Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

Cover of Working Paper 522
December 17, 2019

Identifying and Verifying Customers: When are KYC Requirements Likely to Become Constraints on Financial Inclusion?

Onerous KYC documentation requirements are widely recognized as a potential constraint to full financial inclusion. However, it is sometimes difficult to judge the extent to which this constraint is a serious or binding one, relative to others. The paper considers this question, distinguishing between different types of documentation and different financial market segments according to their KYC requirements.

Cover of Working Paper 521
December 15, 2019

Beyond Short-term Learning Gains: The Impact of Outsourcing Schools in Liberia after Three Years

After one year, outsourcing the management of ninety-three randomly-selected government primary schools in Liberia to eight private operators led to modest learning gains. In this paper, we revisit the program two years later. Despite facing similar contracts and settings, some providers produced uniformly positive results, while others present stark trade-offs between learning gains, access to education, child safety, and financial sustainability.

The cover of the report
December 13, 2019

Designing a Medium-Term Response to the Rohingya Refugee Crisis: Ideas for Bangladesh, the International Community, and the Private Sector

While Bangladesh and Myanmar have recently attempted small-scale repatriation, these efforts have failed as refugees refused to go back, fearing for their safety. Conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State continue to deteriorate, and UN agencies have been denied full access to areas of return. Despite this, planning so far has been short-term and focused on aid rather than medium-term economic, environmental, and human development approaches.

Cover of Private Distribution Channels for UHC paper
December 12, 2019

Harnessing the Power of Private Distribution Channels for UHC

New technology, better use of data, and entrepreneurial passion in improving distribution channels is reaching a critical mass with the potential to drive extraordinary improvements in availability, affordability, and quality of health products. Global health institutions can play a significant role in further boosting the overall innovation ecosystem for health products distribution. However, most distribution system innovators are missing from global discussions around UHC and access to medicines.

Front cover of Zambia domestic resource mobilization paper
December 11, 2019

How Erratic Tax Policies Are Impeding Revenue Mobilization in Zambia

This case study assesses whether Zambia’s tax and fiscal policies have been impeded by political and technical constraints. Tax policy is a deliberate—yet intricate—process requiring not just well-measured choices, but also stability. Zambia has undertaken several tax reforms that have included broadening the tax base, establishing a revenue collection agency, and introducing a value-added tax (VAT). 

Ramos Emmanuel Mabugu and Eddie Rakabe
Front cover of aid transitions note
December 10, 2019

Mind the Gaps: Takeaways from Emerging Research and Policy Implications for Aid Transition in Health and Development

As countries grow economically, governments face rapidly growing demands for quality, affordable, accessible, and equitable healthcare and other social services. At the same time, many middle-income countries face the prospect of transitioning away from donor aid, adding pressure to already-constrained public budgets to fill gaps as donor support ramps down. 

Rohingya refugee women attending English literacy classes in Malaysia.
December 10, 2019

Sharing Responsibility for the Rohingya Crisis: What Role Can Labor Mobility Agreements Play?

While the ultimate goal remains safe, voluntary, and dignified repatriation of the refugees back to Myanmar, realistic scenarios for repatriation show significant numbers of Rohingya will remain in Bangladesh for more than 10 years. Consequently, there is growing interest in trying to move beyond the existing short-term aid-based solutions to inclusive, medium-term approaches that include economic, environmental, and human development in the region.

Girls sew at an IRC-supported women's centre in Kutupalong refugee camp for Rohingya refugees. The space is run by IRC's partner RTMI. In the space women and girls take part in activities and receive basic health care.
December 6, 2019

How Business Can Invest in the Future of the Rohingya and Host Community in Bangladesh

Bangladesh is hosting more than a million Rohingya refugees, and businesses have a critical role to play in improving the situation for them and their Bangladeshi host communities. We have identified four viable areas for business investment and procurement in Cox’s Bazar, the historically under-developed region that is hosting the Rohingya refugees.

An abstract image of connections between different nodes.
December 6, 2019

A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World

Unless you have checked out of Earth, you must have heard phrases like, “data is the new oil,” “software is eating the world.” and “AI will disrupt everything.” Similar claims are bandied about as if they mean the same thing and as if they all point to the same trends, with little attempt to dig into their actual significance.

Bright Simons
Front Cover Stretch Fund
December 4, 2019

The Stretch Fund

When the world adopted the SDGs, policymakers knew that aid alone would never meet the financing needs. They embraced the “billions to trillions” vision, believing that an abundance of commercially viable SDG-related investments was ready and waiting for trillions in profitable private investment—if only development finance institutions (DFIs) and others could clear away the obstacles that stand between the investments and private investors. Reality looks different. To fill the gaps in the financial architecture, Nancy Lee and Dan Preston propose the Stretch Fund.

Graphic of an analytics dashboard. Adobe Stock.
November 14, 2019

Towards Real-Time Governance: Using Digital Feedback to Improve Service, Voice, and Accountability

Improving the quality, impact, and efficiency of public services is one of the most critical challenges of public policy. There are multiple ways of addressing these challenges, but a common theme is the need to put citizens at the center of governance and service delivery, through empowerment, transparency, accountability, and participation.

Alan Gelb , Neeraj Mittal and Anit Mukherjee

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