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  • Author: David Evans, Maryam Akmal, Pamela Jakiela
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Many countries remain far from achieving gender equality in the classroom. Using data from 126 countries between 1960 and 2010, we document four facts. First, women are more educated today than fifty years ago in every country in the world. Second, they remain less educated than men in the vast majority of countries. Third, in many countries with low levels of education for both men and women in 1960, gender gaps widened as more boys went to school, then narrowed as girls enrolled; thus, gender gaps got worse before they got better. Fourth, gender gaps rarely persist in countries where boys are attaining high levels of education. Most countries with large, current gender gaps have low levels of male educational attainment. Many also perform poorly on other measures of development such as life expectancy and GDP per capita. Improving girls’ education is an important goal in its own right, but closing gender gaps in education will not be sufficient to close critical gaps in adult life outcomes.
  • Topic: Education, Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Inequality, Feminism, Equality
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Dan Hoing
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This working paper explores how donors can move towards greater Navigation by Judgment, highlighting the actions people inside and outside aid agencies can work to make change— encouraging more Navigation by Judgment on the margin, starting today. It focuses principally on accepting the need for a very different way of measuring success and holding projects and personnel accountable, and when and why that might be a very good idea.
  • Topic: Accountability, Transparency, Charity, Donors
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Gisela Robles Aguilar, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Who are the world’s poor? This paper presents a new global profile of multidimensional poverty using three specifications of multidimensional poverty. The paper draws comparisons with the global monetary poverty profile and with the new World Bank measure of combined monetary and non-monetary poverty; discusses how global poverty differs by specification, the extent of multidimensionality, and presents a set of estimates of the disaggregated characteristics of global multidimensional poverty in 2015. We find the following: (i) at an aggregate level, the overall characteristics of global multidimensional poverty are similar to those of global monetary poverty at $1.90 per day; (ii) at a disaggregated level, we find that poverty in rural areas tends to be characterized by overlapping deprivations in education and access to decent infrastructure (water, sanitation, electricity, and housing) and counterintuitively, given the proximity, in principle, to better health care and economic opportunities, it is child mortality and malnutrition that is more frequently observed within urban poverty; and (iii) the extent of the multidimensionality of poverty differs substantially by region; moreover, some deprivations frequently overlap while others do not.
  • Topic: Poverty, World Bank, Inequality, Rural
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pamela Jakiela, Owen Ozier
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Languages use different systems for classifying nouns. Gender languages assign nouns to distinct sex-based categories, masculine and feminine. We construct a new data set, documenting the presence or absence of grammatical gender in more than 4,000 languages which together account for more than 99 percent of the world’s population. We find a robust negative cross-country relationship between prevalence of gender languages and women’s labor force participation and educational attainment. We replicate these associations in four countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in India, showing that educational attainment and female labor force participation are lower among those whose native languages use grammatical gender.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Language, Masculinity , Femininity
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Pisa, John Polcari
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: en years ago, only 6 percent of the population in low-income and lower-middle-income countries had access to the internet. Today, nearly one in every three people there does. The rapid expansion of internet access across the globe is a welcome development, but it raises new policy challenges. And while there is broad agreement in the development community on the importance of getting digital policy “right,” too little attention has been paid to how policymakers in the developing world can best engage with the companies who dominate the digital landscape. As governments reassess their relationship with these companies, an increasing number are enacting policies that raise barriers to the cross-border flow of data and put the largely global and open nature of the internet at risk. In this paper, we review how internet use has evolved in the developing world over the last decade, with a focus on initiatives by big tech companies to reach the “Next Billion Users.” We then examine how concerns about data privacy, disinformation, and market concentration have manifested in lower-income countries and how policymakers have begun to respond. We close by considering ways the development community can support policymakers seeking to maximize the benefits of an open internet while minimizing its risks.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Governance, Inequality, Privacy, Internet, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Andrew Rogerson, Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: n 2019/2020 donor governments are anticipated to pledge up to $170 billion to various multilateral organisations as part of their replenishment cycles. In the past, these large replenishments have been approached piecemeal and characterised by path dependency, which arguably has led to underperformance of the multilateral system as a whole. This unusual bunching of replenishments of some of the largest organisations in 2019 provides an opportunity to think more coherently about multilateral funding and to address key systemic problems, such as overlapping mandates and under-funding of some parts of the system. In this paper we recognise that it is unlikely that donors will take a formal, system-wide approach to the replenishments, but instead provide three suggestions that could nudge donors toward better coordinating the effect of their decisions. These are (1) multilaterals should be invited to set out in advance, and in a common format, their “offer” on a number of key issues, (2) donors should increase the envelope for core multilateral funding by diverting money away from earmarked funds, and (3) donors should provide a confidential forecast of their likely replenishments to a trusted intermediary, so that the “business as usual” baseline scenario is known.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Multilateral Relatons, Multilateralism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thiemo Fetzer, Stephan Kyburz
