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This is the first of three blog posts looking at the implications of complexity theory for development. These posts draw on a new online lecture by Owen Barder, based on his Kapuscinski Lecture in May 2012 which was sponsored by UNDP and the EU. In this post, Barder explains how complexity science, which is belatedly getting more attention from mainstream economists, gives a new perspective to the meaning of ‘development’.
The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, such as that the typhoon which devastated part of the Phillipines on Friday, can bring out the best of the global community. There will come a time to discuss how we can do more to prevent the environmental changes which make such events more likely; but the immediate priority is to get water, food and shelter to people who urgently need it.
***This is not a CGD event and will take place in Hilton Head, South Carolina***
The World Affairs Council of Hilton Head presents Africa On the Rise: How the Forgotten Continent Is More Important Than Ever to the United States. In the mind of many Americans, Africa invokes images or famine or Blackhawk Down. But the continent is increasingly democratic and is now the home to six of the ten fastest growing economies in the world. Investors from London, New York, Shanghai, and Dubai are looking afresh at opportunities in Africa, especially to meet rapidly expanding consumer demand. At the same time, U.S. national security—including concerns about the spread of Al Qaeda, international criminal networks, and cross-border disease—is also pushing Africa higher up the U.S. foreign policy agenda. In short, Africa is more important to the United States than ever before. President Clinton launched a major trade initiative with Africa, while President Bush made major new commitments to working with African partners to promote security and health. Yet, the Obama Administration seems to have lost momentum. The president’s June trip to Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania along with a recently announced energy initiative might be enough to turn things around. Moss, a former senior State Department official, will discuss the challenges of a rising Africa facing American foreign policy.
When opportunities for corrupt earnings rise, is there more corruption? This fundamental question is the subject of new, frontier-pushing research by two young stars of development economics: CGD alumnus Sandip Sukhtankar and his co-author Paul Niehaus.
As President Obama convenes an important global summit on refugees, and world leaders at the UN General Assembly address the burgeoning issue of migration and forced displacement, we’ve taken a closer look at how the richest countries in the world support development and the alleviation of poverty through their migration policies. Migration is one of the seven components of our Commitment to Development Index, an annual exercise to marshall millions of data points to track how rich country policies affect the world’s poorest people and places, across seven different policy areas.