Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity




Cover of brief on Tax and Development
February 8, 2018

Tax and Development: New Frontiers of Research and Action (Brief)

Domestic measures have greater potential for raising tax yields over time. Rough estimates indicate that there may be $9 of additional tax capacity from domestic policy measures for every $1 from international action. The main enabler is political commitment.

Maya Forstater
Cover of Results Not Receipts Brief
June 19, 2017

Results Not Receipts: Counting the Right Things in Aid and Corruption (Brief)

Results Not Receipts explores how an important and justified focus on corruption is damaging the potential for aid to deliver results. Noting the costs of the standard anticorruption tools of fiduciary controls and centralized delivery, Results Not Receipts urges a different approach to tackling corruption in development: focus on outcomes.

October 18, 2016

India’s States Increase Health Spending, But Will They Spend Effectively?

Since 2015, India has devolved an increasing share of its national tax yield to state governments and undertaken reforms to other kinds of centre-to-state grants. For many, the increased revenue via the tax devolution was considered good news but some health experts worried that states would give little priority to health under these conditions of greater autonomy. We find that at least two states, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, have much more to spend in general and are budgeting more for health in 2015-2016 as compared to previous fiscal years.

February 12, 2016

International Tax, Transparency, and Finance for Development: A Short Guide for the Perplexed

In the search for sustainable sources of finance for development, the potential for developing countries to collect more domestic revenues from taxation has risen to prominence in recent years. International tax evasion and avoidance and the role of tax havens have been raised as critical barriers, and transparency is often advocated as a key solution. This briefing offers a short outline of the key issues, terms, and numbers involved.

Maya Forstater
July 20, 2015

Promoting the Development Power of Economic Transparency

Weak institutions are both a cause and a consequence of underdevelopment. Improving governance is widely regarded as critical to accelerating economic opportunities, democracy, and security. This is especially important for fragile states and countries emerging from conflict. Despite this, the United States and other donor governments have few financial tools that are demonstrably effective at stimulating and delivering improved governance.

Publishing Government Contracts brief
November 11, 2014

Publishing Government Contracts: Addressing Concerns and Easing Implementation (Brief)

Government procurement worldwide is worth around $9.5 trillion a year. Oil, gas, and mining rents (the gap between the price of the goods produced and the cost of production) amount to around $5 trillion, which is 4.8 percent of global GDP. Governments routinely sign multibillion-dollar contracts regarding the use of public property including those natural resources. The resulting contracts are public documents, for which default practice should be in favor of publication.

February 25, 2013

The Need for More Local Procurement in Haiti

Since the 2010 earthquake, there has been very little direct procurement of goods or services from local businesses, missing a huge opportunity to spur long-term growth. Local procurement not only purchases immediately needed goods or services but helps grow the private sector, create jobs, and encourage entrepreneurs. Spending more money locally can multiply the effect of US assistance.

June 11, 2012

Priority-Setting in Health: Building Institutions for Smarter Public Spending (CGD Brief)

Decisions about which type of patients receive what interventions, when, and at what cost often result from ad hoc, nontransparent processes driven more by inertia and interest groups than by science, ethics, and the public interest. Reallocating a portion of public and donor monies toward the most cost-effective health interventions would save more lives and promote health equity.

May 9, 2012

Quantifying the Quality of Health Aid: Health QuODA

This brief summarizes and updates results of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) index applied to health aid and compares these results to the overall QuODA assessment. Through quantifying performance on aid effectiveness, we hope to motivate improvements in health aid effectiveness and contribute to the definition of better, more empirically based measures of health aid quality.

Amanda Glassman and Denizhan Duran