Ideas to Action:

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April 16, 2021

Unpacking Gender Gaps and Data Gaps in Public Sector Employment and Pay

We look at available sources to ask (i) Where is data available on employment and wages allowing for comparisons between women and men, and the public and private sectors? (ii) How do women’s employment, compensation, and seniority compare with men’s in the public and private sectors? (iii) How do gender gaps vary by countries’ income level, education levels, and other factors? What are the policy implications of the data we analyze? (iv) Which countries’ efforts can be modeled by others, and how else can global gender gaps in employment and compensation be narrowed?

The cover of the note
April 14, 2021

The UK’s Reduction in Aid Spending

In this briefing note, we review what this shift in policy means for overall aid spending, effective management of the aid budget, and the broader public finances. The government has stated that it is a temporary shift in policy; we consider how the fiscal outlook and other government spending decisions interact with the aid budget, and discuss the implications of uncertainty over the aid budget going forward.

An image of a construction crane in an African city.
April 8, 2021

“Tens of Millions” to “Hundreds of Millions”: Synthetic Credit to Enable Private Funding for Infrastructure in Low-Income Countries

As the Biden administration turns its attention to infrastructure legislation in the United States, it is important to focus on the role investment in infrastructure financing can play in the recovery. This note covers a policy proposal for a credit enhancement instrument, using concessional financing, from development finance institutions to enable low-income countries (LICs) to attract private finance in infrastructure. It is an incremental iteration of the World Bank’s ambitious “billions to trillions” campaign.

Cover of working paper 577
April 7, 2021

Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls

The paper examines some ways national governments have sought to maintain provision of essential health services and reviews the extent to which donor institutions have prioritized financial, technical, and other forms of support to mitigate disruptions. It concludes by highlighting existing gaps, opportunities, and promising strategies that donors and governments should pursue to address indirect harms to women’s and girl’s health during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

The cover of the working paper
April 7, 2021

The Impacts of Health Crises on Women & Girls: How Historical Evidence Can Inform Assessment and Recovery through a Gender Lens

This paper presents a conceptual framework on the effects of health crises on women and girls with an eye toward understanding the growing evidence base for the COVID-19 pandemic. When health crises like COVID-19 emerge, the simultaneous shocks to economic, social, and health systems can have different implications for women and girls.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment in the COVID-19 Context

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment in the COVID-19 Context. We explore the impacts of the crisis on women’s economic opportunities and outcomes, document the extent to which governments and donors are taking action to respond to these impacts, and make recommendations for how decision-makers can elevate women’s economic empowerment as a priority in response and recovery efforts.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: The Gendered Dimensions of Social Protection in the COVID-19 Context

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, The Gendered Dimensions of Social Protection in the COVID-19 Context. We explore the role of social protection, with an emphasis on social assistance policies and programs, in addressing increasing poverty, food insecurity, unpaid care work, and gender-based violence—all exacerbated by the onset of the crisis and associated containment measures. We document these trends and how they disproportionately impact women and girls, as well as the extent to which governments and donors are integrating a gender lens into their social protection efforts and make recommendations to ensure that future efforts effectively reach and benefit women and girls.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls. We examine how the pandemic is affecting women’s and girl’s health, including their sexual and reproductive health; some of the ways national governments and donor institutions have sought to maintain the provision of essential health services; and existing gaps, opportunities, and promising strategies donors and governments should pursue to address indirect harms to women’s and girl’s health during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

An image of the World Bank Building
April 5, 2021

Tracking the Scale and Speed of the World Bank’s COVID Response: April 2021 Update

Last year at this time, the World Bank announced its intention to provide $104 billion in financing to developing country governments to help them respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We took stock of those efforts seven months ago. More than a year into the pandemic, it’s time to check in again on the Bank’s crisis financing. We revisit four basic questions about the Bank’s lending performance since it originally announced its COVID response.

An image of a patient receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from a doctor.
April 5, 2021

Vaccine Financing: How a Redesigned IMF Instrument Can Provide a Shot in the Arm for the Global Pandemic Response

A new IMF rapid credit window could provide some $30 billion to cover the vaccine financing needs for most developing countries through 2021-22. The mechanism would facilitate collective action to negotiate increased production, the main obstacle to achieving vaccine coverage and rectifying the gross inequities in current distribution. It would remain in place for future global pandemic responses.

An image of the World Bank Group Building
April 1, 2021

IDA-20: Donors Must Go Big, and IDA Must Too

The time is now for a historic IDA replenishment. The world’s poorest countries’ recovery from the COVID-19 economic downturn will largely hinge on the scale of the emergency relief and investment programs over the next few years.

Cover of How China Lends paper
March 31, 2021

How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments

China is the world’s largest official creditor, but we lack basic facts about the terms and conditions of its lending. Very few contracts between Chinese lenders and their government borrowers have ever been published or studied. This paper is the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending. We collect and analyze 100 contracts between Chinese state-owned entities and government borrowers in 24 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and compare them with those of other bilateral, multilateral, and commercial creditors.

March 30, 2021

Health Systems Impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines

This paper presents a preliminary review on the collateral health systems impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines through review of academic and grey literature, supplemented by a qualitative survey.

Diana Beatriz S. Bayani and Soon Guan Tan

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