With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
CGD provides rigorous research and innovative policy approaches that enable migrants, refugees, and hosts communities to prosper.
Forced displacement is at historic levels as a result of global conflict and crises. Meanwhile economic migration—a known driver of development—has been demonized as part of the backlash against globalization. As nations work toward the Global Compacts on Migration and on Refugees, governments and international agencies are struggling to respond to the scale of need and the polarization of attitudes.
First and foremost, the impact of migration is a policy choice: With the right policies, migrants and refugees can fuel economic growth in both the countries they live in and leave behind. CGD brings rigorous research and evidence to these contentious political issues and designs policy approaches that enable migrants, refugees, and their hosts to prosper.
Please see the bottom of this page for a preliminary and partial summary of the survey results.
The Center for Global Development (CGD) is conducting an anonymous mail survey of all African-born physicians in North America who are members of the American Medical Association and the Canadian Medical Association, as well as several thousand African-born registered nurses in five US states. The survey will be conducted between May and July 2006.
CGD is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan research institute in Washington, DC. We do academic research on how rich countries' policies can do more to reduce poverty in the developing world. Most of our work, including this survey, is funded by independent philanthropists with no agenda other than supporting high-quality research relevant to policy. Learn more about CGD and its history, mission, and funders.
The purpose of the survey is to better inform academic research about the complex effects of the emigration of African professionals on their countries of origin. Frequently, public discussion of these effects focuses on simple effects, presumed to be negative--African health professionals who live abroad are not spending most of their time providing health care in Africa, whereas the positive effects tend to be ignored. Migrant professionals often send money to their home countries, travel back to their home countries, invest in their home countries, and sometimes move back permanently to their home countries with newly acquired skills and wealth. In this survey we hope to document and measure some of these more complex, positive effects. We thus ask questions about the extent of interaction African-born health professionals abroad have with their countries of origin.
We are conducting this survey purely for academic ends. The questionnaire is completely anonymous. We do not request, nor attempt in any way to obtain, the identity of survey respondents. Our only interest lies in estimating general characteristics of the entire population of African health professionals in North America, as a group.
Who is running the survey
This survey is being conducted by two CGD research staff members: Michael Clemens, PhD, and Gunilla Pettersson. Dr. Clemens is a Research Fellow at the Center. He received his doctorate in economics from Harvard University in 2002 and specializes in the study of economic development and economic history. Access Dr. Clemens' bio and writings. Ms. Pettersson is a Research Assistant at the Center, and holds her master's degree in economics from Oxford University. She has lived and worked in Lesotho and Malawi. If you have any questions about the survey we would be happy to discuss them with you; please get in touch with Ms. Pettersson by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preliminary results for CGD survey of African physicians and nurses in the US and Canada
These preliminary results are intended for survey participants only and may not be cited. So far we have received 1600 responses to the CGD African-born physician survey and 230 responses to the CGD African-born nurse survey and we are very grateful to all survey participants. Simple averages for select questions from the two surveys for 390 and 124 physician and nurse respondents respectively, for which data have been entered are shown in the tables below. The final results will be published here in September 2006.
AVERAGES FOR SELECT VARIABLES FOR CGD AFRICAN-BORN PHYSICIAN SURVEY (partial results)
Average annual remittances: US$4,600Average year physicians began to live continuously in the U.S.: 1982Average share of physicians trained at home (i.e. in Africa): 53%Average share of physicians trained abroad (i.e. outside Africa): 47%Average share of responses from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa): 58%Average share of responses from North Africa: 29%Average share of responses from South Africa: 13%Share of physicians providing medical care in their country of birth during the last 12 months: 8%
Preliminary numbers for 390 survey responses. Not for citation.Source: CGD survey of African-born physicians in Canada and the United States (2006).
AVERAGES FOR SELECT VARIABLES FOR CGD AFRICAN-BORN NURSE SURVEY (partial results)
Average annual remittance: US$4,720Average year nurses began to live continuously in the U.S.: 1990Average share of nurses trained at home (i.e. Africa): 26%Average share of nurses trained abroad (i.e. not Africa): 74%Average share of responses from Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa): 97.6%Average share of responses from North Africa: 0.8%Average share of responses from South Africa: 1.6%Share of nurses that provided medical care in their country of birth during the last 12 months: 6%
Preliminary numbers for 124 survey responses. Not for citation. Source: CGD survey of African-born nurses in the United States (2006).
CGD co-sponsored a Policy Roundtable on Economic Development and Population Dynamics. The roundtable brought together leading policymakers from around the world, including many from Sub-Saharan Africa, to provide consultation on the draft Working Group report and discuss future research and policy directions.
Human capital flows from poor countries to rich countries are large and growing. A leading cause is the increasing skill-focus of immigration policy in a number of leading industrialized countries—a trend that is likely to intensify as rich countries age and competitive pressures build in knowledge-intensive sectors. The implications for development are complex and poorly understood.
A CGD best-seller, Give Us Your Best and Brightest has been praised in Foreign Affairs as "a judicious combination of facts, theory, and informed conjecture on a growing but complex phenomenon about which too little is known." Best and Brightest addresses the migration of well-educated workers from poor to rich countries, and the implications of such migration for development. "The book makes insightful contributions to the literature," says Development Policy Review.
Which rich countries do the most—and least—for development? The Commitment to Development Index shows that helping to fight poverty is about far more than giving money. The Index ranks 21 rich countries according to their policies in seven areas: aid, trade, investment, migration, security, environment, and technology. Check the rankings, view rich country report cards, graphs and maps, and post your comments. Learn more
CGD and JHU-SAIS hosted Paul Winters, Department of Economics, American University, to present "The impact of cash transfers on childbearing in developing countries: Experimental evidence from Central America." Suzanne Duryea, Research Department, Inter-American Development Bank was the discussant.