Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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A hedgehog and a fox
August 5, 2020

The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Hounds: How the FCDO Can Deliver Its Vision for Development

Being a force for good in the world is more than about branding, or even good intentions: it requires impact and an organisation capable of it. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s vision offers a good starting point for being a values-driven force for good in the world, but within that vision there are potential tensions that need to be managed, rather than left to seethe.

A piggy bank under water. Adobe Stock.
August 5, 2020

Restructuring Sovereign Debt to Private Creditors in Poor Countries: What’s Broken?

Two out of five low-income countries were in the grips of, or moving rapidly toward, unsustainable debt levels before the global pandemic. But the economic, financial, and fiscal effects of the pandemic have brought the day of reckoning for many countries much closer. The global financial community is likely entering another period of messy, prolonged, costly, and contentious debt defaults and restructurings. It does so with no more—and in some ways less—consensus on the principles that should govern collective action by public and private creditors, debtor governments, and the IFIs.

Aerial view of Bogota. Photo via Adobe Stock
July 24, 2020

COVID-19 in Colombia: Impact and Policy Responses

In this note, we review Colombia's handling of the COVID-19 crisis. The first line of policy response slowed down the pace of contagion and avoided excess deaths, providing additional time to strengthen the health system and increase ICU capacity. However, the challenges that remain are significant. We provide some policy recommendations for the next stages of the pandemic.

A worker with a container ship at the port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Photo by Rob Beechey, World Bank
July 22, 2020

A Manifesto for Globalization

Globalization is under attack.US isolationism is part of a worldwide phenomenon: anti-globalizers have risen to power in countries from Brazil and Hungary to the UK. And they led efforts to build walls real and virtual against trade and exchange. From the intellectual right, globalization is blamed for cultural decay. From the left it is attacked as a source of inequality and repression.

July 9, 2020

China’s Foreign Aid: A Primer for Recipient Countries, Donors, and Aid Providers

This note aims to help recipient countries understand Chinese aid management and structures by providing an overview of those structures and what they mean for the future of aid from China. The note takes into account two key shifts in Chinese aid management in recent years: the formation of CIDCA, and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). We hope this note will also be of interest to development practitioners seeking to better engage with China or to learn from China’s experience.

Leah Lynch , Sharon Andersen and Tianyu Zhu
The cover of the note
June 22, 2020

COVID-19 & Violence against Women and Children: What Have We Learned So Far?

In this note, we review rigorous studies that have analyzed how COVID-19 and related policies are impacting rates of VAW/C and highlight more reliable methods, while acknowledging limitations of underlying data sources. We propose recommendations for how to both broaden and deepen our collective understanding of how COVID-19 is impacting these forms of violence, and what can be done in response.

An image of a Covid-19 vaccine
June 4, 2020

India’s COVID-19 Testing Capacity Must Grow by a Factor of 10: Here’s How That Can Happen

Diagnostic testing is at the center of the policy debate around COVID-19 interventions in India. As of June 1, 2020, India had conducted approximately 3.8 million tests since it began testing in February, but many experts have noted that testing capacity is still drastically insufficient for the needs of the population.

Prashant Yadav , Abha Mehndiratta , Kalipso Chalkidou , Sidharth Rupani and Krishna Reddy
A chart showing revenue in five different countries
June 1, 2020

The COVID-19 Crisis and Fiscal Reform in Low-Income Countries

The global impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic output and public finances in 2020 and beyond is projected to be massive. Fiscal policy can have a crucial role in mitigating the pandemic’s overall economic impact and promoting a quick recovery. It can help save lives and shield the most-affected segments of population.

A fruit seller in Kenya. Photo by Sambrian Mbaabu / World Bank
May 27, 2020

The COVID-19 Development Innovation Agenda: An Economic and Financial Lens

The economic innovation agenda in pandemic response should be rooted in what we know about human behavior, and getting sustained scale in important mitigation solutions will require creativity. Behavior change initiatives such as handwashing, encouraging facemasks, and avoiding mass gatherings will be less costly for a stretched public service and a scared citizenry then other solutions effective in more developed economies.

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