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  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Scott Morris
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The multilateral development banks (MDBs) emerged as one of the international community’s great success stories of the post–World War II era. Set up to address a market failure in long-term capital flows to post-conflict Europe and developing countries, they combined financial heft and technical knowledge for more than five decades to support their borrowing members’ investments in post-conflict reconstruction, growth stimulation, and poverty reduction. However, the geo-economic landscape has changed dramatically in this century, and with it the demands and needs of the developing world. Developing countries now make up half of the global economy. The capital market failure that originally motivated the MDBs is less acute. Almost all developing countries now rely primarily on domestic resources to manage public investment, and some of the poorest countries can borrow abroad on their own. Similarly, growth and the globalization of professional expertise on development practice have eroded whatever near-monopoly of advisory services the MDBs once had. At the same time, new challenges call for global collective action and financing of the sort the MDBs are well suited to provide but have been handicapped in doing so effectively. The list goes beyond major financial shocks, where the IMF’s role is clear—ranging from climate change, pandemic risk, increasing resistance to antibiotics, and poor management of international migration flows and of displaced and refugee populations. Other areas include the cross-border security and spillovers associated with growing competition for water and other renewable natural resources, and, with climate change, an increase in the frequency and human costs of weather and other shocks in low-income countries that are poorly equipped to respond.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Stijn Claessens, Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 03-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As recently as 2011, only 42 percent of adult Kenyans had a financial account of any kind; by 2014, according to the Global Findex, database that number had risen to 75 percent. [1] In sub­Saharan Africa, the share of adults with financial accounts rose by nearly half over the same period. Many other developing countries have also recorded gains in access to basic financial services. Much of this progress is being facilitated by the digital revolution of recent decades, which has led to the emergence of new financial services and new delivery channels. Whereas payment services often are the entry point into using formal financial services, they are not the only low­cost and widely accessible financial services being delivered in recent years. Driven by advances in new digital payment services, small­scale credit and new modes for delivering insurance services are being offered in several developing countries. Digital (payment) records are being used to make decisions about provision of credit to small businesses or individuals who do not have traditional collateral or credit history to secure loans. Additionally, affordable mobile systems have led to the provision of new and innovative financial services that would not be economically sustainable under the traditional brick­and­mortar model such as mobile­based crop microinsurance in sub­Saharan Africa and pay­as­you­go energy delivery models for off­grid customers in India, Peru, and Tanzania. [2] Increased access to basic financial services, especially payments services, by larger segments of the population reflects the growing use of digital technologies in developing countries. Simultaneously, the adoption of proper regulation based on country­specific opportunities, needs and conditions has been critical.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Virgílio Gibbon
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Situational crises tend to concentrate economic activity in centers where such activity already is historically more significant. As a result, financial markets — especially the organized markets — tend to coalesce around these same centers because they benefit from the higher level of liquidity that concentrated economic activity offers. This undoubtedly was one of the major causes of the waning of the financial market in Rio de Janeiro, and the hegemony conquered by São Paulo as of the 1980s.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Crisis, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Mead Over, Sebastian Bauhoff
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Founded in 2002, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) is one of the world’s largest multilateral health funders, disbursing $3–$4 billion a year across 100-plus countries. Many of these countries rely on Global Fund monies to finance their respective disease responses—and for their citizens, the efficient and effective use of Global Fund monies can be the difference between life and death. Many researchers and policymakers have hypothesized that models tying grant payments to achieved and verified results—referred to in this report as next generation financing models—offer an opportunity for the Global Fund to push forward its strategic interests and accelerate the impact of its investments. Free from year-to-year disbursement pressure (like government agencies) and rigid allocation policies (like the World Bank’s International Development Association), the Global Fund is also uniquely equipped to push forward innovative financing models. But despite interest, the how of new grant designs remains a challenge. Realizing their potential requires technical know-how and careful, strategic decisionmaking that responds to specific country and epidemiological contexts—all with little evidence or experience to guide the way. This report thus addresses the how of next generation financing models—that is, the concrete steps needed to change the basis of payment from expenses to something else: outputs, outcomes, or impact. For example, when and why is changing the basis of payment a good idea? What are the right indicators and results to purchase from grantees? How much and how should grantees be remunerated for their achievements? How can the Global Fund verify that the basis of payment is sound—that the reported results are accurate and reliable and represent real progress against disease control goals? And what is needed to protect communities against coercion or other human rights abuses, ensuring that these new incentives do not drive unintended consequences?
