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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