Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity





An image of a patient receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from a doctor.
April 5, 2021

Vaccine Financing: How a Redesigned IMF Instrument Can Provide a Shot in the Arm for the Global Pandemic Response

A new IMF rapid credit window could provide some $30 billion to cover the vaccine financing needs for most developing countries through 2021-22. The mechanism would facilitate collective action to negotiate increased production, the main obstacle to achieving vaccine coverage and rectifying the gross inequities in current distribution. It would remain in place for future global pandemic responses.

An image of the World Bank Building
April 5, 2021

Tracking the Scale and Speed of the World Bank’s COVID Response: April 2021 Update

Last year at this time, the World Bank announced its intention to provide $104 billion in financing to developing country governments to help them respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We took stock of those efforts seven months ago. More than a year into the pandemic, it’s time to check in again on the Bank’s crisis financing. We revisit four basic questions about the Bank’s lending performance since it originally announced its COVID response.

An image of the World Bank Group Building
April 1, 2021

IDA-20: Donors Must Go Big, and IDA Must Too

The time is now for a historic IDA replenishment. The world’s poorest countries’ recovery from the COVID-19 economic downturn will largely hinge on the scale of the emergency relief and investment programs over the next few years.

Cover of How China Lends paper
March 31, 2021

How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments

China is the world’s largest official creditor, but we lack basic facts about the terms and conditions of its lending. Very few contracts between Chinese lenders and their government borrowers have ever been published or studied. This paper is the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending. We collect and analyze 100 contracts between Chinese state-owned entities and government borrowers in 24 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and compare them with those of other bilateral, multilateral, and commercial creditors.

March 30, 2021

Health Systems Impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines

This paper presents a preliminary review on the collateral health systems impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines through review of academic and grey literature, supplemented by a qualitative survey.

Diana Beatriz S. Bayani and Soon Guan Tan
March 30, 2021

Assessing the Indirect Health Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

This paper presents an analysis of the indirect health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. We employed a mixed-methods approach, combining the analysis of secondary quantitative data obtained from the Kenya Health Information System database (from January 2019 to November 2020) and a qualitative inquiry involving key informant interviews and document reviews

Edwine Barasa , Jacob Kazungu , Stacey Organi , Evelyn Kabia , Morris Ogero and Kadondi Kasera
March 30, 2021

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Services and Mitigation Measures in Uganda

On 21st March 2020, Uganda reported its first COVID-19 case. The government responded by instituting a lockdown and other measures. We assess the effects of the COVID-19 containment measures on health services to better inform the next preventive measures. We use a case study approach that involved document reviews and secondary analysis of data on attendance of key health services and mortality for the years 2019 and 2020.

Nazarius Tumwesigye , Okethwangu Denis , Mary Kaakyo and Claire Biribawa
An image of windmills at night
March 29, 2021

Principles for Paris-Alignment and Climate Finance in Development

As ministers and officials meet in the coming year, they will make new financing commitments on climate and promise to ensure all of their activities are “Paris-compatible”—against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Any new commitments on climate finance will need to balance existing development challenges with the pressing need to tackle climate-related risks. This note outlines a set of principles to guide climate-related commitments so that they do more for both climate and development.

March 26, 2021

Incentivizing COVID-19 Vaccine Developers to Expand Manufacturing Capacity

Safe and efficacious vaccines are our best tools for defeating COVID-19, and an unprecedented research and development effort has led to 12 vaccines being approved for full, emergency, or limited use, globally. But to vaccinate the global population as quickly as possible requires additional production capacity. The available global production capacity may be sufficient in aggregate across all vaccine manufacturing platforms over an 18- to 24-month window.

The cover of the note
March 18, 2021

Fuel Subsidy Reform in Fragile States: Forging A Constructive IFI-UN Partnership

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, fragile states around the world struggled to manage complex and interacting risks. Facing macroeconomic stressors on top of a fragile peace, many countries found themselves balancing precariously between tipping points, knowing that interventions that might ease economic tension may push dangerously close to a political precipice, while those designed to alleviate social unrest may drive the country deeper into fiscal crisis.

An image of solar panels and wind mills with a city skyline in the background.
March 16, 2021

A Climate-Dedicated Capital Increase at the World Bank and IFC

With a new US administration rejoining the Paris Agreement and the upcoming Glasgow climate conference set to endorse a new set of national commitments to greenhouse gas emissions, there is renewed momentum in the struggle to limit climate change and its global impact. But global finance to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries is still inadequate and misdirected. A climate-dedicated capital increase at the World Bank Group would be a comparatively low-cost way to considerably improve the volume and quality of climate finance.

Cover of Policy Paper 206
March 15, 2021

Mobilizing External Financing for Africa’s Crisis Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on African economies. On the continent, countries continue to face significant financing needs to protect lives and livelihood and bolster prospects for a stronger and more resilient economic recovery. To help meet these needs, the international community must act promptly.

The cover of the paper
March 5, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness and Synergies for Emissions Mitigation Projects in Developing Countries

This paper assesses the available evidence evaluating the effectiveness of concessional spending on climate mitigation in developing countries. Impact evaluation evidence on climate mitigation in developing countries is very limited. However, the Green Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund lead their peers by making available project-level data on the expected mitigation and cost of funded projects