On June 30, 2020, CGD senior policy fellow Jeremy Konyndyk testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing titled "COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response: Additional Perspectives." Konyndyk's testimony highlighted key elements needed for an effective US approach to pandemic preparedness and response and examined the role of the critical role played by the World Health Organization in responding to global health crises.
The Commitment to Development Index ranks 40 countries on their development policies. How did your country do this year?
The ability of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to fulfill its promise of becoming a full-fledged, impact-focused development finance institution depends in part on how it leverages the expertise and resources of other US government development agencies.
On May 8, 2020, CGD senior fellow Scott Morris testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China in Africa. Morris's testimony focused on China’s lending to sub-Saharan African countries, how it affects the debt picture on the continent, and how the US government can respond.
A new US government agency began as scrawl on a napkin in a think tank seminar room just off Dupont Circle in Washington, DC. Fast forward nine years, in early 2020, the US International Development Finance Corporation was born.
In the final days of 2019, Congress passed the Global Fragility Act, an ambitious bill that aims to improve how the US government approaches stabilizing conflict-affected states and preventing the escalation of violence in other fragile contexts. Here are some ideas to keep it accountable.
The new US International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) will be considerably larger than its predecessor, and it will also be more focused on low and lower middle income countries. It will have new tools to deliver but face expanded competition.
Global development is increasingly intertwined with state fragility. It's time for donors to rethink how their engagement can better help countries address the underlying causes of fragility.
Global development is increasingly intertwined with state fragility. Poverty is becoming concentrated in fragile states, and conflict, violent extremism, and environmental stresses can emerge from and be exacerbated by fragility. As a result, many donors, including the United States, are reflecting on lessons of the past to rethink how they can better help fragile states address the underlying causes of fragility, build peace and stability, and cope with complex risks.
ABCs of the IFIs: The African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Fund for Agricultural Development
The African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) are among the international financial institutions seeking pledges from donor countries as part of upcoming replenishment cycles in 2019 and 2020.
The World Bank is a multilateral organization that provides financial and technical assistance to developing countries. As the World Bank’s largest shareholder, the United States maintains a unique influence in shaping its agenda and has a vested interest in ensuring the institution is well managed and appropriately resourced. The US Congress has an important role both in funding US contributions to the World Bank and in overseeing US participation in the institution. Past congressional decisions tied to US funding have led to changes in World Bank policies and institutional reforms.
US trade policy effectively discriminates against poorer countries. In addition, provisions in trade agreements that tilt the playing field in favor of business interests over those of American consumers and workers also often undermine development priorities in partner countries. American policymakers should rethink the substance and process of trade policy and negotiations to spread the benefits more broadly, at home and abroad.
The next global pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Preparing for this inevitability requires that policymakers understand not just the science of limiting disease transmission or engineering a drug, but also the practical challenges of expanding a response strategy to a regional or global level. Achieving success at such scales is largely an issue of operational, strategic, and policy choices—areas of pandemic preparedness that remain underexplored.
The next pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Preparing for this inevitability requires that policymakers understand not just the science of limiting disease transmission or engineering a drug, but also the practical challenges of expanding a response strategy to a regional or global level. Achieving success at such scales is largely an issue of operational, strategic, and policy choices—areas of pandemic preparedness that remain underexplored.
The US Department of Defense (DOD) is not a development agency, but it does manage millions of dollars of development assistance.
The proposed FY 2020 budget changes would be the most significant overhaul of USG humanitarian structures in decades. The proposal in its current form is unlikely to get much traction in Congress, where it is seen on both sides of the aisle as dramatically weakening US leadership on refugees. In light of other moves by the administration—like slashing refugee resettlement numbers and treating asylum seekers roughly—that is a legitimate and vital concern. There is ample reason to approach the proposal with caution, particularly the idea of stripping away the refugee bureau’s resources.
“Events since the election have only reinforced that pessimism. We have heard lots of rhetoric on democracy, national reconciliation, and economic reform. We can point to a few token gestures of change. But below the surface, very little, if any, meaningful structural change has occurred.”
Scott Morris testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Multilateral International Development, Multilateral Institutions, and International Economic, Energy, and Environmental Policy at a hearing titled “Multilateral Economic Institutions and US Foreign Policy” on November 27, 2018.