efficiencies and potentially improve the delivery of health care services, but linking these systems may also put individuals’ privacy at greater risk. The ethics of developing, managing, and providing access to data needs to be at the forefront of conversations on data for development, along with practical strategies to proactively protect privacy.

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