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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: Amanda Glassman, Alex Ezeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Despite improvements in censuses and household surveys, the building blocks of national statistical systems in sub-Saharan Africa remain weak. Measurement of fundamentals such as births and deaths, growth and poverty, taxes and trade, land and the environment, and sickness, schooling, and safety is shaky at best. The challenges are fourfold: (1) national statistics offices have limited independence and unstable budgets, (2) misaligned incentives encourage the production of inaccurate data, (3) donor priorities dominate national priorities, and (4) access to and usability of data are limited. The Data for African Development Working Group's recommendations for reaping the benefits of a data revolution in Africa fall into three categories: (1) fund more and fund differently, (2) build institutions that can produce accurate, unbiased data, and (3) prioritize the core attributes of data building blocks.
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • 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: Kevin Ummel
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: South Africa and many other countries hope to aggressively expand wind and solar power (WSP) in the coming decades. This presents significant challenges for power system planning. Success hinges largely on the question of how and where to deploy WSP technologies. Well-designed deployment strategies can take advantage of natural variability in resources across space and time to help minimize costs, maximize benefits, and ensure reliability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Environment, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: South Africa
  • 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: Owen Barder, Petra Krylová
  • Publication Date: 11-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index ranks 27 of the world's richest countries on policies that affect the more than five billion people living in poorer nations. The CDI goes beyond measures of foreign aid to quantify performance in seven areas: Quantity and quality of foreign aid Openness to trade policies that encourage investment and financial transparency Openness to migration Environmental policies Promotion of international security Support for technology creation and transfer Why does the CDI matter? Because in an integrated world, the behavior of rich countries and powerful institutions can profoundly affect the lives of people in poor countries and because poverty and weak institutions in developing countries can breed public health crises, security threats, and economic crises that know no borders. Committing to policies that promote development and well-being is a global imperative: no human being should be denied the chance to live free of poverty and oppression and to enjoy a basic standard of education and health. The CDI countries all promote respect for human life and dignity; the Index looks at whether the policies of rich countries match these aspirations.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Education, Health, Poverty, Fragile/Failed State
  • Author: Kevin Ummel
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: South Africa and many other countries hope to aggressively expand wind and solar power (WSP) in the coming decades. This presents significant challenges for power system planning. Success hinges largely on the question of how and where to deploy WSP technologies. Well-designed deployment strategies can take advantage of natural variability in resources across space and time to help minimize costs, maximize benefits, and ensure reliability.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Economics, Energy Policy, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Microfinance: Few development ideas have been so buoyed by high expectations in recent decades, and few have been so buffeted by difficulties in recent years. Images of microfinance lifting people out of poverty now compete with ones of the poor driven by debt to suicide. Where does the truth lie? David Roodman investigates in Due Diligence. He finds no evidence that small loans lift people out of poverty en masse but argues that financial services, like clean water and electricity, are essential to a modern life. The practical question is not whether microfinance should continue, but how it can play to its strengths, which lie in providing useful services to millions of poor people in a businesslike way. Due Diligence is the most complete investigation ever into the sources and consequences of microfinance. Rood - man explores the financial needs of poor people, the history of efforts to meet those needs, the business realities of doing so, and the arguments and evidence about how well modern microfinance is succeeding.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Globalization, Poverty, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Andy Sumner, Denizhan Duran
  • Publication Date: 01-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After a decade of rapid economic growth, many developing countries have attained middle-income status. But poverty reduction in these countries has not kept pace with economic growth. As a result, most of the world's poor—up to a billion people—now live in these new middle-income countries (MICs), making up a “new bottom billion.” As the new MICs are home to most of the world's poor, they also carry the majority of the global disease burden. This poses a challenge to global health agencies, in particular the GAVI Alliance and the Global Fund, which are accustomed to disbursing funds on the assumption that the majority of poor people live in poor countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Poverty
  • 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: Alan Gelb, Julia Clark
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: India's Universal ID program seeks to provide a unique identity to all 1.2 billion residents. With the challenge of covering a very large population, India is is a unique testing ground for biometric identification technology. Its successes and potential failures will have far-reaching implications for other developing countries looking to create national identity systems. Already, the Indian case offers some important lessons: Using multiple biometrics helps maximize accuracy, inclusion, and security Supporting public-and private-sector applications creates incentives for use Competitive, standards-based procurement lowers costs Cardless design increases security and cuts costs but can be problematic if mobile networks are incomplete Establishing clear jurisdiction is essential Open technology is good, but proprietary systems and foreign providers may still be necessary.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Emerging Markets, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: David Roodman
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Why does the CDI matter? Because in an increasingly integrated world, the behavior of rich countries can profoundly affect the lives of people in poor countries and because poverty and weak institutions in developing countries can breed public health crises, security threats, and economic crises that know no borders. Committing to policies that promote develop- ment and well-being is a global imperative—no human being should be denied the chance to live free of poverty and oppression and to enjoy a basic standard of education and health. The CDI countries, all democracies, preach concern for human life and dignity within their own borders; the Index looks at whether rich countries' actions match their words.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Health, Poverty
  • Author: Wren Elhai
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A thorny set of obstacles stands in the way of the United States and other donors as they try to scale up development spending in Pakistan. The sheer scale of the country's population and development challenges requires effective mobilization of local resources and local institutions. Incentives for politicians to push for reform are weak. Monitoring spending is difficult, especially when it is spent through Pakistan's own government. Donors and local stakeholders may disagree about which development projects are most needed. A possible solution to these problems is Cash on Delivery Aid. In COD Aid, funders pay for measured and verified progress against an agreed-upon development outcome. The approach has been most clearly thought out in application to the education sector, but it can be applied whenever a donor and recipient can agree on a clear, measurable metric for assessing progress. This brief examines options for a COD Aid contract in Pakistan's education sector and its potential benefits for improving the relationship between official donors and the government of Pakistan, and for increasing the effectiveness of aid spending in Pakistan.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, South Asia
  • 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: Katie Stein
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: With a new executive director appointed in November 2010, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is in a position to re-assert its role and lead the world's effort toward landmark achievements in improving women's health and well-being. The Fund's performance will literally be a matter of life or death for millions of women and children. The numbers speak for themselves: an estimated 215 million women lack access to modern contraceptives, and there are approximately 350,000 maternal deaths each year. As the lead agency for the United Nations' work on population and reproductive health, UNFPA can reduce this terrible and unnecessary toll of lost lives.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Gender Issues, Health, United Nations
  • 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