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  • Author: Devesh Kapur, Arjun Raychaudhuri
  • Publication Date: 01-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since their inception, through 2012, the institutions comprising the World Bank group have been involved in lending nearly a trillion dollars. In this paper, we focus on the IBRD, which is the core of the World Bank. The IBRD has the potential to continue to grow and be an important player in official financial flows, supporting critical long-term development projects with large social returns, in sectors ranging from infrastructure, social sectors, or environment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Environment, Foreign Aid, Infrastructure, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Alan Gelb, Anton Dobronogov, Fernando Brant Saldanha
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Natural resources are being discovered in more countries, both rich and poor. Many of the new and aspiring resource exporters are low-income countries that are still receiving substantial levels of foreign aid. Resource discoveries open up enormous opportunities, but also expose producing countries to huge trade and fiscal shocks from volatile commodity markets if their exports are highly concentrated. A large literature on the "resource curse" shows that these are damaging unless countries manage to cushion the effects through countercyclical policy. It also shows that the countries least likely to do so successfully are those with weaker institutions, and these are most likely to remain as clients of the aid system. This paper considers the question of how donors should respond to their clients' potential windfalls. It discusses several ways in which the focus and nature of foreign aid programs will need to change, including the level of financial assistance. The paper develops some ideas on how a donor like the International Development Association might structure its program of financial transfers to mitigate volatility. The paper outlines ways in which the International Development Association could use hedging instruments to vary disbursements while still working within a framework of country allocations that are not contingent on oil prices. Simulations suggest that the International Development Association could be structured to provide a larger degree of insurance if it is calibrated to hedge against large declines in resource prices. These suggestions are intended to complement other mechanisms, including self-insurance using Sovereign Wealth Funds (where possible) and the facilities of the International Monetary Fund.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Justin Sandefur
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Across multiple African countries, discrepancies between administrative data and independent household surveys suggest official statistics systematically exaggerate development progress. We provide evidence for two distinct explanations of these discrepancies. First, governments misreport to foreign donors, as in the case of a results-based aid program rewarding reported vaccination rates. Second, national governments are themselves misled by frontline service providers, as in the case of primary education, where official enrollment numbers diverged from survey estimates after funding shifted from user fees to per pupil government grants. Both syndromes highlight the need for incentive compatibility between data systems and funding rules.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance, Developing World
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Charles Kenny, William Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A common objection to results-based programs is that they are somehow more vulnerable to corruption. This paper explains why results-based approaches to foreign aid may be less vulnerable to corruption than the traditional approaches which monitor and track the purchase and delivery of inputs and activities. The paper begins by classifying different corruption costs and specifically distinguishes the problem of diverted funds from the costs associated with failing to generate benefits. It then characterizes the key differences between traditional input-tracking programs and results-based approaches in terms of how they are supposed to work, the implicit risks that preoccupy designers, how they function in practice, and what this means both for the scale of corruption and the realization of benefits. It then considers the conditions under which one approach or another might be more appropriate. The paper concludes that input-tracking approaches are vulnerable to corruption because they have high failure costs and a weak track record for controlling diverted funds. By contrast, results-based approaches are less prone to failure costs and limit the capacity of dishonest agents to divert funds unless those agents first improve efficiency and outputs.
  • Topic: Corruption, Development, Foreign Aid, Governance
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Gabriel Demombynes
  • Publication Date: 09-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Millennium Villages Project is a high profile, multi-country development project that has aimed to serve as a model for ending rural poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. The project became the subject of controversy when the methodological basis of early claims of success was questioned. The lively ensuing debate offers lessons on three recent mini-revolutions that have swept the field of development economics: the rising standards of evidence for measuring impact, the “open data” movement, and the growing role of the blogosphere in research debates.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The United States government has made repeated declarations over the last decade to align its assistance programs behind developing countries' priorities. By utilizing public attitude surveys for 42 African and Latin American countries, this paper examines how well the US has implemented this guiding principle. Building upon the Quality of Official Development Assistance Assessment (QuODA) approach, I identify what people cite most frequently as the 'most pressing problems' facing their nations and then measure the percentage of US assistance commitments that are directed towards addressing them. By focusing on public surveys over time, this analysis attempts to provide a more nuanced and targeted examination of whether US portfolios are addressing what people care the most about. As reference points, I compare US alignment trends with the two regional multilateral development banks (MDBs) – the African Development Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. Overall, this analysis suggests that US assistance may be only modestly aligned with what people in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America cite as their nation's most pressing problems. By comparison, the African Development Bank – which is majority-led by regional member nations – performs significantly better than the United States. Like the United States, however, the Inter-American Development Bank demonstrates a low relative level of support for people's top concerns.
