India has emerged as a leader in building on its biometric digital ID to reform service and program delivery. It moved quickly to consolidate the rollout of Aadhaar, and then to embed the unique Aadhaar number into program databases. A range of applications, including digital signature and payments, was then constructed on top of the Aadhaar foundation (the India Stack). Together with partners, the Center for Global Development is analyzing the effects of Aadhaar-based reforms. The three programs we discuss below highlight achievements as well as challenges that need to be overcome for greater efficiency and inclusion.
Most countries in sub-Saharan Africa have not implemented testing of children’s learning that can be benchmarked regionally or globally, in contrast to almost all countries in Latin America. Our analysis of the political economy of cross-national learning measurement in Latin America suggests that policymakers perceive the risks of exposing their education system’s performance by joining cross-national assessments, but they also value the quality of the data generated, the strengthening of domestic technical capacity, and the political benefits in using comparative results to argue for reforms or to advertise progress.
The arrival of a new leadership team in Brussels provides an opportunity for Europe to reinvigorate its role as a global development power and to build a true partnership with its continental neighbour, Africa. These tasks have never been more urgent.
Promoting Investment in Research for Development Outcomes: A Research Ventures Fund at the World Bank
This note proposes a new Research Ventures Fund (RVF) at the World Bank to better prioritize R&D investments in support of development progress. The RVF would employ financing mechanisms that are consistent with research needs: significant scale and scope, patience, and tolerance for failure. Existing development-oriented research consortia like CGIAR would provide a promising start for RVF funding allocations. Donors to the IDA-19 replenishment should take the first step in securing funding for the new fund in 2019.
The world’s humanitarian aid architecture is growing outdated. Relief programs are most effective when they are integrated, locally owned, and demand driven. But humanitarian action in the 21st century remains constrained by a 20th-century aid model.
Following the launch of M-Pesa in 2007, Kenya has emerged as a global leader in the development of mobile money and in increasing rates of financial inclusion. This paper shows how M-Pesa’s success has led to a series of endogenous innovations that have shaped Kenya’s digital space, placing it ahead of other developing economies in the region in the deployment and use of digital technology.
“Contractors or Collectives?” Earmarked Funding of Multilaterals, Donor Needs and Institutional Integrity: The World Bank as a Case Study
This paper revisits earlier analyses of the pros and cons of so-called “Multi-bi” funding, or earmarked bilateral funding channelled through a multilateral development institution like the World Bank.
As Health Secretary Matt Hancock returns to his role as part of Boris Johnson’s premiership, he has an opportunity to make good on the UK’s renewed confidence and ambition by drawing on what the new prime minister calls the “best healthcare [system]” to drive improvements in health globally.
The UK has considerably increased the amount of aid it spends on research in recent years. We suggest reporting reforms that will increase transparency and allow greater scrutiny of the way UK research aid is spent. We also call for the UK to live up to its reporting to the OECD that all British aid is untied.
Interest in mobilizing private finance for SDG investments is surging in a world of stagnating aid, limited fiscal space, and rising LIC debt. But is more reliance on private finance realistic for LICs? This paper explores the performance since the global financial crisis of one source of private finance for LICs: cross-border private capital inflows.
In the coming years, China will confront a series of decisions about how to engage with citizens in the countries where it is implementing BRI projects; leaders of the same countries; and donors and lenders outside of China.
Unequal Ventures: Results from an Endline Study of Gender and Entrepreneurship in East Java, Indonesia
This report presents the endline results of a randomized controlled trial in East Java, Indonesia, of demand- and supply-side interventions to increase the use of saving and other branchless banking services by women business owners.
Mexico’s financial risks and the policies being adopted by the new administration cannot be adequately assessed without recognizing key features that characterize certain initial conditions.
Previous efforts to synthesize evidence on how to improve educational outcomes for girls have tended to focus on interventions that are principally targeted to girls, such as girls’ latrines or girls’ scholarships. But if general, non-targeted interventions—those that benefit both girls and boys—significantly improve girls’ education, then focusing only on girl-targeted interventions may miss some of the best investments for improving educational opportunities for girls in absolute terms.
Maximizing the Shared Benefits of Legal Migration Pathways: Lessons from Germany’s Skills Partnerships
Germany is one country piloting and implementing projects that can help alleviate such demographic pressures and maximize the potential mutual benefits of legal labor migration.
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.
To contribute to a growing base of knowledge and expertise on opportunities to reverse the specific effects of forest loss and degradation—and to improve the conditions of host populations and refugees in Cox’s Bazar—BRAC, the Center for Global Development, and The Nature Conservancy convened workshops with global and national experts and stakeholders in September 2018 in Cox’s Bazar.