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An image of a young male construction worker.
September 20, 2021

Global Mobility: Confronting A World Workforce Imbalance

Based on UN projections from the period 2015 to 2050, Rebekah Smith and Farah Hani have calculated that prime working-age populations of OECD countries will shrink by more than 92 million people while there will be nearly 1.4 billion new working-age people in developing countries. This note updates and extends that analysis, including by examining the coming labor shortage In upper middle income countries, where the forecast decline in the number of workers is even larger than in high-income countries. Unaddressed, the global workforce imbalance is a threat to economic performance in both poorer and richer countries. But it also presents a considerable opportunity to both sets of countries—if they embrace global worker mobility

An image of a boy looking a dry river.
September 8, 2021

Staying Cool as the Climate Warms

Unprecedented heat waves and wildfires in 2021 are a warning of worse to come and a signal that the tempo of climate change may be quickening. A warmer planet subject to frequent and destructive severe weather events will be less livable, the productivity of economic activities will suffer, and higher temperatures will increase both morbidity and mortality. However, this future is not necessarily locked in.

July 19, 2021

A Global Skill Partnership in Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) between Nigeria and Europe

This case study is one of three in a recent report by CGD and the World Bank, outlining how CGD’s Global Skill Partnership model could be applied to boost the number of skilled professionals in Nigeria and Europe. This piece focuses on the ICT sector. It explores the existing digital and migration ecosystems in Nigeria and four European countries—Germany, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Lithuania—providing practical recommendations for how a targeted skilled migration pathway could be used to boost economic growth in both markets.

Samik Adhikari , Michael Clemens , Helen Dempster and Nkechi Linda Ekeator
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?

Cover of policy paper 190
November 12, 2020

Governing Data for Development: Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

To better understand how governments can use data to support economic development and inclusive growth while protecting citizens and communities against harm, we interviewed over 40 data policy experts from government, civil society, the private sector, development organizations, and the data privacy community over summer 2020. This paper synthesizes the views we heard into key themes and explores some of the questions and challenges that a policy and research agenda aimed at supporting effective government data use should consider.

A server blinks in a datacenter.
November 12, 2019

The New Economy of Africa: Opportunities for Nigeria’s Emerging Technology Sector

Nigeria has a vibrant and growing tech sector. In a survey of tech firms conducted in 2018, we find that most firms start small but grow quickly, more than doubling their size in the few years since the start of operations. Many are addressing inefficiencies in distribution of goods and services. But firms are still hampered by the business environment, notably unreliable electricity and lack of access to credit. Most suffer significant power outages, forcing them to purchase generators. Few firms have access to financial institutions or venture capitalists, relying instead on family and professional networks. Finally, tech firms employ very few women. While the Nigerian government has made the tech sector a priority, it needs to do more to improve the basics of the business environment. The government and the private sector must also take steps to increase the participation of women in the tech sector.

Cover of Policy Paper 149
July 11, 2019

Fuel Subsidy Reform and Green Taxes: Can Digital Technologies Improve State Capacity and Effectiveness?

Reforming inefficient and inequitable energy subsidies continues to be an important priority for policymakers as does instituting “green taxes” to reduce carbon emissions. The paper outlines how the use of digital technology can help accomplishing those reforms, drawing on four country cases. The technology is only a mechanism; it does not, in itself, create the political drive and constituency to push reform forward.

Cover of Working Paper 511
June 11, 2019

Examining the Impact of E-Procurement in Ukraine

This paper examines the impact of Ukraine’s ambitious procurement reform on outcomes amongst a set of procurements that used competitive tendering. This paper examines the impact of ProZorro and reform on contracts that were procured competitively both prior to and after the introduction of the new system. It finds some evidence of impact of the new system on increasing the number of bidders, cost savings, and reduced contracting times.

Artur Kovalchuk , Charles Kenny and Mallika Snyder
An 18-wheeler on a highway
March 26, 2019

The Machines Are Not So Easy to Ride: Another Take on Automation

Contrary to popular imagination, automation in the workplace is not some modern-day development composed chiefly of hardware, robotics, and human-cognition level embedded algorithms. Instead, it is an old phenomenon consisting primarily of business productivity software deployment in the forms of enterprise resource planning, customer resource management, and human capital management solutions. And however far back one goes, process control and risk management have always competed with increased flexibility for priority in the business case for these systems.

Bright Simons
Close-up of hands using a phone to call a ride-sharing app
March 21, 2019

Why “Leapfrogging” in Frontier Markets Isn’t Working

There are two big questions about modern innovation: Why does it tend to confine itself to only a narrow “vanguard” of the economy in every part of the world? And why does it not provide as big a boost to productivity as expected, especially since the dotcom bust?

Bright Simons

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