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Can institutionalized transfers of resource rents be a source of civil conflict? Are cohesive institutions better at managing conflicts over distribution? We exploit exogenous variation in revenue disbursements to local governments and use new data on local democratic institutions in Nigeria to answer these questions. There is a strong link between rents and conflict far away from the location of the resource. Conflict over distribution is highly organized, involving political militias, and concentrated in the extent to which local governments are non-cohesive. Democratically elected local governments significantly weaken the causal link between rents and political violence. Elections produce more cohesive institutions, and vastly limit the extent to which distributional conflict between groups breaks out following shocks to the rents. Throughout, we confirm these findings using individual level survey data.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Violence, Institutions, Human Resources
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Charles Kenny
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is a lot we don’t know about what automation will mean for jobs in the future, including its impact (if any) on gender inequality. This note reviews evidence and forecasts on that question and makes four main points: Past automation has been (broadly) positive for women’s average quality of life, economic empowerment, and equality. Forecasts of the gendered impact of automation and AI going forward based on the current distribution of employment suggest considerable uncertainty and a gender inequality of impact that is marginal compared to the potential impact overall. The bigger risk—and/or opportunity—is likely to be in the combined impact of automation, policy, and social norms in changing the type of work that is seen as male or female. Minimizing any potential aggravating impact of automation and AI on inequalities in economic power in the future can best be achieved by maximizing economic equality today.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Employment, Inequality, Feminism
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Michael Pisa, Denise McCurdy
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In many low- and lower-middle-income countries (LMICs) where disease burdens are highest, health supply chains function poorly, resulting in frequent stockouts and a high prevalence of substandard and even falsified medications. In response to these concerns, the global health initiatives have stepped up their efforts to improve supply chain management. At the same time, a growing number of rich country pharmaceutical companies are investing in digital technologies that help them “track and trace” the movement of medicines through the supply chain at the package-level. Drawing from interviews with over thirty experts, we find that traceability offers a realistic solution to some of the problems found in LMIC health supply chains but that implementing the approach is a huge logistical endeavor that requires a strong political commitment. We close by discussing how donors can support committed governments, by taking an evidence-based approach to determine what traceability methods work best.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Health Crisis, Pharmaceuticals , Tracing
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Transparency by design: Transparency should be the norm for all government contracts, particularly regarding information on what is being exchanged and for what price. Contracting systems should be designed to support proactive publication of contracts as open data. Public contracting should be designed for transparency and efficiency. Full contract publication should be the norm. Information needed to judge value for money should be disclosed. Exceptions in the public interest: Redactions on the basis of commercial sensitivity should only be justified where the public interest in withholding information is greater than the public interest in having that information published. The assessment should take into account both any commercial harm to the contractor and the broader benefits of transparency to markets and public trust. Where exceptions to publication are considered: Information should only be redacted for reasons of commercial sensitivity when the public interest in withholding information is greater than the public interest in disclosure. The public interest test should take into account the wider economic benefits of the sharing of commercial information, as well as the case for accountability and the public’s right to know. All redactions should be clearly marked with the reason for redaction. A clear and robust process: Governments should issue detailed guidance on commercial sensitivity principles and exemptions, put in place systems to support publication, ensure that redaction is time-limited, and use other oversight mechanisms to compensate for information withheld from publication. Governments should issue clear guidance to public entities, agencies, and firms on contract publication and when information may be exempted from publication for commercial sensitivity reasons. Where redaction is potentially allowed, there should be a clear process for determining what is redacted, why, for how long, and with what appeals process. There should be a system for ensuring that contracts and contract information are in fact disclosed in practice. Where exemption to disclosure of information is granted for commercial sensitivity reasons, this should be grounds for increased scrutiny through other oversight mechanisms.
