Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

Expert

Filter by publication type:

 

Abstract image of connections across the globe.
November 30, 2020

Technology and Empathy in the COVID-19 Era

In a recent CGD note, “Empathy and Client Relationships in Development Finance,” we emphasised the importance of development finance institutions (DFIs) investing in face-to-face contact and dialogue with their clients to build the empathetic relationships needed to deliver development outcomes. But, in the era of COVID-19, did we overstate our case?

A shot of the front of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. Adobe Stock
November 18, 2020

Bargaining with Beijing: A Tale of Two Borrowers

We examine the behavior of Chinese government lenders in two debt rescheduling episodes: a “low stakes” case involving Seychelles and a “high stakes” case involving the Republic of Congo. The fact that the Republic of Congo was worse off after rescheduling its debts with Beijing underscores the importance of exposing these deals to public scrutiny before they are finalized and building borrower country capacity to negotiate more favorable deals.

The cover of the note
September 23, 2020

COVID-19 and Violence against Women and Children: A Second Research Round Up

COVID-19 has raised the profile of violence against women and children (VAW/C) within the global discourse. Nine months after the emergence of COVID-19, global stakeholders continue to advocate for increased funding and action to mitigate against the risk of violence on vulnerable populations and support survivors. How much have we learned from research since the beginning of the crisis?

The cover of the note
September 16, 2020

Closing Gender Pay Gaps

We convened a virtual roundtable to discuss how public and private sector actors can better understand and work together to narrow gender gaps in pay. To operationalize recommendations raised during the discussion, here we present 6 actions for governments that draw on principles of openness and 6 actions for businesses to champion.

A woman being tested for coronavirus. Adobe Stock.
August 21, 2020

Using COVID-19 Test, Trace, and Isolate Systems Effectively in Middle-Income Countries

The global public health response to COVID-19 is pivoting from high-income European countries to MICs predominantly in Asia and South America. Effective test, trace, and isolate systems may be particularly valuable in MICs, where social and economic circumstances do not support large and long-term lockdowns. But investing in such systems in MICs comes with a number of limitations and opportunity costs.

A registration officer in Malawi's National Registration and Identification System
August 19, 2020

Malawi’s Journey Towards Transformation: Lessons from its National ID Project

This essay lays out the story of how the UNDP team with its development partners achieved universal ID registration in Malawi, the challenges we faced, the roadblocks, how UNDP coordinated with other stakeholders and community development partners, and highlights the synergies that helped us achieve success.

Tariq Malik
Stock photo of a lightbulb on a black background
August 10, 2020

The UK as an Effective Altruist

The prime minister’s most influential advisor, Dominic Cummings, is a champion of “effective altruism”—the use of evidence and careful reasoning to work out how to maximize the good with a given unit of resources. With the UK government in the midst of a major “Integrated Review” of its foreign, development, and defence policy—and the recent the formation of a merged Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office confirming it isn’t afraid of change—now’s a good time to consider whether the effective altruism movement can or should find great traction in UK aid programmes.

A piggy bank under water. Adobe Stock.
August 5, 2020

Restructuring Sovereign Debt to Private Creditors in Poor Countries: What’s Broken?

Two out of five low-income countries were in the grips of, or moving rapidly toward, unsustainable debt levels before the global pandemic. But the economic, financial, and fiscal effects of the pandemic have brought the day of reckoning for many countries much closer. The global financial community is likely entering another period of messy, prolonged, costly, and contentious debt defaults and restructurings. It does so with no more—and in some ways less—consensus on the principles that should govern collective action by public and private creditors, debtor governments, and the IFIs.

A hedgehog and a fox
August 5, 2020

The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Hounds: How the FCDO Can Deliver Its Vision for Development

Being a force for good in the world is more than about branding, or even good intentions: it requires impact and an organisation capable of it. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s vision offers a good starting point for being a values-driven force for good in the world, but within that vision there are potential tensions that need to be managed, rather than left to seethe.

Aerial view of Bogota. Photo via Adobe Stock
July 24, 2020

COVID-19 in Colombia: Impact and Policy Responses

In this note, we review Colombia's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The first line of policy response slowed down the pace of contagion and avoided excess deaths, providing additional time to strengthen the health system and increase ICU capacity. However, the challenges that remain are significant. We provide some policy recommendations for the next stages of the pandemic.

Pages