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  • 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: Scott Morris, Gailyn Portelance
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Under the World Bank’s 2018 capital agreement, borrowing countries are expected to gradually reduce their portfolios once a base income threshold—the Graduation Discussion Income (GDI)—is reached. However, the agreement also affirms the case for ongoing lending to these countries. One justification is tied to external value beyond the borrowing country’s borders (global public goods, or GPGs). Another is tied to building capacity within the borrowing country, which can mean a focus on sub-regions where poverty remains high and capacity weak. In this paper, we examine World Bank graduation policies and lending through the lens of China, which maintains a large portfolio of World Bank projects. China currently exceeds the GDI thresholds for IBRD borrowing at the national level, while income inequality within the country leaves many noncoastal provinces below the GDI per capita threshold. Aggregate and provincial-level analysis of World Bank lending in China shows that less than half of China’s portfolio comprises activities clearly linked to GPGs, while a slight majority of projects are based in provinces with per capita income below the GDI threshold. A substantial number of World Bank projects in China focus on climate change mitigation and transportation infrastructure construction, while a smaller number relate to capacity building. Overall, we find evidence that China’s borrowing is broadly consistent with the 2018 principles of institutional capacity strengthening and GPG-related engagement, although significant areas of bank engagement do not appear to fall within the parameters of these principles.
  • Topic: Poverty, Infrastructure, World Bank, Inequality
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Hannah Timmis, Mikaela Gavas
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In 2017, the EU launched an ambitious programme of investment mobilisation in Africa and the Neighbourhood: the External Investment Plan (EIP). The EIP aims to increase the scale, impact, and coherence of EU-supported external investment by introducing various innovations to the European financial architecture, including a new guarantee mechanism and a unique “three-pillar” approach to investment support. The European Commission is proposing a significant expansion of the EIP under the EU’s new long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–27, replacing the current plethora of investment tools and modalities with a single framework. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the EU’s complex external investment architecture. Based on interviews with stakeholders, it documents lessons learned during the EIP’s first year of implementation and proposes a series of options for the design and operationalisation of the new investment framework. To increase the additionality, development effectiveness, and efficiency of EU-supported external investment, it recommends that the European Commission improve the current architecture by providing greater policy steer to investors; increasing competition among institutions for investment support; clarifying linkages between the three pillars; setting clear guidance, fee structures, and standardised contractual terms; and strengthening management of investment tools.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Finance, Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Hannah Timmis, Mikaela Gavas
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In 2017, the EU launched an ambitious programme of investment mobilisation in Africa and the Neighbourhood: the External Investment Plan (EIP). The EIP aims to increase the scale, impact, and coherence of EU-supported external investment by introducing various innovations to the European financial architecture, including a new guarantee mechanism and a unique “three-pillar” approach to investment support. The European Commission is proposing a significant expansion of the EIP under the EU’s new long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021–27, replacing the current plethora of investment tools and modalities with a single framework. This paper provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of the EU’s complex external investment architecture. Based on interviews with stakeholders, it documents lessons learned during the EIP’s first year of implementation and proposes a series of options for the design and operationalisation of the new investment framework. To increase the additionality, development effectiveness, and efficiency of EU-supported external investment, it recommends that the European Commission improve the current architecture by providing greater policy steer to investors; increasing competition among institutions for investment support; clarifying linkages between the three pillars; setting clear guidance, fee structures, and standardised contractual terms; and strengthening management of investment tools.
  • Topic: Regional Cooperation, European Union, Finance, Investment
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • 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: Mikaela Gavas
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Mikaela Gavas submitted written evidence to the United Kingdom's House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee on January 31, 2019. In her evidence Gavas answered questions about the future of UK-EU development cooperation after Brexit.
  • Topic: Development, Regional Cooperation, European Union, Brexit
  • Political Geography: United Kingdom, Europe
  • Author: Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: ‘Guest workers’ earn higher wages overseas on temporary low-skill employment visas. This wage gap can be used to measure gaps in the productivity of workers due to where they are, not who they are. This paper estimates the effects of guest work on Indian applicants to a construction job in the United Arab Emirates, where an economic crisis allocated guest work opportunities as-good-as-randomly among several thousand families. Guest work raised the return to poor families' labor by a factor of four, with little evidence of systematic fraud.
  • Topic: Migration, Labor Issues, Migrant Workers, Guest Workers
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • 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: Cindy Huang, Kate Gough
  • Publication Date: 02-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Bangladesh is providing a significant global public good by hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees, including 700,000 who fled violence carried out with “genocidal intent” in 2017. Most refugees are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar District, where local resources and livelihoods are under strain. The situation has exacerbated development challenges and environmental degradation, such as inadequate public services and rapid deforestation. Safe, voluntary, and sustainable Rohingya repatriation to Myanmar is ultimately the best solution. However, the conditions for return do not exist, and Myanmar has not demonstrated meaningful progress in establishing them. Even if conditions did exist and voluntary repatriation began tomorrow, estimates show a large number of Rohingya will still be in Cox’s Bazar 10 years from now. The refugee situation is likely to be protracted. Medium-term planning is critical. The international community has an opportunity to recognize Bangladesh’s contributions through a robust responsibility-sharing process. In addition to humanitarian aid, this would include commitments that support development among host communities, as well as broader regional and national development strategies. There is precedent for development financing and beyond-aid solutions for refugees and host communities, such as in the Jordan, Lebanon, and Ethiopia Compacts. These agreements seek to meet the medium-term needs and generate inclusive growth for refugees and hosts, including through policy adjustments that enable self-reliance and reduce aid dependence. This brief explores the potential range of responsibility-sharing commitments in support of Bangladesh. It does not address the separate and equally important issues of securing justice and accountability for Myanmar’s alleged atrocities and establishing the necessary conditions in Myanmar for safe, voluntary, and sustainable repatriation—nor does it make recommendations on the humanitarian response, which remains essential. This brief focuses exclusively on the medium-term, development-oriented approach. It covers several categories of contribution and commitment types, including trade and investment, labor mobility, SEZ and infrastructure investment, private sector investment, resettlement, and development and climate finance. Each category includes illustrative examples, some of which are specific to one or a subset of UN Member States and others that are more broadly applicable. Geopolitical factors surrounding the Rohingya situation and potential responsibility-sharing commitments are also discussed. Building on this mapping, we will prepare a full report in 2019. The report will highlight a subset of anchor contributions that could build momentum for a responsibility-sharing process that delivers a “win-win-win” for refugees, host communities, and Bangladesh’s broader development objectives.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Refugees, Displacement, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, Asia