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  • 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: 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: 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
  • 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: Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and mental illnesses are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. Surprisingly, the burden is especially high in developing countries, which bear 80 percent of deaths due to NCDs. Four main factors are at fault: tobacco use, physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, and alcohol use. The good news is that much of the NCD burden can be prevented through interventions that are affordable in most countries. The United States can help now by taking five low-cost or no-cost steps:End tariff-reducing trade practices for tobacco.Partner with public and private donors.Leverage U.S. influence in multilateral development institutions.Exploit synergies between disease control and other development projects.Encourage evidence-informed budget allocation.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty
  • Political Geography: United Nations
  • 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: Charles Kenny
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It is widely agreed by economists and political scientists that the middle class is vital to progress because of its many virtues. But it is difficult to define a middle class by income in a manner that does not either include a lot of very poor people or suggest that most countries have no middle class to speak of. Survey evidence suggests the middle class is not culturally unique, particularly socially progressive, or entrepreneurial. When the middle of the income distribution sides with poor people in demanding equitable access to quality government services (instead of siding with the wealthy for small government and unequal access), pro-poor policies are far more likely to emerge. But this necessary role should not be confused with virtue.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Education, Poverty, Social Stratification
  • 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: Amanda Glassman, Thomas Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: More than a billion people suffer from neglected diseases, and millions die each year. Effective remedies have been few because of low investment, but with a surge in funding in the past decade, dozens of candidate drugs and vaccines are now in the pipeline. Before these products can reach the people who need them, they must be tested in large-scale clinical trials that are expensive, time-consuming, and risky. These trials must be conducted with highly vulnerable patients in resource-and infrastructure-poor countries where the neglected disease burden exists. There is not enough funding to support the costs and regulatory oversight of these clinical trials. A two-pronged approach to improve the quality and lower the cost of clinical trials in the developing world is needed.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Infrastructure
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Tejaswi Velayudhan
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The United States should take modest steps to create a legal channel for limited numbers of people fleeing natural disasters overseas to enter the United States. This would address two related problems: the lack of any systematic U.S. policy to help the growing numbers of people displaced across borders by natural disasters and the inability of U.S. humanitarian relief efforts to reduce systemic poverty or sustainably improve victims' livelihoods. The aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake presents a compelling case study of the administrative and legislative ways the U.S. government could address both problems. Migration is already a proven and powerful force for reducing Haitians' poverty. A few modest changes in the U.S. approach could greatly aid Haiti's recovery.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Developing World
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean, Haiti