Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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September 7, 2006

Building Africa's Development Bank: Six Recommendations for the AfDB and its Shareholders

Donald Kaberuka, the new president of the African Development Bank, leads an institution whose financial standing has been restored from the near collapse of 1995, but whose operational credibility remains a work-in-progress. This CGD working group report offers external, independent advice to Kaberuka and the Bank's board of directors on broad principles to guide the Bank’s renewal. The report contains six bold yet achievable recommendations for management and shareholders as they address the urgent task of reforming Africa's development bank. Prominent among the recommendations is a strong focus on infrastructure.

The AfDB Working Group
Cover of Rescuing the World Bank
September 5, 2006

Rescuing the World Bank

Critics allege that the World Bank is deeply flawed. Yet the world needs a strong World Bank to help manage development and the related global challenges of the 21st century. Do the Bank's shortcomings put its future at risk? If so, can the Bank be rescued? Rescuing the World Bank, a new book that includes a CGD working group report and selected essays edited by CGD president Nancy Birdsall, offers timely perspectives on challenges that are crucial to the Bank’s future success.

August 31, 2006

Advance Market Commitments for Vaccines Working Paper and Spread Sheet - Working Paper 98

Donors are considering committing in advance to purchase vaccines against diseases concentrated in low-income countries to spur research and development on vaccines for neglected diseases. How much money is needed? The authors of this paper find that a commitment comparable in size to the average sales of recently launched commercial products (adjusted for lower marketing costs)—about $3 billion per disease when products are at a relatively early stage in development —would be a highly cost-effective way to address major killers, such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The paper includes a link to a Web-based spread sheet for readers to conduct their own sensitivity analysis.Learn more

August 28, 2006

A Millennium Learning Goal: Measuring Real Progress in Education - Working Paper 97

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) seek to ensure that all children complete primary school by 2015. But school completion rates don't tell us how much--or how little--the kids actually learn. This new working paper co-authored by CGD non-resident fellow Lant Pritchett shows that even in countries that meet the primary school completion goal, most students fall short of minimum competency in reading, writing and arithmetic. The answer, the authors argue, is a Millennium Learning Goal that measures how much students actually know. Learn more

Deon Filmer , Amer Hasan and Lant Pritchett
August 21, 2006

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa: Does it Deserve U.S. Support?

The Investment Climate Facility (ICF) for Africa was launched in June to help Africa tackle problems that hinder domestic and foreign investment. It aims to raise $550 million for promotion of property rights and financial markets, anti-corruption efforts, and reform of regulations, taxation, and customs. In this CGD Note, senior fellow Todd Moss lists the strengths of the proposal and asks tough questions, including: What exactly will the money be spent on? Why no independent evaluation? He concludes that the U.S. should support the facility--if convincing answers are forthcoming. Learn more

August 14, 2006

Fragile States and U.S. Foreign Assistance: Show Me the Money - Working Paper 96

Analysis of the U.S. budget reveals a chasm between Washington rhetoric about the potentially large threats arising from weak and failing states and the paucity of resources devoted to engaging with these troubled countries. The authors argue that the U.S. should think creatively about how and when to engage and should boost the $1.1 billion requested for these countries in the 2007 budget, regarding it as a form of venture capital, with high risks but potentially high rewards. Learn more

Stewart Patrick and Kaysie Brown
August 11, 2006

New data on African health professionals abroad - Working Paper 95

The migration of doctors and nurses from Africa to rich countries has raised fears of an African medical brain drain. Research on the issue has been hampered by lack of data. How many doctors and nurses have left Africa? Which countries did they leave? Where have they settled? To answer these questions, CGD researchers compiled the first dataset of cumulative bilateral net flows of African-born physicians and nurses to the nine most important destination countries. Learn more

Michael A. Clemens and Gunilla Pettersson
August 7, 2006

Social Cohesion, Institutions, and Growth - Working Paper 94

This new working paper co-authored by CGD non-resident fellow William Easterly shows that measures of social cohesion--such as income inequality and ethnic fractionalization--are an important determinant of institutional quality, which is in turn an important determinant of economic policies and growth. On average, countries with less equal income distribution and larger numbers of ethnic and linguistic groups have weaker institutions, less-effective policies, and slower economic growth. Learn more

William Easterly , Jozef Ritzen and Michael Woolcock
August 1, 2006

Should the MCC Provide Financing Through Recipient Country's Budgets? An Issues and Options Paper

When the MCA was first introduced, many assumed it would deliver some of its funding through general budget support. But so far it has continued funding via traditional project finance. In this paper, Herrling and Radelet review trends in development assistance toward general budget support and propose an option for the MCC to phase in the disbursement of compact funds through increasing levels of budget support to select countries that prove their capacity to manage and monitor them.

