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  • Author: Jonathan Hillman
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report illustrates how states use foreign infrastructure to advance strategic objectives. Some avenues for influence are intuitive, while others require a more detailed understanding of how infrastructure projects are conceived, financed, built, and operated. With an eye toward illuminating current issues, this report draws from examples throughout history and shows how China is updating and exercising tactics used by Western powers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. With developing Asia alone requiring $26 trillion in additional infrastructure investment by 2030, these issues, and the strategic implications they carry, are likely to intensify in the coming years.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Foreign Interference
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, David E. Spiro
  • Publication Date: 03-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The fourth industrial revolution is underway, and technological changes will disrupt economic systems, displace workers, concentrate power and wealth, and erode trust in public institutions and the democratic political process. Up until now, the focus has largely been on how technology itself will impact society, with little attention being paid to the role of institutions. The relationship between societies and their institutions is changing, and countries will have to strengthen their capacities to avoid heightened social divisions. They must build resilience through gradual and intentional interventions designed for long-term, sustainable development. It is also essential that institutions work hard to build credibility and use available development tools, such as development finance institutions and foreign aid, to mitigate the risks of disruption. Countries and other stakeholders must pioneer these initiatives to successfully navigate the disruptions stemming from the fourth industrial revolution. The revision of existing models of education, skill development and investment and the integration of different stakeholders into the conversation will be critical in helping institutions play a productive role in rebooting the innovation agenda. This new report, Rebooting the Innovation Agenda, analyzes the need for resilient institution and the role they are expected to play in the fourth industrial revolution.
  • Topic: Development, Industrial Policy, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid, Industrialization
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Judd Devermont, Catherine Chiang
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana warned of the repercussions of escalating U.S.-China trade tensions on African nations. Although largely absent from the discourse surrounding the so-called “trade war,” sub-Saharan Africa has suffered from its impacts. Uncertainty hovering over global and African markets has already undermined investor confidence, triggering drops in commodity prices and local currencies. A slowdown in Chinese production and global growth could threaten to throw African markets further off balance. U.S. protectionist measures stand out for their repercussions on African economies and U.S.-Africa relations. Tariff tensions risk indirectly undercutting U.S. goals of promoting African self-reliance, increasing U.S.-Africa trade and investment, and countering China’s expanding influence on the continent.
  • Topic: Development, Hegemony, Conflict, Trade Wars
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Agnes Dasewicz, Todd Moss, Daniel F. Runde, Kate Steel
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The launch of the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (USDFC) in October 2019 is an extraordinary opportunity to accelerate capital flows into emerging and frontier markets in support of U.S. national security, development, and commercial objectives. The new agency is inheriting a fundamentally solid foundation to build upon from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). However, it would represent a tremendous missed opportunity if the USDFC merely replicated OPIC’s activities at a higher volume. This is especially the case for infrastructure finance, the sector where USDFC has the greatest potential to have impact.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Finance
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As countries mobilize more resources to fund their governments and services, they can think more strategically about transitioning from a reliance on foreign aid to more mutually beneficial relationships with foreign countries. There are structural challenges to mobilizing domestic resources that long have been the focus of DRM efforts; however, addressing the political economy and structural challenges will be critical in the face of increased need and plateauing levels of foreign aid. It is critical that development approaches create the foundational capabilities and systems necessary to capitalize on political windows of opportunity.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Tax Systems
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Getachew Diriba, Christian Man
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been widely hailed for his promises to open political space, usher in economic liberalization, and remake the country’s poor record on human rights. However, to truly transform his country, Dr. Abiy must first transform agriculture, which is the nucleus of the Ethiopian economy and by far the largest employer. Drawing on interviews and focus groups with seventy stakeholders, this report examines the past wins, current endeavors, and future challenges of Ethiopia’s Agricultural Transformation Agency (ATA), a federal entity established in 2010 to drive fundamental changes for the country’s 15 million smallholder farmers. It highlights the relationship between the ATA and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the importance of innovation in agricultural transformation, and the role donors like the United States government can play in supporting such-efforts for country-led development.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Economics, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Romina Bandura, MacKenzie Hammond
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In many countries, financing development challenges such as humanitarian disasters, communicable diseases, and basic social services have, until recently, relied heavily on foreign aid or official development assistance (ODA). The landscape has been slowly shifting towards a development approach that is more “demand-driven”: steered and owned by developing countries in partnership with donors. In many developing countries, especially low-income countries, foreign aid still plays a significant role in financing government priorities and will continue to play a crucial role in the years to come. Yet foreign assistance is not adapting to the changing landscape of developing countries, and there is some concern whether donors like the United States can deliver the level of flexibility and variety that countries are demanding. In order to ensure that low-income countries—particularly fragile and conflict-affected states—make progress, the United States and other donors will need to embrace new approaches and instruments to tackle persisting challenges. The report discusses the concept and importance of a demand-driven approach to development. It describes its progress and identifies the main challenges of operationalizing the concept. The paper covers the demand-driven approach from the perspective of the United States, presenting a set of recommendations to create a more effective framework for development partners. The aim of the paper is to spur dialogue across development actors (civil society, NGOs, the private sector, and developed and developing country governments) about the programmatic and policy changes that need to take place to fully adopt the principles of demand-driven development and ultimately drive greater success in development activities.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Development Assistance
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The current technological revolution, more commonly referred to as “Industry 4.0” or “The Fourth Industrial Revolution – (4IR),” is rapidly disrupting and transforming economic institutions, social norms, and political systems.1 Globally, the interaction of different technologies such as automation, robotics, artificial intelligence, and others (Figure 1) can have a profound disruption in terms of the “velocity, scope, and systems impact.”2 The developing world has a unique opportunity to harness the potential of these transformations and increase global prosperity, efficiency, and quality of life.