  • Topic: Security, Crime, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, America, Latin America
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Denizhan Duran
  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health is one of the largest and most complex aid sectors: 16 percent of all aid went to the health sector in 2009. While many stress the importance of aid effectiveness, there are limited quantitative analyses of the quality of health aid. In this paper, we apply Birdsall and Kharas's Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) methodology to rank donors across 23 indicators of aid effectiveness in health. We present our results, track progress from 2008 to 2009, compare health to overall aid, discuss our limitations, and call for more transparent and relevant aid data in the sector level as well as the need to focus on impact and results.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Thomas J. Bollyky
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Fewer people are smoking in the United States, Europe, and most of the developing world. Excise taxes, bans on smoking in public places, and graphic health warnings are achieving such dramatic reductions in tobacco use in developed countries that a recent Citigroup Bank investment analysis speculated that smoking could virtually disappear in wealthy countries over the next thirty to fifty years.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Gender Issues, International Trade and Finance, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Benjamin Leo, Ross Thuotte
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The World Bank Group faces significant operational changes over the near to medium term. More than half of poor countries are projected to graduate from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) concessional assistance over the next 15 years. As a result, IDA's country client base is projected to become dominated by African fragile states. To its credit, the World Bank Group recognizes these coming changes and the unique needs and constraints present in fragile environments. It has publicly expressed a plan to develop an organization-wide strategy tailored specifically for fragile and conflict-affected situations.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Fragile/Failed State, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Homi Kharas, Rita Perakis
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This report presents the results of the second edition of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) assessment, with a focus on the changes that have occurred in donor performance since the first edition. These results were released in summary form in November, 2011, just before the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: South Korea
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since the 2010 earthquake, almost $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid to Haiti, a country with a population of just under 10 million. An estimated $3 billion has been donated to NGOs in private contributions in addition to official aid. The United States Government alone has disbursed almost $2 billion of this total amount and has pledged over $3 billion for relief and reconstruction.
  • Topic: Corruption, Humanitarian Aid, Non-Governmental Organization, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Caribbean, Haiti
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Kate McQueston, Rachel Silverman
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Adolescent fertility in low- and middle-income countries presents a severe impediment to development and can lead to school dropout, lost productivity, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty. However, there is debate about whether adolescent pregnancy is a problem in and of itself or merely symptomatic of deeper, ingrained disadvantage. To inform policy choices and create a revised research agenda for population and development, this paper aggregates recent quantitative evidence on the socioeconomic consequences of and methods to reduce of teenage pregnancy in the developing world. The review finds variable results for all indicator types with the partial exception of knowledge-based indicators, which increased in response to almost all evaluating interventions, though it is not clear that such interventions necessarily lead to short- or long term-behavior change. The evidence base supporting the effectiveness of conditional cash transfers was relatively strong in comparison to other interventions. Similarly, programs that lowered barriers to attending school or increased the opportunity cost of school absence are also supported by the literature. On the basis of these findings, the authors argue that donors should adopt a rights-based approach to adolescent fertility and shift their focus from the proximate to distal causes of pregnancy, including human rights abuses, gender inequality, child marriage, and socioeconomic marginalization. Further research should be conducted to strengthen the evidence base by 1) establishing causality, 2) understanding the differential impacts of adolescent fertility in different contexts, and 3) investigating other the impact of adolescent fertility on other socioeconomic outcomes, such as labor participation, productivity, and the intergenerational transmission of poverty.
  • Topic: Democratization, Demographics, Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Youth Culture
  • Author: Todd Moss, Stephanie Majerowicz
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Ghana's largest and most important creditor for the past three decades has been the International Development Association (IDA), the soft loan window of the World Bank. That will soon come to an end. The combination of Ghana's rapid economic growth and the recent GDP rebasing exercise means that Ghana suddenly finds itself above the income limit for IDA eligibility. Formal graduation is imminent and comes with significant implications for access to concessional finance, debt, and relations with other creditors. This paper considers the specific questions related to Ghana's relationship with the World Bank, as well as the broader questions about the country's new middle-income status.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Lant Pritchett, Michael Woolcock, Matt Andrews
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Many reform initiatives in developing countries fail to achieve sustained improvements in performance because they are merely isomorphic mimicry—that is, governments and organizations pretend to reform by changing what policies or organizations look like rather than what they actually do. In addition, the flow of development resources and legitimacy without demonstrated improvements in performance undermines the impetus for effective action to build state capability or improve performance. This dynamic facilitates “capability traps” in which state capability stagnates, or even deteriorates, over long periods of time even though governments remain engaged in developmental rhetoric and continue to receive development resources. How can countries escape capability traps? We propose an approach, Problem-Driven Iterative Adaptation (PDIA), based on four core principles, each of which stands in sharp contrast with the standard approaches. First, PDIA focuses on solving locally nominated and defined problems in performance (as opposed to transplanting preconceived and packaged “best practice” solutions). Second, it seeks to create an authorizing environment for decision-making that encourages positive deviance and experimentation (as opposed to designing projects and programs and then requiring agents to implement them exactly as designed). Third, it embeds this experimentation in tight feedback loops that facilitate rapid experiential learning (as opposed to enduring long lag times in learning from ex post “evaluation”). Fourth, it actively engages broad sets of agents to ensure that reforms are viable, legitimate, relevant, and supportable (as opposed to a narrow set of external experts promoting the top-down diffusion of innovation).
