Ideas to Action:

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An image of the IMF building.
April 21, 2021

Can Special Drawing Rights Be Recycled to Where They Are Needed at No Budgetary Cost?

In this note, David Andrews looks at one mechanism that could work for using excess SDRs to the benefit of low- and middle-income countries: donating them. It is a simple idea but hardly straightforward, as he demonstrates with a “case study” of how the United Kingdom might do this. The UK’s rules governing the use of its reserves, when overlayed on the IMF’s rules surrounding SDRs, make for a difficult thicket to plow through to effect a donation of SDRs.

An image of the globe on top of money.
April 20, 2021

Forging an MDB System: Strategy and Governance

The need for collaboration and cooperation across the multilateral development banks (MDBs) seems obvious. Donor governments set up these institutions to multiply their development dollars, to concentrate global development expertise, and to spread knowledge and evidence of effective development policies and practices around the globe.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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