  • Topic: Development, Science and Technology, Finance, Revolution
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Erol Yayboke, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As the world continues to become interconnected, societies’ expectations for greater access to capital and human resources also continues to grow. Governments, multilateral organizations, the private sector, and the broader academic community are increasingly recognizing the need for high- quality infrastructure in middle- and low-income countries to foster trade and human interconnectivity. The idea that quality infrastructure is indispensable to technology and innovation-driven development is now almost universally leave poor people further behind. While estimates suggest that closing the infrastructure gap will require a worldwide annual infrastructure investment of $4 trillion until 2040, accepted. Additionally, there is a consensus between those in the donor community and in the developing world that accepts the evidence provided by a growing number of studies that infrastructure of subpar quality is a barrier to economic growth.
  • Topic: Development, Infrastructure, Finance, Sustainability
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sarah Ladislaw, Jesse Barnett
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The CSIS Energy Program assessed the existing academic literature, commissioned new research papers, convened an expert summit, and compiled the findings to produce Energy in America: Energy as a Source of Economic Growth and Social Mobility. This report analyzes the ways energy contributes to the challenges and opportunities facing ordinary Americans, covering the impacts of production, distribution, and consumption of energy products in the United States. The report highlights the new, extra-energy objectives that energy policy is increasingly expected to advance and evaluates their historical efficacy. We conclude that while deliberate U.S. energy policy interventions have hitherto achieved mixed results, there are promising developments and best practices that decisionmakers ought to consider.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Economic Growth, Mobility
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Erol Yayboke, Sundar R. Ramanujam
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Thanks to the generous support and cooperation from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the CSIS Project on Prosperity and Development releases this new essay anthology, Sharpening Our Efforts: The Role of International Development in Countering Violent Extremism. As policymakers confront the ongoing challenge of radicalization and violent extremism, it is important that stakeholders and counterterrorism strategists recognize the critical role for development and other non-kinetic approaches to counter violent extremism (CVE). To that end, this new anthology takes a multidimensional role mapping out the role of soft power institutions in enabling lasting peace, prosperity, and global security.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism
  • Political Geography: North America, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Anthony H Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Afghan War has entered a critical period in which the U.S. is actively seeking a peace settlement with the Taliban, and doing so in spite of the fact that it is negotiating without the full participation of the Afghan government. Peace is a highly uncertain option. There are no official descriptions of the terms of the peace that the Administration is now seeking to negotiate, but media reports indicate that it may be considering a full withdrawal within a year of a ceasefire, and other reports indicate that it is considering a 50% cut in U.S. military personnel even if a peace is not negotiated. As of mid-August 2019, the Taliban has continued to reject any formal peace negotiations with the Afghan government, and has steadily stepped up its military activity and acts of violence while it negotiates with the United States. Terrorist groups like ISIS-K add to the threat, as do the many splits within the Afghani government and political structure. The Taliban has not encouraged further ceasefires, or shown any clear willingness to accept a lasting peace on any terms but its own. It may well see peace negotiations as a means of negotiating a withdrawal of U.S. and other allied forces and a prelude to a peace that it could exploit to win control of Afghanistan. At the same time, major uncertainties also exist regarding continuing support for the war. Some press reports indicate the Administration is seeking a 50% reduction in active U.S. military manpower in country by the end of 2019 or some point in mid-2020 regardless of whether a peace settlement is reached. Some members of Congress have called for major U.S. force cuts and shown only a limited willingness to keep up U.S. support of the Afghan government and forces if peace negotiations do not succeed. Much depends on current trends in the war, and the extent to which the Afghan Government or the Taliban are winning control and influence over the country. Much also depends on the degree to which the Afghan government forces can stand on their own if a peace negotiation leads to the withdrawal of U.S. and Resolute support forces, or if the U.S. makes major further force cuts.
