For more than a decade, reform efforts have attempted to put crisis-affected people at the center of humanitarian response, and make the system more cohesive and responsive. These reforms have produced ever-heavier coordination systems and technocratic guidance, but have targeted the symptoms of the system’s shortcomings rather than the causes. Traditional humanitarian response remains plagued by deep power imbalances, needless rivalries between organizations, and perverse institutional incentives. A new approach is badly needed—one that builds on the aspirations of earlier reform efforts while explicitly tackling the red-line issues that have long undermined them. A new multi-year research initiative at the Center for Global Development (CGD) aims to do just that: develop concrete, pragmatic, and actionable reform options to overhaul the outdated power structures and institutional incentives that have long skewed the humanitarian system’s behavior.
Let’s Be Real: The Informal Sector and the Gig Economy are the Future, and the Present, of Work in Africa
It’s time we recognized the truth about the future of work in Africa: it isn’t in the growth of full-time formal sector jobs. The future of work will be people working multiple gigs with “somewhat formal” entities. This is already true, and it will be for the foreseeable future. When we consider the future of work in Africa the question shouldn’t be whether jobs will be formal or informal, but how digital platforms and new technologies might make this type of work more productive and of a better quality for workers themselves.
The Sustainable Development Goals face a key dilemma. Major multilateral institutions like the World Bank and the other core MDBs have played a leadership role in shaping the SDG financing framework. However, there is a significant misalignment between the structure of these institutions and the SDG financing needs.
There are over 25 million refugees in the world today and most of them—especially those in developing countries—do not have formal labor market access (LMA). Granting refugees formal LMA has the potential to create substantial benefits for refugees and their hosts.
Refugees can be immense economic contributors to the host communities where they settle, but to maximize their contributions, refugees need formal labor market access.
Many of the world’s 25 million refugees spend years struggling to provide for themselves or contribute fully to their host economies because they are legally barred from working or owning businesses. Granting refugees formal labor market access unlocks a range of benefits—for refugees, hosts, and global businesses.
In November 2015, CGD published the report Unintended Consequences of Anti–Money Laundering Policies for Poor Countries, which warned that efforts to curb illicit finance were producing significant adverse side effects. This new report takes stock of what has been accomplished as well as what remains to be done.
Bolivia, like many other fuel producers, subsidizes the domestic consumption of energy heavily, particularly oil and natural gas. This paper estimates the magnitude of the subsidies and offers an approximate picture of their incidence by income decile.
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world’s richest countries on policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. How did your country do this year?
Are USAID programs high impact and good value for money? Do they work? Do they generate more results for less cost than if the agency just gave poor people cash? We don’t always know the answers to those questions, but USAID is trying to find out.
DFIs are frequently asked to demonstrate their additionality—meaning that they make investments that the private sector would not—but what evidence of additionality would look like is rarely articulated. This paper examines potential quantitative and qualitative evidence.
The Impact of Civil Conflict on Child Malnutrition and Mortality, Nigeria, 2002-2013 - Working Paper 494
In this paper, we show a strong association between living close to a conflict zone and acute malnutrition in Nigerian children in 2013. This is related to the severity of the conflict, measured both in terms of the number of conflict deaths and the length of time the child was exposed to conflict.
Like a number of other countries, even in 2017, Malawi lacked a functioning national registry or identification system. This essay describes how a comprehensive multipurpose national ID system was implemented in 180 days, with the assistance of UNDP and other development partners.
How Do African Firms Respond to Unreliable Power? Exploring Firm Heterogeneity Using K-Means Clustering - Working Paper 493
While previous studies have found a positive relationship between the reliability of power and firm growth, we find that such a clear relationship seems not to prevail. In other words, some firms are able to cope with an unreliable supply of power while many others do not.
The rising popularity of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in development applications has come with continuing debates on the pros and cons of this approach. The paper revisits the issues.
Many countries’ systems of basic education are in “stall” condition.
A recent paper of Beatty et al. (2018) uses information from the Indonesia Family Life Survey, a representative household survey that has been carried out in several waves with the same individuals since 2000 and contains information on whether individuals can answer simple arithmetic questions. Figure 1, showing the relationship between the level of schooling and the probability of answering a typical question correctly, has two shocking results.
Demand for and supply of “sustainable” coffee (and other commodities) have grown markedly for two decades, as has the literature analyzing the effects of voluntary sustainability standards for coffee. The evidence for assessing the impacts for smallholder producers and the environment remains relatively weak, however.
I argue that we did learn two very important things from growth research, and these were learned from research in the strong sense that they changed people’s views from a previous view that was incorrect.