  • Topic: Government, Transparency, Public Service, Contracts
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Bright Simons
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In 1981, a former sheep farmer took a one-week crash course in computing, had an epiphany, and teamed up with a car tyres millionaire to form DJ AI. DJ AI announced a new artificial intelligence platform for sale at $600 that could build computer programs for customers. They named their game-changer “The Last One.” All users had to do was follow a set of screen menus, plug, and play, and bingo, they could do away with all those pesky system administrators and programmers. $6 million was spent marketing this powerful piece of magic on both sides of the Atlantic, sometimes to comic effect. Such dreams of software building software, literally cutting out the middleman, have recurred regularly since the 1960s in peaks and troughs, but we are still waiting. From the late 90s onwards, however, new data-driven approaches to automation, particularly so-called deep learning, and the involvement of many of the world’s smartest and most loaded companies, have begun to convince many level-headed analysts that this time it is going to be different. The technologies, we are told, can learn, and so it is about time we paid critical attention to the pace at which they are already and could even further turn upside down the world of work as we know it. Some of the most elegant attempts to evaluate and categorise the impact of these new capabilities on employment and income inequality can be found in papers by David Autor and his co-authors on labour market polarisation and the effect of computerisation on the market demand for skills. More than a decade after these papers were written, their core ideas and the schemas they proposed continue to inspire the framing of the issues in influential circles, making them the most cited in their writers’ corpus. The Economist is right to describe Autor’s seminal work as enormously influential. The elegance and rigorous use of data in these two persuasive treatises are not, however, enough to prevent one major convenient generalisation from weakening their key arguments. The generalisation in question emanates from the conflation of several different patterns of computerisation with “automation,” the replacement of human actors in the chain of work, which is then used as a proxy for technology diffusion and infusion into various modes of work, following in a tradition that also encompasses Goldin and Katz’s equally elegant formulation of the automation question as one of a contention between returns to skills versus returns to algorithms. Having taken “automation” as the predominant form in which modern technology manifests itself in the workplace, Autor and his collaborators then proceed to construct a spectrum of possibilities for technology’s infusion: complement, substitute, or bypass (CSB). In the CSB paradigm, modern technology in the workplace tends to complement super-skilled, high-earning, workers, in complex, adaptive, operations, thereby boosting their productivity and bargaining power; substitute for the contribution of most medium-skilled workers in many routine tasks, thus depressing their wage potential; and bypass low-skilled workers, such as drivers, waiters, and janitors, thus rendering their fate somewhat indeterminate even if their numbers grow. It is not difficult to see why Autor et al.’s extensive use of crosswalking across census-based industrial classification schemes and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles should encourage this neat stratification. Once something is coded, it acquires a hardness that confers rigour and opacity.
