Unless you have checked out of Earth, you must have heard phrases like, “data is the new oil,” “software is eating the world.” and “AI will disrupt everything.” Similar claims are bandied about as if they mean the same thing and as if they all point to the same trends, with little attempt to dig into their actual significance.
Bangladesh is hosting more than a million Rohingya refugees, and businesses have a critical role to play in improving the situation for them and their Bangladeshi host communities. We have identified four viable areas for business investment and procurement in Cox’s Bazar, the historically under-developed region that is hosting the Rohingya refugees.
Meaningful progress on the goal of reducing global extreme poverty requires meeting the development needs of vulnerable populations in fragile contexts; but assistance in these contexts has traditionally been limited to short-term humanitarian aid, ill-equipped to address underlying development challenges.
When the world adopted the SDGs, policymakers knew that aid alone would never meet the financing needs. They embraced the “billions to trillions” vision, believing that an abundance of commercially viable SDG-related investments was ready and waiting for trillions in profitable private investment—if only development finance institutions (DFIs) and others could clear away the obstacles that stand between the investments and private investors. Reality looks different. To fill the gaps in the financial architecture, Nancy Lee and Dan Preston propose the Stretch Fund.
EU agricultural support to member states is a barrier to development in Africa and elsewhere. Support levels vary by member, and remain high internationally, but neither the EU nor the OECD publish comparable figures on support levels in the 28 members. In this note, we publish the first estimates of agricultural support by EU members.
Improving the quality, impact, and efficiency of public services is one of the most critical challenges of public policy. There are multiple ways of addressing these challenges, but a common theme is the need to put citizens at the center of governance and service delivery, through empowerment, transparency, accountability, and participation.
On November 13, CGD senior fellow Charles Kenny testified before the House Committe on Financial Services Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy Hearing, on How America Leads Abroad: An Examination of Multilateral Development Institutions.
Nigeria has a vibrant and growing tech sector. In a survey of tech firms conducted in 2018, we find that most firms start small but grow quickly, more than doubling their size in the few years since the start of operations. Many are addressing inefficiencies in distribution of goods and services. But firms are still hampered by the business environment, notably unreliable electricity and lack of access to credit. Most suffer significant power outages, forcing them to purchase generators. Few firms have access to financial institutions or venture capitalists, relying instead on family and professional networks. Finally, tech firms employ very few women. While the Nigerian government has made the tech sector a priority, it needs to do more to improve the basics of the business environment. The government and the private sector must also take steps to increase the participation of women in the tech sector.
Donor support for agriculture development is not keeping pace with developing country demand or the need for finance implied by Sustainable Development Goal 2. In order to increase the overall volume of resources available for these needs, IFAD is pursuing a reform agenda that considers providing loans on harder terms to its client countries.
This note outlines the organizations and research initiatives currently addressing taxation of tobacco, alcohol, and sugar-sweetened beverages—the “bads”—to help navigate the landscape of existing research and identify gaps and opportunities for further work.
This is the text of a speech given by president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at an event hosted at the Center for Global Development on November 4, 2019.
Existing analysis of US think tanks suggests that women are underrepresented among senior staff, leadership, and board members. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Soraya Kamali-Nafar at Women In International Security examined 22 Washington, DC-based think tanks working on foreign policy and national and international security, and they found that 68 percent of the heads of the think tanks were men, along with 73 percent of the experts and 78 percent of those on governing boards. In 2018, a random sampling of 10 leading US think tanks working on development by Charles Kenny and Tanvi Jaluka suggested that women made up 30 percent of high-paid employees and 10 percent of highest-paid employees, and that higher-paid women earned only 75 percent that of higher-paid men.
For nearly 50 years, the world’s “least developed countries” have received extra financial support and preferential trade treatment to help them grow and develop. In the first three decades after the United Nations (UN) created the LDC category in 1971, only one country—diamond-rich Botswana—outgrew that status.
Canonical models of crime emphasize economic incentive. Yet, causal evidence of sorting into criminal occupations in response to individual-level variation in incentives is limited. We link administrative socioeconomic microdata with the universe of arrests in Medellín over a decade. We exploit exogenous variation in formal-sector employment around a socioeconomic-score cutoff, below which individuals receive benefits if not formally employed, to test whether a higher cost to formal-sector employment induces crime. Regression discontinuity estimates show this policy generated reductions in formal-sector employment and a corresponding spike in organized crime, but no effects on crimes of impulse or opportunity.
The arrival of a new leadership team in Brussels provides an opportunity for Europe to reinvigorate its role as a global development power and to build a true partnership with its continental neighbour, Africa. These tasks have never been more urgent. Read here for recommendations on migration.
Ecological Fiscal Transfers and Subnational Budgets: Did Forest-Based Fiscal Devolution Lead Indian States to Increase Forestry Expenditure?
India’s ecological fiscal transfers provide Indian states with the incentive to increase their forestry budgets as an investment in increased future shares of central taxes. In this paper, we look at whether states are yet taking advantage of this opportunity.
The new US International Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) will be considerably larger than its predecessor, and it will also be more focused on low and lower middle income countries. It will have new tools to deliver but face expanded competition.
Now that computers are capable of taking the jobs that require brain as well as brawn, it may appear there is little left for humans to do. But there are reasons to doubt the pessimism. This note reviews some of the literature around AI, automation, jobs, and development prospects with a focus on potential implications for developing countries and in particular for Africa.