  • Topic: Development, Military Strategy, Conflict, Peace
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Stephen Naimoli, Kartikeya Singh
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Assam is the most populous and economically active of the northeastern states and thus acts as the nexus between the mainland and the northeast. Due to insurgencies and armed conflict spanning several decades, Assam struggled to deliver many basic services to its citizens, including electricity, and failed to attract major industries. Coupled with the state’s unique topography of Himalayan foothills, forests, and a massive floodplain dominated by the mighty Brahmaputra River, infrastructure development in the state has not been easy. However, with the settling of several conflicts, the state is poised to be the economic engine of India’s northeast and take its place as India’s gateway to southeast Asia. To do so, it is focusing on agriculture, led by a thriving tea industry and energy resources—the state accounts for 15 percent of India’s total crude oil and 50 percent of onshore natural gas output. On the power sector side, Assam has increased the share of its population with electricity access from 44.57 percent in 2015 to 100 percent in 2019. An important measure of the health of the state’s electric power sector is aggregate technical and commercial losses (AT&C), which measure line losses from transmission and distribution equipment, power theft, billing and collection inefficiencies, and customers’ inability to pay. Assam’s AT&C losses in 2015 were 24.2 percent. Under the state’s Power for All plan formed with the central government, the state’s utility Assam Power Distribution Corporation Limited (APDCL) would target AT&C losses of 18.15 percent in 2019. As of August 2019, this goal has virtually been met—APDCL’s AT&C losses are currently 18.2 percent. Under the central government’s Ujwal Discom Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme, which aims to improve the financial health of the country’s utilities, Assam has a target of 150,000 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption between 200-500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) by December 2019. As of August 2019, the state has deployed 15,567 smart meters for these customers, 10 percent of its goal. The state also had a target to deploy 31,000 smart meters for customers with monthly consumption of over 500 kWh per month by December 2017, but to date has only deployed 11,881 smart meters, 38 percent of its goal. Assam has a target to install 663 megawatts (MW) of solar power in the state to contribute to the central government’s target of 100 gigawatts by 2022. As of May 2019, data from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy indicate it has installed 22.4 MW, 3.38 percent of its goal.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Electricity
  • Political Geography: India, Asia
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The United States International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) will merge the staff, assets, and liabilities of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Development Credit Authority (DCA). It will seek to catalyze vitally needed private sector investments in low- and lower-middle-income countries through new development finance tools such as local currency loans, first-loss guarantees, and equity investments. However, the DFC is not designed to be simply another development finance institution—in addition to a greater proposed focus on development impact, it is an agency also embedded in the U.S. foreign policy and national security architecture. This report offers concrete and independent ideas on how the DFC can better support U.S. national security interests while also examining the new agency’s limitations. Within this context, the three key U.S. national security challenges that CSIS highlights include a) China’s rising influence in the developing world, b) actions the United States and others can do to further mitigate violent extremism, and c) addressing the root causes of migration.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Finance
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America
  • Author: Judd Devermont
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has recently become fashionable to host a regional summit with African leaders. The Arab states, China, the European Union, France, India, Russia, and Turkey all established high-profile diplomatic forums with African counterparts. Japan has been one of the pacesetters, inviting African governments, as well as multilateral institutions, to attend TICAD since 1993. TICAD’s seventh iteration, which was staged in Yokohama from August 28- 30, 2019, welcomed 42 African presidents, vice presidents, and prime ministers and witnessed the signing of 110 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with African countries and private-sector companies.1,2 The United States chaired one such event, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, in August 2014. While it represented a milestone in U.S.-African diplomatic engagement, the United States has not attempted anything on the same scale since. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Commerce with Bloomberg Philanthropies chaired a second U.S.-Africa Business Forum. President Trump met with eight sub-Saharan African leaders on the margins of the UN General Assembly in 2017 and separately invited Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari and Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to the White House in 2018. If the U.S. government decides to resume the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, it has the potential to deepen ties between the United States and African counterparts, as well as promote trade and investment and advance signature initiatives.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Leadership, Humanitarian Intervention
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde, Romina Bandura
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) is a small independent federal agency whose mission is to help American “companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority development projects in emerging economies.” USTDA links American businesses to export opportunities in emerging markets by funding activities such as project preparation and partnership building in sectors including transportation, energy, and telecommunications. Since it was established 25 years ago, the agency has generated a total of $61 billion in U.S. exports and supported over 500,000 American jobs. In connecting American business to such opportunities, USTDA also links American technology’s best practices and ingenuity with U.S. trade and development policy priorities. USTDA is an instrument to enable American-led infrastructure development in emerging economies and, therefore, frequently sees increasing competition from government-backed Chinese firms and the challenge they can pose to American commercial engagement under the flag of One Belt, One Road (OBOR). OBOR is paving the way for Chinese engineering, procurement, and construction companies to prepare and develop infrastructure projects in OBOR countries in a way that favors Chinese standards, thereby exerting significant pressure to select Chinese suppliers. This creates a potentially vicious cycle—the more China builds, the faster their standards become the international norm, and, ultimately, this cycle could foreclose export opportunities for U.S. businesses and harm American competitiveness in global infrastructure development. U.S. exporters are increasingly requesting USTDA intervention at the pivotal, early stages of a project’s development, to compete in markets, such as the OBOR countries, where they frequently face Chinese competition. Of note, 40 percent of USTDA’s activities in 2016 were in OBOR countries across South and Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. Although there are other agencies that may seem to do work similar to USTDA, there are various aspects that make it a unique agency. This paper provides a brief description of USTDA, its origin and evolution, the impact on the U.S. economy and its proactive collaboration across U.S agencies. Finally, it offers a set of recommendations for USTDA on how to improve its operations and strengthen its role in the developing world.
