As the Bush Administration prepares to announce the reorganization of U.S. foreign assistance, Nancy Birdsall, Stewart Patrick and Milan Vaishnav argue in a new essay that making a dent in global poverty will require that the U.S. address four flaws: low volume and poor quality of aid; incoherence in non-aid development policies; lack of a strategy for weak and failing states; and a penchant for unilateral over multilateral action. Related event: Transformational Diplomacy, a talk by Steve Krasner, Director of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff.
At a time when the international dialogue surrounding development is focused on increasing the quantity of aid, this paper focuses on how each dollar of foreign assistance can be more effective in reducing poverty. Using a sophisticated mathematical modeling process, the author explores the phenomena of project proliferation and absorptive capacity in foreign aid delivery.
An Aid-Institutions Paradox? A Review Essay on Aid Dependency and State Building in Sub-Saharan Africa- Working Paper 74
Does foreign aid help develop public institutions and state capacity in developing countries? In this Working Paper, the authors suggest that despite recent calls for increased aid to poor countries by the international community, there may be an "aid-institutions paradox." While donor intentions may be sincere, the authors conclude that it is possible that aid could undermine long-term institutional development, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
In this new working paper, CGD Research Fellow Stewart Patrick urges analysts and policymakers to look more deeply at the links between failed states and global threats such terrorism, weapons proliferation, organized crime, and global pandemics. He then provides the tools: a framework for determining which types of states are associated with which dangers.
Updated January 2014
David Roodman, creator of the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), has devised a measure of foreign aid flows that takes into account the interest payments that developing countries make to rich country creditors. The Net Aid Transfers data set, which is a component of the CDI, is available for download.
The ninth negotiating round, named the "Doha" Round for the city in Qatar where it was launched, has proven to be unique, because many developing countries are flexing their political muscle as never before. As a result, the Doha Round seems destined to fail unless rich countries cut the trade barriers that hurt developing countries most: those in agriculture.
With the prospects for an ambitious outcome in the Doha Round of trade negotiations seemingly fading, many are lamenting the welfare gains that would be lost from a superficial agreement while others are asking whether it matters for the world's poorest and, if so, how.
Are we doing well by doing good?
This CGD Note by C. Peter Timmer explores the alliance between US farmers, processors and shippers that forms the political foundation of the US food aid program. The Note outlines the current winners and losers of US food aid, and argues that surprisingly, the recipients are most often the losers.
Senior Fellow William R. Cline outlines a "grand bargain" that negotiators can strike at the upcoming "Doha Development Round" that would ahieve increased trade liberalization.
In this CGD Brief, Todd Moss and Vijaya Ramachandran analyze the survey results of 300-400 manufacturing firms in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. Their main finding? Foreign firms perform better than local firms in generating jobs, increasing the productivty of their workers, and in skills transfer.
The Day After Comrade Bob: Applying Post-Conflict Reconstruction Lessons to Zimbabwe-Working Paper 72
Zimbabwe is in a state of virtual economic collapse. It faces grave public health concerns and even basic services have stalled. This Working Paper by Todd Moss and Stewart Patrick urges the international community to begin planning now for the narrow window of opportunity a post-Mugabe transition will provide.
On September 23, 2005 Malawi signed a funding agreement with the MCC under the MCA's Threshold Program. Malawi was only the second threshold country to reach this step, and the first to reach agreement on a proposal that tackles the thorny issues of corruption and financial management.
Zimbabwe is in a state of virtual economic collapse. It faces grave public health concerns and even basic services have stalled. A new CGD Note by Todd Moss and Stewart Patrick urges the international community to begin planning now for the narrow window of opportunity a post-Mugabe transition will provide.
All eyes are on Geneva in the next few weeks as negotiators try to salvage the Doha Round of trade talks before the Hong Kong WTO meetings in mid-December. A new brief by CGD and IIE Research Fellow Kimberly Elliott. Learn more
The MCC Between a Rock and a Hard Place: More Countries, Less Money and the Transformational Challenge
In this companion note to "Round Three of the MCA: Which Countries are most likely to Qualify in FY 2006" Sheila Herrling and Steve Radelet offer advice to the MCC Board on how to balance the increase in qualifying countries, the desire for larger compacts, and limited funding.
This MCA Monitor analysis draws on newly released data to explore which countries are most likely to be selected for FY 2006 funding from the Millennium Challenge Account. The authors predict that Burkina Faso, East Timor, and Tanzania are likely candidates from the low-income group, and that India is unlikely to be selected despite passing the indicators test.
Most studies of privatization look at what happens to companies. Reality Check, a new volume of case studies from Latin America, Asia, and the former Soviet Union, examines the impact on people. Surprise: privatization has often been a reasonably good thing, even for the poor.