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  • Author: Owen Barder, Petra Krylová
  • Publication Date: 01-2015
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world's richest countries on their policies that affect more than five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond comparing how much foreign aid each country gives, the CDI quantifies a range of rich country policies that affect poor people.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Charles Kenny, William Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Why don't foreign aid programs simply pay recipients for attaining agreed upon results? The idea has been around for decades, but it continues to meet resistance. Some donors worry that programs that pay for outputs or outcomes would not be able to control how funds are used and would thus be vulnerable to corruption. This brief explains why results-based payment systems are actually likely to be less vulnerable to corruption than traditional input-tracking approaches by making the effects of corruption-the failure of programs to deliver results-more visible.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Homi Kharas, Nabil Hashmi
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measures donors' performance on 31 indicators of aid quality to which donors have made commitments. The indicators are grouped into four dimensions associated with effective aid: maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing the burden on partner countries, and transparency and learning. The 2014 edition finds that donors are overall becoming more transparent and better at fostering partner country institutions but that there has been little progress at maximizing efficiency or reducing the burden on partner countries. The World Bank's concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), performs very well in QuODA, ranking in the top 10 of 31 donors on all four dimensions. The United States ranks in the bottom half of all donors on three of the four dimensions of aid quality and last on reducing the burden on partner countries. The United Kingdom ranks in the top third on three of four dimensions of aid quality and scores particularly well on transparency and learning. The Global Fund ranks in the bottom third on fostering institutions but ranks in the top third on the other three dimensions of aid quality, including the top spot in maximizing efficiency.
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States, United Kingdom
  • Author: Kimberly Ann Elliott, Edward Collins
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) measures how well donors score on the dimensions of aid quality that evidence and experience suggest lead to effective aid. Those dimensions are maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions (in recipient countries), reducing burden (for recipient governments), and transparency and learning (on the part of donors). The Quality of Agricultural Official Development Assistance (Ag QuODA), as much as possible, applies the original QuODA methodology to donors giving agricultural aid. In this update of Ag QuODA, we use new data from the Creditor Reporting System to extend our earlier analysis and update it to 2011. We also examine data on aid activities that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is now reporting. We find that the quality of official development assistance (ODA) varies widely, with multilateral donors generally doing better on average than bilateral donors. Improvements in the data quality and availability are making sector-specific assessments like Ag QuODA more feasible, but further improvements are needed to allow a deeper understanding of aid effectiveness.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Lant Pritchett
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: More than a billion children worldwide—95 percent—are in school. That's due in part to steady progress toward the second Millennium Development Goal that every child “be able to complete a full course of primary school” by 2015. To put that in perspective, the average adult in the developing world today receives more schooling than the average adult in advanced countries did in 1960. Schooling, however, is not the same as education. Few of these billion students will receive an education that adequately equips them for their future. The poor quality of education worldwide constitutes a learning crisis; donors and development agencies have been complicit in its creation, but they can and should be part of the solution, not by prescribing changes, but by fostering environments where change is possible.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics, Education, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Kalipso Chalkidou
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health donors, policymakers, and practitioners continuously make life-and-death decisions about which type of patients receive what interventions, when, and at what cost. These decisions—as consequential as they are—often result from ad hoc, nontransparent processes driven more by inertia and interest groups than by science, ethics, and the public interest. The result is perverse priorities, wasted money, and needless death and illness. Examples abound: In India, only 44 percent of children 1 to 2 years old are fully vaccinated, yet open-heart surgery is subsidized in national public hospitals. In Colombia, 58 percent of children are fully vaccinated, but public monies subsidize treating breast cancer with Avastin, a brand-name medicine considered ineffective and unsafe for this purpose in the United States.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, India, Colombia
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Denizhan Duran
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health is one of the largest and most complex sectors of foreign aid: in recent years, about 15 cents of every aid dollar went to global health. While health is often cited as one of the few undisputed aid success stories, there is little quantitative analysis of the quality of health aid, and some studies suggest that health aid does not necessarily improve health outcomes.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Benjamin Leo, Ross Thuotte
