This brief essay explores a key but often overlooked hurdle to using blockchain solutions, which is the complexity that decentralized solutions necessarily introduce. At times, the benefits of such solutions appear to exceed the added cost of complexity but often they do not. With this tradeoff in mind, the paper considers two use cases, digital ID and health supply chain management.
The Trump administration has pledged to tie foreign aid more directly to countries’ United Nations (UN) votes, threatening to punish countries who vote against the US position by cutting their foreign assistance. While the administration’s harsh rhetoric marks a shift from the recent past, the United States has been using aid to influence UN votes for decades.
The USG International Family Planning Landscape: Defining Approaches to Address Uncertainties in Funding and Programming
The international family planning community has made impressive gains in increasing global access to high-quality, voluntary family planning services. However, significant challenges remain with maintaining current support and meeting the growing need projected for family planning services and commodities across low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
Drawing on six sweeps of household surveys of Nigeria that together span 1980–2010 with a pooled sample size of about 97,000 households and data on Nigeria’s age-gender-specific life expectancy from the World Health Organization, this paper shows that about 72 percent to 91 percent of Nigeria’s poor are at risk of spending their entire life below the poverty line.
The paper critically reviews the arguments for and against both employment guarantees and income guarantees when viewed as rights-based policy instruments for poverty reduction in a developing economy, with special reference to India. Evidence on India’s National Rural Employment Guarantee Act does not suggest that the potential for either providing work when needed or reducing current poverty is being realized, despite pro-poor targeting. Instead, work is often rationed by local leaders in poor areas, and the poverty impact is small when all the costs are considered.
Unequal Ventures: Results from a Baseline Study of Gender and Entrepreneurship in East Java, Indonesia
A study of women and men business owners in East Java offers a unique opportunity to analyze characteristics of entrepreneurs and their businesses by gender for a country where such systematic data are scarce. The study is one of two randomized controlled trials launched in 2015 to assess the power of mobile savings and training for women entrepreneurs. This report details baseline results from the Indonesia trial, still under way, which is testing whether providing financial literacy training for women who are potential bank clients and varying financial incentives to bank agents promoting a new mobile savings product make a difference in increasing entrepreneurs’ uptake of formal savings and in improving economic outcomes. Short-term results of the other trial, in Tanzania, were reported in the first report in this series.
Women own a large and growing proportion of businesses in Indonesia, estimated at over half of all micro, small, and medium enterprises. However, women’s economic outcomes are not equal to those of men.
The Center for Global Development works to reduce global poverty and improve lives through innovative economic research that drives better policy and practice by the world's top decision makers.
Bangladesh is providing an immense global public good, hosting more than 688,000 Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar since August 2017.
Tackling the Realities of Protracted Displacement: Case Studies on What’s Working and Where We Can Do Better
The international community has come together in new ways to address forced displacement—one of the biggest challenges of the early twenty-first century.
This paper explores the feasibility of commercial nuclear power in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in light of advanced nuclear technologies and their potential to overcome some of the challenges to deployment.
Using Supervised Learning to Select Audit Targets in Performance-Based Financing in Health: An Example from Zambia - Working Paper 481
We examine alternative strategies for targeted sampling of health clinics for independent verification. Our results indicate that machine learning methods, particularly Random Forest, outperform other approaches and can increase the cost-effectiveness of verification activities.
MDB private sector operations or windows (PSWs) are essential actors in mobilizing private finance for development, but their mobilization track record to date falls far short of a meaningful contribution to annual SDG financing gaps in the trillions
On March 24, 2018, Antoinette Sayeh gave the afternoon keynote speech at Harvard University’s 9th Annual African Development Conference. She highlighted four immediate economic challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa, what they mean for the long-term, and the need for action to address them.
Illicit Financial Flows, Trade Misinvoicing, and Multinational Tax Avoidance: The Same or Different?
Illicit financial flows (IFFs) connected with corruption, crime, and tax evasion are an issue of increasing concern. However, there is not yet a clear consensus on how to define illicit financial flows, and even less on how to measure them.
Mobile savings hold great promise for empowering women entrepreneurs. Women are often disproportionately burdened by high transaction costs to access savings accounts.
Mobile savings hold great promise, because they can considerably reduce transaction costs that can be unduly heavy for women. Two questions guide us: how can we encourage more women microentrepreneurs to access formal savings accounts, and is mobile saving a particularly fitting solution? This series uses empirical evidence to address these issues.
Does Deforestation Increase Malaria Prevalence? Evidence from Satellite Data and Health Surveys - Working Paper 480
In this paper we combine fourteen years of high-resolution satellite data on forest loss with individual-level survey data on malaria in more than 60,000 rural children in 17 countries in Africa, and fever in more than 470,000 rural children in 41 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. We did not find that deforestation increases malaria prevalence nor that intermediate levels of forest cover have higher malaria prevalence.