  • Topic: Science and Technology, Automation, Emerging Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kalipso Chalkidou, Adrian Towse
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: spending on pharmaceuticals and other healthcare commodities is high and makes up a large proportion of healthcare spending in rich and poorer markets alike. A popular response to the problem of escalating drugs budgets has been transparency of drug pricing within and across borders. In a rare alignment of policy priorities, the Trump administration, the US Senate, and the World Health Organisation are calling for more transparency of the prices paid for prescription drugs as a means of tackling the ever-growing pharmaceuticals bill. Recently Italy’s health minister joined in, calling for a World Health Assembly resolution which would mandate WHO to “provide governments with a forum for sharing information on drug prices, revenues, research and development costs, public sector investments and research and development subsidies, marketing costs and other related information.” But is price transparency really the answer to healthcare systems’ fiscal sustainability challenges as they strive to expand access to new technologies or even merely sustain provision within strained public budgets? Well, it depends!
  • Topic: Transparency, Medicine , Pharmaceuticals , Price
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kalipso Chalkidou, Adrian Towse, Richard Sullivan
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Criticising cancer medicine pricing as too high is what football fans know as an "open goal"—a target that is hard to miss. Yet somehow the World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Report on Cancer Pricing manages to do just that with a paper to the WHO Executive Board calling for price and cost transparency. The assumption goes that transparency will reduce the prices and costs of cancer medicines, a mantra that has united the Trump administration, the US Congress, and the Italian health minister with many NGOs who have called for “greater cost and price transparency”—a sentiment echoed by KEI, which states that “international action is required to improve transparency in reporting the costs of R&D and production, including public sources of funding.”
  • Topic: World Health Organization, Health Care Policy, Medicine , Cancer, Price
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Pierre Dubois, Yassine Lefouili, Stephane Straub
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We use data from seven low and middle income countries with diverse drug procurement systems to assess the effect of centralized procurement on drug prices and provide a theoretical mechanism that explains this effect. Our empirical analysis is based on exhaustive data on drug sales quantities and expenditures over several years for forty important molecules. We find that centralized procurement of drugs by the public sector allows much lower prices but that the induced price reduction is smaller when the supply side is more concentrated.
  • Topic: Drugs, Medicine , Centralization, Price
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Emma Boswell Dean
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: With the goal of driving down drug costs, governments across the globe have instituted various forms of pharmaceutical price control policies. Understanding the impacts of such policies is particularly important in low- and middle-income countries, where lack of insurance coverage means that prices can serve as a barrier to access for patients. In this paper, we examine the theoretical and empirical effects of one implementation of pharmaceutical price controls, in which the Indian government placed price ceilings on a set of essential medicines. We find that the legislation resulted in broadly declining prices amongst both directly impacted products and competing products. However, the legislation also led to decreased sales of price-controlled and closely related products, preventing trade that would have otherwise occurred. The sales of small, local generics manufacturers were most impacted by the legislation, seeing a 14.5 percent decrease in market share and a 5.3 percent decrease in sales. These products tend to be inexpensive, but we use novel data to show that they are also of lower average quality. We provide evidence that the legislation impacted consumer types differentially. The benefits of the legislation were largest for quality-sensitive consumers, while the downsides largely affected poor and rural consumers, two groups already suffering from low access to medicines.