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In recent years, the World Bank Group has made increasingly strong and explicit commitments to fragile and conflict-affected states, putting them at the top of the development policy agenda. These commitments are promising, but give rise to significant operational challenges for the various arms of the World Bank Group, including the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA). The bank also faces steady pressure from shareholders to scale up involvement in fragile states while also improving absorptive capacity and project effectiveness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Most of the world's poor no longer live in low-income countries. An estimated 960 million poor people—a new bottom billion—live in middle-income countries, a result of the graduation of several populous countries from low-income status. That is good news, but it has repercussions. Donors will have to change the way they think about poverty alleviation. They should design development aid to benefit poor people, not just poor countries, keep supporting middle-income countries, think beyond traditional aid to craft coherent development policies, and work to help create space for more inclusive policy processes in new and old MICs.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Kaci Farrell
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes can devastate people's lives and a country's economy, particularly in the developing world. More than 200,000 people perished when a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, and Americans responded with an outpouring of private and public assistance. Those relief efforts, as they nearly always do, focused primarily on delivering aid. The United States barely used another tool for disaster relief: migration policy. This policy brief explores the various legal channels through which the U.S. government could, after future overseas disasters, leverage the power of migration to help limited numbers of people. We describe what could have been done for Haiti, but the lessons apply to future scenarios.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Natural Disasters, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Guillermo Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Direct support to private firms in developing countries constitutes a large and growing share of multilateral development banks' financial activities. This trend contrasts with the advice MDBs gave developing countries until a decade ago to privatize or liquidate the development banks supporting private firms, or to transform them into nonbanking development agencies. Opinion has changed since then, especially after development banks successfully intervened in the recent financial crisis. In this brief, Guillermo Perry assesses whether arguments in favor of such MDB direct support are valid and whether MDBs are living up to priorities coherent with such arguments. He finds that they do so only partially. His recommendations include deepening MDB support to small and medium enterprises, reducing the procyclicality of MDB lending, increasing the share of MDB loans and guarantees to private firms that are made in domestic currencies, and paying more attention to firms in infrastructure and social sectors and to those introducing new products, exports, or technologies.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The regional development banks (RDBs) are multilateral financial institutions that provide financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries within their regions. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management. The term RDB usually refers to four institutions:
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is a multilateral financial institution that provides financial and technical assistance to the private sector in middle- and low- income countries. Unlike other international financial institutions, the IFC operates on a commercial basis and invests exclusively in for-profit projects that promote poverty reduction and development. Increasingly, the IFC is investing in the world's poorest countries and fragile states that have few private investors. IFC investments support a range of activities including agribusiness, manufacturing, health and education, microfinance programs, and infrastructure development.
  • Topic: Development, Markets, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The primary role of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is to promote stability of the international monetary system, the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries to transact with one another. To do so, the IMF provides financial assistance in the form of loans to help member countries address balance-of-payments problems, stabilize their economies, and restore sustainable economic growth. The IMF also carries out technical assistance and surveillance activities that help strengthen underlying economic fundamentals of member countries and the global financial systems at large.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Author: Todd Moss, Sarah Jane Staats, Julia Barmeier
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The international financial institutions dramatically increased their lending in 2008–09 to help developing countries cope with the global financial crisis and support economic recovery. Today, these organizations are seeking billions of dollars in new funding. The IMF, which only a few years ago was losing clients and shedding staff, expanded by $750 billion in 2009. The World Bank and the four regional development banks for Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America have asked to increase their capital base by 30 to 200 percent. A general capital increase (GCI) for these development banks is an unusual request. A simultaneous GCI request is a oncein- a-generation occurrence.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Latin America, Ethiopia
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The World Bank is a multilateral financial institution that provides financial and technical assistance for development in low- and middle-income countries. Finance is allocated through low-interest loans and grants for a range of development sectors such as health and education, infrastructure, public administration, financial and private-sector development, agriculture, and environmental and natural resource management.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Environment, Health, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Indonesia, India
  • Author: Jenny Ottenhoff