  • Topic: Development, Energy Policy, Communications, Infrastructure, Trade, Transportation
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Asia, North America
  • Author: James Michel
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “Fragility”—the combination of poor governance, limited institutional capability, low social cohesion, and weak legitimacy—leads to erosion of the social contract and diminished resilience, with significant implications for peace, security, and sustainable development. This study reviews how the international community has responded to this challenge and offers new ideas on how that response can be improved. Based on that examination, the author seeks to convey the importance of addressing this phenomenon as a high priority for the international community. Chapters explore the nature of these obstacles to sustainable development, peace, and security; how the international community has defined, measured, and responded to the phenomenon of fragility; how the international response might be made more effective; and implications for the United States.
  • Topic: Development, Governance, Fragile States, Social Cohesion
  • Political Geography: United States, Global Focus
  • Author: Reid Hamel
  • Publication Date: 02-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Social protection programming, such as cash transfers and vouchers provided at the individual or household level, has become increasingly prominent as a tool to combat food insecurity worldwide. Advantages of a social protection approach include the ability to target and reach the most vulnerable segments of society and to provide direct support for basic needs without reliance on complex causal pathways.The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) invests relatively little in social protection despite its flagship initiative, Feed the Future, which seeks to mitigate food insecurity and to reduce the prevalence of stunting in 12 countries (formerly in 19). Ghana’s LEAP (Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty) program represents an exception to the U.S. investment pattern. In partnership with UNICEF, USAID/Ghana has made noteworthy investments in the expansion of the LEAP cash transfer program to add a new eligible group of beneficiaries: pregnant women and children under one year old. The intention to intervene during pregnancy and the first year of life is motivated by a growing understanding that good nutrition during this window is critical to physical and cognitive health and human development outcomes that last a lifetime. This report explores the development of Ghana’s LEAP program since 2008; its current coverage, successes, and challenges; and opportunities for both the government of Ghana and donor partners to spearhead continuous improvements for program outcomes and resource efficiency.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Social Policy, Development Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, North America, Ghana
  • Author: Daniel F. Runde
  • Publication Date: 11-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: This report describes how the development landscape has changed in recent decades and how the United States has responded to this new environment. It presents some initial recommendations on the next steps that the United States needs to take to better engage in trade and investment with developing countries. This report complements and builds upon prior CSIS publications on the topic. The development landscape has dramatically changed over the past 25 years. A set of countries once considered “poor” or “third world” have become more prosperous, freer, and healthier. These countries seek international economic engagement in the form of infrastructure investments, increased trade, and exchanges in science, technology, and innovation. As countries move up the prosperity ladder, they will need less foreign aid (i.e., official development assistance—ODA) and demand more participation as equal partners in a diversified global economy. The United States has a foreign assistance approach and toolbox that is outdated and has been reactive at best to the changes in the developing world. The United States must think more strategically about how to best engage the developing world, use foreign aid as a catalyst to attract private capital to these countries, and help level the playing field with other foreign players through anti-corruption efforts, procurement training, and trade facilitation. The United States needs an international economic strategy to engage with prospering developing countries as true economic partners. The United States needs to regain its economic leadership in the world. For those countries moving up the development ladder, the “donor-recipient” relationship must transition to a “partnership” approach. The United States needs a new way of engaging the developing world centered on the fundamental question of “what can developing countries and the United States do together?”
  • Topic: Development, International Trade and Finance, Developing World, Economic Cooperation
  • Political Geography: North America, United States of America