On 30th April, Ian Mitchell submitted written evidence on aid effectiveness to the UK's International Development Select Committee.
In this article, we draw on our pilot testing of phone-based assessments in Botswana, along with the existing literature on oral testing of reading and mathematics, to propose a series of preliminary practical lessons to guide researchers and service providers as they try phone-based learning assessments. We provide preliminary evidence that phone-based assessments can accurately capture basic numeracy skills.
The economic innovation agenda in pandemic response should be rooted in what we know about human behavior, and getting sustained scale in important mitigation solutions will require creativity. Behavior change initiatives such as handwashing, encouraging facemasks, and avoiding mass gatherings will be less costly for a stretched public service and a scared citizenry then other solutions effective in more developed economies.
COVID-19 school closures pose significant operational and financial risks to frontline organizations delivering vital education services, including non-governmental organizations, school operators, and other service providers. In this survey, we ask these organizations about the challenges they are facing in light of COVID-19 closures, particularly for girls. The responses shed light on how COVID-19 is affecting education service operations—and what providers are doing in response.
This paper assesses Colombia’s recent expansion in comprehensive early childhood care, underscoring the importance of strong high-level political commitment, inter-institutional coordination and stable financing.
Migrant Workers in the Tourism Industry: How has COVID-19 Affected Them, and What Does the Future Hold?
Governments around the world have closed borders and businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19. These measures have had a devastating effect on the tourism industry, cutting travel by 25 percent and costing more than 100 million jobs.
The rising budget deficits and associated increases in public debt confronting the government of Papua New Guinea (PNG) make it difficult for the government to comply with the legislated debt ceiling of 45 percent of GDP within the foreseeable future.
The ability of the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to fulfill its promise of becoming a full-fledged, impact-focused development finance institution depends in part on how it leverages the expertise and resources of other US government development agencies.
The IMF’s forecasts of GDP growth in 2020 suggest a substantially muted impact of the COVID crisis for developing countries compared to advanced economies. We hope that the relative optimism will not induce complacency and elicit a less-than-forceful response by countries themselves nor legitimize an ungenerous, conditionality-addled response on the part of the international community in the face of an unprecedented calamity.
On May 8, 2020, CGD senior fellow Scott Morris testified before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on China in Africa. Morris's testimony focused on China’s lending to sub-Saharan African countries, how it affects the debt picture on the continent, and how the US government can respond.
Balancing the COVID-19 Response with Wider Health Needs: Key Decision-Making Considerations for Low- and Middle-Income Countries
As the pandemic accelerates, governments must also protect other essential health services. Already, there have been numerous reports of disrupted access to services ranging from labor and delivery and immunization to HIV and tuberculosis care to dialysis and cancer treatment—most notably in countries with strict lockdowns. Initial estimates paint a grim picture of the potential magnitude of negative impacts on health outcomes due to these disruptions.
Over the past two decades, China has become a major global lender, with outstanding debt claims from direct loans and trade advances alone exceeding 1.5 percent of world GDP. This surge in lending has financed many projects in infrastructure, mining, and energy. The problem is that there is little official data beyond those aggregate numbers, mainly because China has not released a breakdown of its lending activities.
Leave No One Behind: Using a Benefit-Based Advance Market Commitment to Incentivise Development and Global Supply of COVID-19 Vaccines
The global effort to control the COVID-19 pandemic has seen an exceptional allocation of public and philanthropic funds to advance the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines as quickly as possible. While critical, even these significant commitments represent only a “down payment” on a price tag that could eventually exceed $50 billion just to scale the production of vaccines to control this global pandemic—amounts that cannot be raised through traditional donor and philanthropic commitments.
Many prominent people have advocated that the IMF undertake an “SDR allocation” to assist countries in dealing with the global financial crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. If IMF shareholders show some leadership and bureaucratic flexibility, there are ways to allay the American government’s concerns and quickly get liquidity in the hands of countries who desperately need it.
COVID-19 and Oxygen: Selecting Supply Options in LMICs that Balance Immediate Needs with Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness
Much of the policy debate regarding COVID-19 medical equipment focuses on the question of which form of patient respiratory support is effective in low-resources settings. However, irrespective of the specific form of respiratory support used, the long-term and cost-effective functioning of all forms of oxygen therapy requires an appropriate system to supply oxygen to hospitals.
Delivering on the Promise of “Equitable Access” to Epidemic Vaccines and Treatments: the Need for Norms, Processes, and Evidence to Guide Supply and Allocation
While there has been much interest and investment in developing epidemic vaccines and medicines to combat emerging infectious disease threats, there has been less attention to how we will manage and allocate the global supply of efficacious vaccines and treatments once we have them. The launch of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator marks an unprecedented commitment to global collaboration to ensure rapid and equitable access to medical countermeasures for COVID-19, such as vaccines and treatments.
There can be little doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic is a huge threat to the world’s poor. There is, of course, the direct threat from the new coronavirus, to be taken seriously by everyone. But there are other threats looming too, and some no less worrying.
This note updates and builds on analysis from 2014 by Stefan Dercon, which projects carbon dioxide emissions by the poorest countries to understand their likely future contribution to global emissions. Whilst these countries’ emissions are currently very low, there is concern that rapid economic growth could alter this picture.