Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity





Cover of working paper 559
October 27, 2020

Big Sisters

We model household investments in young children when parents and older siblings share caregiving responsibilities and when investments by older siblings contribute to young children’s human capital accumulation. Having an older sister rather than an older brother improves younger siblings’ vocabulary and fine motor skills by more than 0.1 standard deviations. 

Cover of Working Paper 558
October 23, 2020

How to Improve Education Outcomes Most Efficiently? A Comparison of 150 Interventions Using the New Learning-Adjusted Years of Schooling Metric

Limited resources mean that policymakers must make tough choices about which investments to make to improve education. Although hundreds of education interventions have been rigorously evaluated, making comparisons between the results is challenging. This paper proposes using learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS)—which combines access and quality and compares gains to an absolute, cross-country standard—as a new metric for reporting gains from education interventions.

October 22, 2020

Testimony before the USITC on COVID-19 Related Medical Supply Chains

On Wednesday, September 23, CGD Senior Fellow Prashant Yadav appeared before the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at a virtual hearing examining “COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges.” His testimony focused on trade and supply chain issues for COVID-19 related medical products and he offered recommendations for building more resilient supply chains.

October 21, 2020

Women’s Economic Empowerment in West Africa: Towards a Practical Research Agenda

Evidence on ‘what works’ to promote women’s economic empowerment has expanded in recent years but remains geographically unbalanced, with English speaking countries and those with more longstanding research traditions better represented. Recognizing the importance of context specificity in understanding and advancing gender equality, we seek to fill a gap in the literature by reviewing interventions, policies, and broader socio-economic trends within West Africa and the extent to which they have contributed to progress in narrowing economic gender gaps in the region.

October 21, 2020

The Impact of COVID-19 Lockdowns and Expanded Social Assistance on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico

Based on the economic sector in which household members work, we use microsimulation to estimate the distributional consequences of COVID-19-induced lockdown policies in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Our estimates of the poverty consequences are worse than many others’ projections because we do not assume that the income losses are proportionally equal across the income distribution.

An image of the cover of a paper on a fiscal dashboard
October 14, 2020

A Fiscal Policy Dashboard for Low-Income Economies

We construct a fiscal policy dashboard to provide a snapshot of the fiscal system of a country, focusing on macro-sustainability, revenue mobilization, spending composition, and redistributive effects.

Jean-Luc Schneider
The cover of the paper
October 13, 2020

Inclusive Coordination: Building an Area-Based Humanitarian Coordination Model

Area-based approaches treat needs holistically within a defined community or geography; provide aid that is explicitly multisector and multidisciplinary; and design and implement assistance through participatory engagement with affected communities and leaders. Integrating these elements of area-based logic into the humanitarian coordination architecture would better align humanitarian action around the expressed needs and aspirations of crisis-affected people.

Cover of Working Paper 554
October 12, 2020

Is the World Bank’s COVID Crisis Lending Big Enough, Fast Enough? New Evidence on Loan Disbursements

We compile a new data set, combining official sources with transaction-level records scraped from the World Bank website, spanning all commitments, disbursements, and payments on all World Bank loans from before the 2008-09 Global Financial Crisis through August 2020, allowing us to compare the Bank’s COVID response to the last comparable global crisis. We find that lending has indeed accelerated in 2020, but the Bank appears to be on track to fulfill only half of its own target of $160 billion in new lending by June 2021.

An image of the cover of a paper on DAC debt rules
October 7, 2020

New DAC Rules on Debt Relief – A Poor Measure of Donor Effort

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) recently produced a long-awaited set of rules for how debt relief on loans should be scored as Official Development Assistance (ODA). Unfortunately, the rules suffer from a number of statistical problems and the DAC needs to take these rules back to the drawing board, or lose credibility.

Cover of working paper 552
October 5, 2020

An Analysis of Clinical Knowledge, Absenteeism, and Availability of Resources for Maternal and Child Health: A Cross-Sectional Quality of Care Study in 10 African Countries

Our findings highlight the need to boost the knowledge of health care workers to achieve greater care readiness. Training programs have shown mixed results, so systems may need to adopt a combination of competency-based pre-service and in-service training for health care providers (with evaluation to ensure the effectiveness of the training), and hiring practices that ensure the most prepared workers enter the systems. We conclude that in settings where clinical knowledge is poor, improving drug availability or reducing health workers’ absenteeism would only modestly increase the average care readiness that meets minimum quality standards.

Laura Di Giorgio , David Evans , Magnus Lindelow , Son Nam Nguyen , Jakob Svensson , Waly Wane and Anna Welander Tärneberg
A cover image of a COVID-19 vaccine prediction paper
October 1, 2020

COVID-19 Vaccine Predictions: Using Mathematical Modelling and Expert Opinions to Estimate Timelines and Probabilities of Success of COVID-19 Vaccines

We collected publicly available information, interviewed experts, and used our diverse range of expertise to analyse and model the COVID-19 vaccine portfolio in order to generate predictions about the vaccine portfolio's timeline.