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The International Financial Institutions (IFIs) are multilateral agencies. The term typically refers to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which provides financing and policy advice to member nations experiencing economic difficulties, and the multilateral development banks (MDBs), which provide financing and technical support for development projects and economic reform in low- and middle-income countries. The term MDB is usually understood to mean the World Bank and four smaller regional development banks: African Development Bank (AfDB). Asian Development Bank (ADB). European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, America, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Homi Kharas, Rita Perakis
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As demonstrated by the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and Accra Agenda for Action, the development community has reached a broad consensus on what constitutes good practice for the delivery of development assistance. But since these high-level agreements were made, there has been almost no independent quantitative analysis of whether donors are meeting the standards they have set for themselves.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Treaties and Agreements, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Paris
  • Author: Mead Over
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: An unprecedented surge in donor support for HIV/AIDS treatment over the last decade has lengthened and improved the lives of millions of people living with HIV/AIDS. But because the rate of new infections outpaces the rate of AIDS-related deaths, the number of people living with AIDS—and therefore the number of people needing treatment—is growing faster than the funding needed to treat them. In 2009, about 1.8 million people died from AIDS-related illnesses while about 2.6 million were newly infected with HIV, increasing the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS by more than three-quarters of a million.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Foreign Aid
  • Author: David Wendt, Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Billions of dollars have been allocated to fight HIV/AIDS in poor countries over the past decade, yet less than half of those requiring treatment receive it, and for every two people put on treatment, five more become infected. This situation, in combination with the global economic crisis and the growing pressure to respond to broader global health objectives, is forcing donors to consider how to do more with their available funds. One way to improve the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS programs is to tie funding decisions to performance. Performance-based funding rewards effective programs and gives incentives for poor performers to improve. Donors have experimented with this approach, but they should do much more to ensure that funding decisions reflect and respond to how well funding recipients meet the objectives of their programs.
  • Topic: Health, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Ayah Mahgoub, William D. Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Foreign aid often works, but it is often criticized for being ineffective or even for undermining progress in developing countries. This brief describes a new approach, Cash on Delivery Aid, which gives recipients full responsibility and authority over funds paid in proportion to verified measures of progress. Through the example of using COD Aid to support universal primary-school completion, the brief illustrates a practical approach to aid that holds the promise of making aid more effective and less burdensome by fundamentally restructuring the relationships of accountability among funders, recipients, and their respective constituencies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: For the past decade, global AIDS donors—including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), and the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (the MAP)—have responded to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an emergency. Financial and programmatic efforts have been quick, vertical, and HIV-specific. To achieve ambitious HIV/AIDS targets, AIDS donors mobilized health workers from weak and understaffed national health workforces. The shortages were the result of weak data for effective planning, inadequate capacity to train and pay health workers, and fragmentation and poor coordination across the health workforce life-cycle. Ten years and billions of dollars later, the problem still persists. The time has passed for short-term fixes to health workforce shortages. As the largest source of global health resources, AIDS donors must begin to address the long-term problems underlying the shortages and the effects of their efforts on the health workforce more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Publication Date: 10-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 22 of the world's richest countries on their dedication to policies that benefit the five billion people living in poorer nations. Moving beyond standard comparisons of foreign aid volumes, the CDI quantifies a range of rich-country policies that affect poor people in developing countries: Quantity and quality of foreign aid Openness to developing-country exports Policies that encourage investment Migration policies Environmental policies Security policies Support for creation and dissemination of new technologies Scores on each component are scaled so that an average score in 2008, the reference year, equals 5.0. A country's final score is the average of those for each component. The CDI adjusts for size in order to compare how well countries are living up to their potential to help.
  • Topic: Development, International Cooperation, Poverty, Third World, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Rena Eichler, Ruth Levine
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Global health donors, like national governments, have traditionally paid for inputs such as doctors' salaries or medical equipment in the hope that they would lead to better health. Performance incentives offered to health workers, facility managers, or patients turn the equation on its head: they start with the performance targets and let those most directly affected decide how to achieve them. Funders pay (in money or in kind) when health providers or patients reach specified goals. Evidence shows that such incentives can work in a variety of settings. But making them effective requires careful planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation.
  • Topic: Health, Humanitarian Aid, Third World, Foreign Aid