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 12-2015
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most money and responsibility for health in large federal countries like India rests with subnational governments — states, provinces, districts, and municipalities. The policies and spending at the subnational level affect the pace, scale, and equity of health improvements in countries that account for much of the world’s disease burden: India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Fiscal transfers between levels of government can — but do not always — play an important role in turning money into outcomes at the subnational level. Well designed, transfers can help put states on a level financial playing field by equalizing spending across states and adjusting allocations for the health risks of each state’s population. Transfers can increase accountability and create incentives for greater spending or effectiveness in service delivery. But transfers are rarely designed with attention to their desired outcomes. To get to better outcomes, international experience suggests that transfers need to be reexamined and reformed along three dimensions. First, central government’s allocation of national revenues to subnational governments should respond to needs and population size. Second, transfers should generate incentives to improve subnational governments’ spending quality and performance on outcomes. Third, independent systems to monitor, evaluate, and provide feedback data on subnational performance can generate greater accountability to the central government, parliaments, and legislatures as well as to citizens. These insights are seemingly simple and suggestive, but each country starts from its own unique history that requires careful technical analysis and political savvy to define reforms with genuine potential to improve health.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance, Financial Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rajrishi Singhal
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Gateway House: Indian Council on Global Relation
  • Abstract: India’s decision to block the Trade Facilitation Agreement at the World Trade Organisation in July was perplexing; the confusion was compounded because India was almost alone in its position. This policy perspective explains the reasons for India’s curious stand
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: India, Global Focus
  • Author: Erika Pinto, Osvaldo Stella, Paulo Moutinho
  • Publication Date: 10-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In this article, Erika Pinto, Osvaldo Stella, and Paulo Moutinho present some of the main economic instruments and financial incentives set forth by Brazilian law, which are used by governments at the national and sub-national levels as well. The authors highlight the strain put on natural resources by the present economic model and emphasize the need to switch from production cycles that pollute and are obsolete in regards to sustainability to more environmentally conscious alternatives.
  • Topic: Environment, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Brazil
  • Author: Claudio Contador
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: The opening of the reinsurance market in Brazil finally took place in 2007, amidst euphoria and great expectations. The process lasted nearly two decades, with little movement, to the great frustration of the companies, international investors and, especially, the domestic insurance market, which was in need of modernization and less government involvement. The exhaustion of the nationalized reinsurance model created in 1939 was evident by the 1990s and became even more visible in that decade, in the face of opportunities for insurance offered by the large investments in infrastructure, and rural, environmental and disaster insurance, among others.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Global Markets, Financial Markets, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Global Focus
  • Author: Haroldo Machado Filho, Thiago de Araújo Mendes
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: Haroldo Machado Filho and Thiago Mendes introduce the reader to the complex architecture of international funding available for mitigation and adaptation to climate change. In a very consistent manner, the authors propose an analysis on the institutional and political context in which the creation and maintenance of these financial mechanisms occur. Emphasizing the truly global spatial scale of climate change, Machado Filho and Mendes highlight the importance of international cooperation to promote the transformation to a low-carbon world and with more resilient societies to climate change. However, the authors show that the negotiations in multilateral forums aimed at the question of financing have been marked by slow decision-making and the absence of clear rules that guide the implementation of the agreements.
  • Topic: Climate Change, International Trade and Finance, Climate Finance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Brazilian Center for International Relations (CEBRI)
  • Abstract: In recent times, Brazil has been passing through a process of evaluation as it is set to host major international events, mostly sportive ones, in the next few years. Due to the realization of extensive infrastructure work, occurrence of natural disasters and existence of nuclear power plants, the debate surrounding the reinsurance topic has been growing.
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Brazil