  • Topic: Medicine , Pharmaceuticals , Price, Price Control
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Thorsten Beck, Liliana Rojas-Suarez
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A sound financial regulatory framework is critical for minimizing the risk imposed by financial system fra­gility. In the world’s emerging markets and developing economies (EMDEs), such regulation is also essential to support economic development and poverty reduc­tion. Meanwhile, it is increasingly recognized that global financial stability is a global public good: recent decades have seen the development of new inter­national financial regulatory standards, to serve as benchmarks for gauging regulation across countries, facilitate cooperation among financial supervisors from different countries, and create a level playing field for financial institutions wherever they operate. For the worldwide banking industry, the international regulatory standards promulgated by the Basel Com­mittee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) stand out for their wide-ranging scope and detail. Even though the latest Basel recommendations, adopted in late 2017 and known as Basel III, are, like their predecessors, calibrated primarily for advanced countries, many EMDEs are in the process of adopting and adapting them, and many others are considering it. They do so because they see it as in their long-term interest, but at the same time the new standards pose for them new risks and challenges. This report assesses the implica­tions of Basel III for EMDEs and provides recommen­dations for both international and local policymakers to make Basel III work for these economies.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Markets
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cassandra Nemzoff, Kalipso Chalkidou, Mead Over
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As low- and middle-income countries reduce their reliance on donor aid, they are increasingly obliged to assume some degree of financial responsibility for donor projects. This challenge will be particularly complex in the procurement of health commodities. In recent decades, recipient countries have benefitted from donor-aggregated demand and pooling mechanisms, negotiated prices, purchasing, and delivery of commodities. However, as countries shift away from donor support, their challenge will be finding a way to aggregate demand in order to achieve the benefits that the pooled purchasing arrangements of vertical health programs now provide. As a first step in tackling this challenge, much can be learned from a diverse group of pooled procurement initiatives that have developed over the past 40 years in high-, middle-, and low-income countries. This note reviews the rationale and functions of these initiatives, notes their potential benefits and barriers, and draws lessons regarding how best to incorporate pooled pharmaceutical purchasing models into the design and implementation of health financing reforms in countries in transition. We first provide a brief background on the procurement challenges faced by countries in transition. In section 2, we provide an overview of different types of pooling initiatives, highlighting the key features of each. Leveraging our research and key interviews, we outline the real and potential benefits of pooling in section 3, and the most pressing barriers that organizations or countries will face as they seek ways to aggregate demand in section 4. In section 5 we discuss some of the issues that countries and development partners should address when considering pooled procurement initiatives and make two recommendations: (1) countries and development partners should conduct further research on the merits of pooled procurement, and (2) they should develop a straw model of a pooled procurement governance structure that could be tested using a series of pilots.
  • Topic: Budget, Public Health, Medicine , Pharmaceuticals
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Jeremy Konyndyk
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The next pandemic is a matter of when, not if. Preparing for this inevitability requires that policymakers understand not just the science of limiting disease transmission or engineering a drug, but also the practical challenges of expanding a response strategy to a regional or global level. Achieving success at such scales is largely an issue of operational, strategic, and policy choices—areas of pandemic preparedness that remain underexplored.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, Ebola, Public Health, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cindy Huang, Jimmy Graham
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There are over 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world, including about 40 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who have moved because of conflict, including political, communal, and criminal violence.[i] There are millions more IDPs who have been displaced by other drivers, including disasters, economic instability, and development projects such as infrastructure construction. These IDPs, 99 percent of whom are in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), face severe economic challenges as a result of displacement.[1] To help them overcome these challenges, policymakers should focus on helping IDPs achieve greater self-reliance. The best approach to doing so will depend in large part upon the context—particularly the extent to which IDP populations are based in urban or rural areas. Our analysis shows that about half of IDPs in LMICs are in urban areas, that the composition varies significantly across countries, and that there is a substantial lack of IDP location data.
  • Topic: Displacement, Urban, Rural, Internal Displacement , Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Cindy Huang, Jimmy Graham
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: As of December 2017, there were over 68.5 million forcibly displaced people in the world, including about 40 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) displaced by conflict.[1] Millions more were displaced internally by other drivers, including disasters, economic instability, and development projects such as infrastructure construction.[2] IDPs face severe economic challenges as a result of their displacement, with harmful impacts on consumption, health, education, security, housing, labor conditions, and social outcomes.[3] They face these challenges for long periods of time: IDPs often spend many years or even decades displaced.[4] And for displaced women and girls—who face unique challenges ranging from legal restrictions on owning property to larger wage reductions following displacement—the economic challenges can be even greater.[5] Furthermore, IDPs tend to be disproportionately located in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs): over 99 percent of the world’s IDPs displaced by conflict are in LMICs. Within these countries, populations in more marginalized areas are often more severely affected by displacement.[6] Thus, those who are displaced tend to face greater economic difficulties to begin with and displacement only compounds these difficulties.
  • Topic: Displacement, Urban, Internal Displacement , Economic Integration
  • Political Geography: Global Focus