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  • Author: Stefan Dercon, Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Millions of people face hazards like cyclones and drought every day. International aid to deal with disasters after they strike is generous, but it is unpredictable and fragmented, and it often fails to arrive when it would do the most good. We must stop treating disasters like surprises. Matching finance to planning today will save lives, money, and time tomorrow.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cindy Huang, Nazanin Ash
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The world is witnessing higher levels of displacement than ever before. The statistics tell the story. Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, 5 million people have fled to nearby Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan. And refugees now spend an average of 10 years away from their countries. Equally striking as the scale of the crisis are the consequences of an inadequate response. Individual lives hang in the balance; refugees are struggling to rebuild their lives, find jobs, and send their children to school. Developing countries that are hosting the overwhelming majority of refugees— and at the same time trying to meet the needs of their own citizens—are shouldering unsustainable costs. We are seeing global stability and hard-won development gains threatened.
  • Topic: War, Refugee Issues, Territorial Disputes, Refugee Crisis
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Rachel Silverman, Amanda Glassman
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In July 2012, world leaders gathered in London to support the right of women and girls to make informed and autonomous choices about whether, when, and how many children they want to have. There, low income-country governments and donors committed to a new partnership—Family Planning 2020 (FP2020). FP2020 set an aspirational goal—120 million additional users of voluntary, high-quality family planning services by 2020—and received commitments totaling $4.6 billion in additional funding. Since then, the focus countries involved in the FP2020 partnership have made significant progress. Yet as FP2020 reaches its halfway point, and new, even more ambitious goals are set as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, gains fall short of aspirations. The midpoint of the FP2020 initiative is thus an important inflection point, offering an opportunity for family planning funders and the FP2020 partnership more broadly to take stock of progress, to reflect on the lessons of the past four years, to refine funding and accountability mechanisms, and to reallocate existing resources for greater impact. Of course, the primary responsibility for expanding contraceptive access falls squarely on country governments. Nonetheless, donor contributions play an important role. With the goal of reaching as many women and girls as possible by 2020 and an eye toward the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Center for Global Development (CGD) convened a working group on donor alignment in family planning in fall 2015 to see how scarce donor resources could go farther to accelerate family planning gains. As the final product of the working group, the report analyzes the successes and limitations of family planning alignment to date, with a focus on procurement, cross-country and in-country resource allocation, incentives, and accountability mechanisms, and makes recommendations for next steps.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Population, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mayra Buvinic, Megan O’Donnell
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Expanding women’s economic opportunities bene ts both women and society. Women’s choices widen and societies gain from the contribution that women’s income makes to economic growth and family wellbeing. These bene ts are increasingly well-understood, but much less is known regarding the most effective interventions to empower women economically. The call to nd out what works is long overdue. Gender gaps in economic performance are pervasive and persistent — women earn less than men across countries and occupations, and gender gaps are especially salient in poor countries. A wide range of policies and programs — from long-term investments in health and education to short-term training programs and ‘just-in-time’ information on markets — can potentially help close these gender gaps and bolster women’s economic advancement.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Affairs, International Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • 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: Carlos Gutierrez, Ernesto Zedillo, Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 09-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Mexico and the United States have lacked a bilateral agreement to regulate cross-border labor mobility since 1965. Since that time, unlawful migration from Mexico to the US has exploded. Almost half of the 11.7 million Mexican-born individuals living in the U.S. do not have legal authorization. This vast black market in labor has harmed both countries. These two neighboring countries, with an indisputably shared destiny, can come together to work out a better way. The time has come for a lasting, innovative, and cooperative solution. To address this challenge, the Center for Global Development assembled a group of leaders from both countries and with diverse political affiliations—from backgrounds in national security, labor unions, law, economics, business, and diplomacy—to recommend how to move forward. The result is a new blueprint for a bilateral agreement that is designed to end unlawful migration, promote the interests of U.S. and Mexican workers, and uphold the rule of law.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs, Labor Issues, Border Control
  • Political Geography: America, Mexico
  • Author: Todd Moss
  • Publication Date: 04-2016
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Energy is fundamental to modern life, but 1.3 billion people around the world live without “access to modern electricity.” The current definition of modern energy access—100 kilowatt-hours per person per year—is insufficient and presents an ambition gap with profound implications for human welfare and national economic growth. This report summarizes the energy access problem, the substantial efforts underway to bolster power generation and access in the poorest regions, and highlights concerns about the specific indicators being used to measure progress. It then condenses a set of analytical and conceptual questions the working group grappled with, such as why and how to better measure energy usage and the multiple options that should be considered. The report concludes with five recommendations for the United Nations, International Energy Agency, World Bank, national governments, major donors, and other relevant organizations.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Climate 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: 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