Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity



December 7, 2009

Introduction to Microfinance for Development, Georgetown University (Syllabus)

This course explores the role of microfinance in economic development. It will discuss how poor people in poor countries use financial services such as credit and savings; the history and practice of delivering such services; what is known about their contribution to development; and how stories and statistical studies shape public perceptions of microfinance.

January 29, 2009

Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health Instructor Guide

Since 2004, the Center for Global Development has been collecting success stories in global health – remarkable cases in which large-scale efforts to improve health in developing countries have succeeded – and releasing them in the book Millions Saved: Case Studies in Global Health (now printed in two editions, with a third edition expected in 2015). 

January 14, 2009

Economic Development in Africa, Georgetown University (Syllabus)

This module will explore some of the research on the key issues of growth and poverty reduction in sub-Saharan Africa. It will examine a variety of empirical findings on these topics to better understand why Africa and the international agencies tasked to promote development have had so little success in the post-independence era. The course emphasizes international financial relations and institutions.

January 14, 2009

African Poverty and Western Aid, Yale University (Syllabus)

Why is Africa poor? What, if anything, can the West do about it? No course can answer these questions in full, but one can get started on the (hopefully lifelong) learning. Students will be exposed to the major and the not‐so-major debates in aid and development. They will discuss the conventional and less conventional theories of poverty, growth, war, and good governance, and why there is so much or so little of it in Africa. The aim is to help students think critically about these debates and their possible role in the problem and solutions.

January 14, 2009

Leading Issues in Global Development Finance, Georgetown University (Syllabus)

This module will examine the leading issues related to capital flows between the developed and developing worlds. It will cover the various types of official and private finance as well as the institutions and policies designed to manage and promote these flows. It begins by considering development assistance from both the recipient and donor perspectives, as well as the changing roles of the IMF and the multilateral development banks. In the second half, it explores the key issues in debt, private investment, and the financial sector.

January 14, 2009

Economic Growth and Development in Low-Income Countries, Stanford University (Syllabus)

This course examines economic growth and other development indicators around the world since 1965, with some reference to broad patterns since 1820, while also exploring the relationship between growth, poverty, and equity. Other topics will include the developing-country debt crisis and the financial crises that affected several emerging markets in the late 1990s.


October 16, 2008

The Political Economy of Civil War and Terror, Yale University (Syllabus)

The goal of this course is to familiarize the student with the different approaches to the study of war and terror: economic, historical, analytical, formal theoretical, and statistical. Most of all, the course is designed to get students to think critically about traditional explanations and approaches. The focus of the course will be on civil war and the use of violence and terror in civil wars. 'Conventional' terrorism is covered as well, albeit less so.

October 16, 2008

Economic Development, George Washington University (Syllabus)

This is the course syllabus for Economic Development (IAFF 238), taught by Nora Lustig, Shapiro Visiting Professor of International Affairs at George Washington University and CGD Board member. The course analyzes the economic challenges faced by low and middle-income countries in their quest for development.

August 9, 2008

International Economic Development Policy, Georgetown University (Syllabus)

This course surveys the literature on the key determinants of economic development. We start by considering some of the factors that drive economic growth, poverty and inequality. The course then moves on to other key topics in international development including international trade, globalization, and governance. After considering some country case studies, we conclude with a discussion on the scope and limitations of foreign aid and the institutions that implement aid policies.

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.