Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Publications

 

October 15, 2013

Here’s the Best Thing the United States Has Done in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s progress against mortality reflects the success of providing health aid that differed radically from the bulk of American aid to Afghanistan during the war. The USAID program that contributed to the decline was a multilateral effort coordinated by Afghanistan’s own Ministry of Public Health. Results were verified by random sampling, and some funding was linked to measures of performance. This internal policy experiment, however, was destined to provoke resistance. More surprising is the source of resistance to an aid program that attempted to stop simply throwing money at a problem and focus on building sustainable systems: auditors.

August 2, 2013

US Development Assistance to Pakistan: 2014 and Beyond

In this note, CGD senior policy analyst Alexis Sowa outlines three recommendations for US development assistance to Pakistan: name the leader of US development efforts, clarify the mission, and finance what is already working.

Alexis Sowa
February 1, 2011

Getting to a “Grand Bargain” for Aid Reform: The Basic Framework for U.S. Foreign Assistance

Arkedis focuses on understanding why long-term development is often subjugated to other objectives in the day-to-day planning processes of the U.S. government. She proposes one way to ensure that funding choices are made more rationally and systematically: by aligning the differing goals of aid more explicitly with redefined foreign assistance budget accounts.

Jean Arkedis
January 14, 2011

Shared Goals: Measuring Overall Development Progress in Pakistan

A new focus on measuring development results would have far-reaching benefits for U.S. development strategy, for U.S. public diplomacy efforts, and for the strength of Pakistan’s democratic institutions. In this essay, Nancy Birdsall and Wren Elhai suggest five possible indicators that illustrate the type of measurable targets that could help the United State and Pakistan meet shared goals for effective and transparent development.

January 4, 2010

Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia - Working Paper 197

Does foreign military assistance strengthen or further weaken fragile states facing internal conflict? In a new working paper, CGD post-doctoral fellow Oeindrila Dube and co-author Suresh Naidu find that U.S. military assistance to Colombia may increase violence and decrease voter turnout, undermining the perceived value of foreign military assistance.

Suresh Naidu and Oeindrila Dube
August 22, 2008

U.S. Foreign Assistance for the Twenty-first Century (White House and the World Policy Brief)

Meeting today’s foreign policy challenges requires a new vision of American global leadership based on the strength of our core values, ideas, and ingenuity. It calls for an integrated foreign policy that promotes our ideals, enhances our security, helps create economic and political opportunities for people around the world, and restores America’s image abroad. We cannot rely exclusively or even primarily on defense and security to meet these goals. CGD senior policy analyst Sheila Herrling and senior fellow Steve Radelet argue instead that we must make greater use of all the tools of statecraft, including diplomacy, trade, investment, intelligence, and a strong and effective foreign assistance strategy.

June 25, 2007

Greater Than the Sum Of Its Parts? Assessing "Whole of Government" Approaches to Fragile States (Brief)

Fragile states--countries defined by poverty, weak governance and often violent conflict--represent a major development challenge for today's global aid community and a significant threat to global security. This CGD Brief offers recommendations for how donors can best engage weak countries, including by experimenting with pooled funding arrangements, developing unified national strategies and by evaluating the impact of their interventions.

Stewart Patrick and Kaysie Brown
March 16, 2007

Billions for War, Pennies for the Poor: Moving the President's FY2008 Budget from Hard Power to Smart Power

President Bush's FY2008 budget request provides a first glimpse into how the administration's new foreign assistance framework and transformational diplomacy agenda translate into who gets how much for what. In this CGD essay, authors Samuel Bazzi, Sheila Herrling and Stewart Patrick, show that the U.S. continues to devote a tiny fraction of national wealth to alleviate poverty and promote growth in the developing world. They recommend reform of U.S. development assistance include: a comprehensive national strategy for global development; a hard look at the top recipients; impact evaluation; a cabinet-level development agency; and rewriting the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961. Learn more

Samuel Bazzi , Sheila Herrling and Stewart Patrick
September 29, 2006

U.S. Foreign Aid Reform: Will It Fix What Is Broken?

In U.S. Foreign Aid Reform: Will It Fix What Is Broken? CGD research fellow Stewart Patrick says the U.S. foreign aid regime is broken, and it is not clear that the Bush administration's reform plan will fix it. Patrick proposes a total overhaul of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act and the creation of an independent, cabinet-level department for international development.Learn more