Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

December 12, 2008

Toward Measuring the Impact of the World Food Program's Purchase for Progress Initiative

Post-doctoral fellow Jenny C. Aker supports the innovation of the World Food Program's new Purchase-for-Progress initiative but argues that it might not be the panacea that others claim. She questions some of the assumptions of the P4P and cites some potential unintended consequences, especially for the thin grain markets of the Sahel. Aker provides five concrete suggestions for the WFP to consider during the pilot phase of this program.

September 16, 2008

How Can We Avoid Another Food Crisis in Niger? (Essay)

In this essay, CGD post-doctoral fellow Jenny Aker analyzes the performance of grain markets in Niger during its 2005 food crisis, when an estimated 2.4 million people were affected by severe food shortages, to find ways to avoid future crises. She finds that local grain markets are highly responsive to national and sub-regional price shocks and suggests that local early-warning systems should monitor the impact of drought and prices in key national and sub-regional markets. This essay highlights the need for policies that account for the impact of local purchases and regional trade on food security.

September 9, 2008

Guatemala . . . Teetering on the Brink?

Visiting fellow Carol Lancaster reflects on how Guatemala has changed since her first visit four decades ago. A larger middle class and formal sector, more NGOs, and more women in professional life: these are among the positive changes. Yet the country is poised to either realize its great potential or succumb to obstacles along the way. U.S. policies can influence the future of Guatemala and other countries in the region, but they must look beyond the narrow focus on drugs and migration.

Carol Lancaster
August 15, 2008

The Right Response in Latin America to Oil and Food Price Pressures: Fight Inflation Now!

CGD senior fellow Liliana Rojas-Suarez argues that the recent sharp spike in food and oil prices, above the long term upward trend, threatens Latin America’s stability and is the result of excess global liquidity and the U.S. credit mess. She says the region must fight inflation now and, going forward, insist on a greater say in setting global financial rules.

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June 16, 2008

Integration in the Americas: One Idea for Plan B (Essay)

In this CGD Essay, visiting fellow Nancy Lee provides the full details and policy recommendations for a strategy of regional investment integration in the Americas. The essay, excerpted from her chapter in the forthcoming White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, builds on a previously published CGD Note by specifying the scope of the proposed agreement, outlining its expected gains, and identifying the initial steps the United States could take to encourage a fresh agreement to be reached.

May 27, 2008

Don't Close the Golden Door: Our Noisy Debate on Immigration and Its Deathly Silence on Development

International migration has long been a central tool in the battle against global poverty and inequality, but the recent heated political debate over immigration reform has largely failed to recognize how migration shapes the development process. In this essay, research fellow Michael Clemens and co-author Sami Bazzi outline five major reasons why migration is a development issue in today’s world, and they suggest an agenda for the next U.S. administration to make U.S. migration policy work for the United States, for countries of origin, and for the migrants themselves.

Michael Clemens and Sami Bazzi
March 31, 2008

Power and Roads for Africa

CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran argues in this essay that the next U.S. president can play a valuable role in helping Africa to overcome two crucial barriers to poverty reduction: lack of power and lack of roads. Ramachandran urges the next president to create a $1 billion Clean Energy Fund for Africa to facilitate the transfer of U.S. infrastructure technology, including renewable energy; and to encourage the World Bank and the African Development Bank to focus on cross-country regional infrastructure projects, also with a strong emphasis on clean technology. The essay is included in a forthcoming CGD volume: The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President.

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March 17, 2008

Modernizing Foreign Assistance for the 21st Century: An Agenda for the Next U.S. President

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA), the new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has vowed a major overhaul of U.S. foreign assistance. He joins a growing list of members of Congress and the defense, diplomacy and development community who recognize that U.S. foreign assistance programs are badly in need of modernization to meet the challenges of the 21st century. In this new essay, adapted from a forthcoming CGD book The White House and the World: A Global Development Agenda for the Next U.S. President, CGD senior fellow Steve Radelet offers a blueprint to align U.S. foreign assistance with American values and foreign policy goals: develop a National Foreign Assistance Strategy; create a new cabinet-level department for development policy; rewrite the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act; place a higher priority on multilateral assistance channels; and increase the quantity and improve the allocation of funding.

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February 19, 2008

The Good News Out of Africa: Democracy, Stability, and the Renewal of Growth and Development

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who will host President Bush on Thursday in the final stop of his five-country Africa tour, has news that may surprise some people: despite the problems in some African countries, things are clearly improving in much of the continent. In a new CGD essay co-authored with senior fellow Steve Radelet, Sirleaf describes how a growing number of African countries are embracing democracy and good governance, strengthening macroeconomic policies, and benefiting from debt relief. These countries are in the midst of an economic and development rebound, with economic growth averaging 5 percent for a decade, poverty rates beginning to fall, and social indicators beginning to improve. The essay concludes with recommendations on how this progress can be sustained and consolidated.

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Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Steven Radelet
February 19, 2008

Learning While Doing: A 12-Step Program for Policy Change

This essay by CGD director of communications and policy Lawrence MacDonald and senior fellow and vice president for programs and operations Ruth Levine describes a variety of approaches and techniques that the Center for Global Development has used to achieve its mission: applying the results of rigorous research and policy analysis to help improve the policies and practices of the rich world towards development. It outlines an emerging 12-step program that the Center's staff has applied successfully in a variety of policy contexts, with particular attention to how the Center has tracked the impact of these initiatives. The essay concludes with suggestions for improving the field of policy advocacy impact evaluation more broadly.

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