July 31, 2006

Development, Democracy, and Mass Killings - Working Paper 93

Do development and democracy lead to fewer massacres? By one estimate governments killed more than 170 million civilians in the 20th century – more than twice the number of soldiers killed in the century’s many wars. A new working paper co-authored by CGD non-resident fellow William Easterly using data from 1820 to 1998 finds that massacres are more likely at intermediate levels of income and less likely at very high levels of democracy. Episodes at the highest levels of democracy and income involve fewer victims. Learn more

July 26, 2006

Inequality and Development in a Globalizing World, Johns Hopkins University (Syllabus)

This syllabus, prepared by CGD President Nancy Birdsall for a course she taught in Bologna, Italy, for students of Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), brings together key readings on inequality and development in a globalizing world. The syllabus also provides links to websites that contain data on inequality and globalization and further readings on each topic.

July 24, 2006

A Primer on Foreign Aid - Working Paper 92

Controversies about aid effectiveness go back decades. This new working paper by CGD senior fellow Steven Radelet provides an introduction and overview of the basic concepts, data and key debates about foreign aid. It explores the range of views on the relationship between foreign aid and economic growth and discusses the reform of foreign aid, including selectivity, country ownership, the participatory approach, harmonization and coordination, and results-based management.Learn more

July 11, 2006

A Policymakers' Guide to Dutch Disease - Working Paper 91

It is sometimes claimed that big surges in aid might cause Dutch Disease--an appreciation of the real exchange rate which can slow the growth of a country's exports--and that aid increases might thereby harm a country's long-term growth prospects. In this new working paper CGD senior program associate Owen Barder argues that it is unlikely that a long-term, sustained and predictable increase in aid would, through the impact on the real exchange rate, do more harm than good. Learn more

July 6, 2006

Are the planned increases in aid too much of a good thing? - Working Paper 90

Donor countries have pledged to increase aid by 60 percent over the next five years, and larger increases would be needed to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Can developing countries use more aid effectively? In this new working paper, CGD senior program associate Owen Barder argues that the obstacles to effective use of significantly increased aid can be overcome by a small number of practical improvements in how aid is provided and used. Learn More

June 26, 2006

Competitive Proliferation of Aid Projects: A Model - Working Paper 89

When aid projects proliferate, donors often seek better oversight through smaller projects. While this may improve administration, it burdens recipient governments with reporting requirements and donor visits. CGD research fellow David Roodman suggests in a new working paper that big projects are best for countries that get more aid, have better governance, or have less revenue. He also shows how donors who care most about their own success tend to divide their aid portfolios into more, smaller projects to draw the recipient's resources away from other donors. This reduces development.Learn more

June 15, 2006

Why Global Development Matters for the U.S.

Development refers to improvements in the conditions of people’s lives, such as health, education, and income. It occurs at different rates in different countries. The U.S. underwent its own version of development since the time it became an independent nation in 1776.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

June 15, 2006

Global Trade, Jobs and Labor Standards

Trade has the potential to raise incomes worldwide. But trade creates losers as well as winners. This Rich World, Poor World brief provides an accessible introduction to the impact of global trade on U.S. jobs and suggests policies that the U.S. can pursue to maximize the gains and minimize the losses. Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

June 15, 2006

U.S. Assistance for Global Development

U.S. "development assistance" refers to the transfer of resources from the United States to developing countries and to some strategic allies. It is delivered in the form of money (via loans or grants), contributions of goods (such as food aid), and technical assistance.Learn more about Rich World, Poor World: A Guide to Global Development

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