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Political Economy, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment, Governance
  • Author: Kimberly Elliott, Edward Collins
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: New international initiatives signal strong commitment to agriculture and food security in the face of growing demand and climate-change challenges. But aid to agriculture still represents just five percent of total official development assistance. With donor budgets under intense pressure, making aid effective is more important than ever, but we still know relatively little about the quality of aid in general and of agricultural aid in particular.
  • Topic: Security, Agriculture, Climate Change, Development, Foreign Aid, Food
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Denizhan Duran, Juan Ignacio Zoloa
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Vaccination is among the most cost-effective health interventions and has attracted ever greater levels of investment from public and private funders. However, some countries, mainly populous lower-middle-income countries, are lagging behind in vaccination financing and performance.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Health Care Policy
  • Author: David Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper introduces ƐCPR, country performance ratings that support Norway's Energy+ initiative by monitoring the progress of 153 countries in reducing the CO2 emissions intensity of energy consumption. It develops annual ƐCPR ratings for the period from 2001 to 2010.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Energy Policy, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Dean Karlan, Ryan Knight, Christopher Udry
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We show how financial and managerial constraints impede experimentation and thus limit learning about the profitability of investments. Imperfect information about one's own type, but willingness to experiment to learn one's type, leads to short-run negative expected returns to investments, with some outliers succeeding. We find in an experiment that entrepreneurs invest randomized grants of cash and adopt advice from randomized grants of consulting services, but both lead to lower profits on average. In the long run, they revert back to their prior scale of operations. In a meta-analysis, results from 19 other experiments find mixed support for this theory.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Markets, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: David Roodman, Owen Barder, Julia Clark, Alice Lépissier, Liza Reynolds
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: European countries pride themselves on being leaders in spurring development within poor countries. We find that Europe's approach to development could be characterised as energetically tackling the symptoms of poor economic opportunities for developing countries by providing effective aid, while doing relatively little to tackle the underlying structural causes of poverty. We use the Center for Global Development Commitment to Development Index (CDI) as a tool to examine Europe's performance overall. We combine the scores for the twenty-one European countries which are included in the 2012 edition of the Commitment to Development Index to calculate the single score they would have obtained if they had been a single country. This represents the combined commitment to development of these countries, by giving appropriate weight to the larger, more populous countries in Europe, which tend to have less development-friendly policies than the Nordic countries and the Netherlands. Our calculations show that compared to the other countries in the CDI, Europe as a whole performs better than most CDI countries on aid and environment, but less well in other dimensions such as trade and security. This paper provides the background to a series of more detailed studies of the policies of European countries, individually and collectively through the European Union, in each dimension of the CDI, which the Center for Global Development in Europe is coordinating.
  • Topic: Development, Political Economy, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Europe
  • Author: Rachel Nugent, Andrea B. Feigl
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Health conditions in developing countries are becoming more like those in developed countries, with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) predominating and infectious diseases declining. The increased awareness of changing health needs, however, has not translated into significant shifts in resources or policy-level attention from international donors or governments in affected countries. Driven by changes in lifestyle related to nutrition, physical activity, and smoking, the surging burden of NCDs in poor countries portends painful choices, particularly for countries with weak health systems that are struggling to manage persistent infectious disease burdens and to protect the poor from excessive out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: David Wheeler
  • Publication Date: 01-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper attempts a comprehensive accounting of climate change vulnerability for 233 states, ranging in size from China to Tokelau. Using the most recent evidence, it develops risk indicators for three critical problems: increasing weather-related disasters, sea-level rise, and loss of agricultural productivity. The paper embeds these indicators in a methodology for cost-effective allocation of adaptation assistance. The methodology can be applied easily and consistently to all 233 states and all three problems, or to any subset that may be of interest to particular donors. Institutional perspectives and priorities differ; the paper develops resource allocation formulas for three cases: (1) potential climate impacts alone, as measured by the three indicators; (2) case 1 adjusted for differential country vulnerability, which is affected by economic development and governance; and (3) case 2 adjusted for donor concerns related to project economics: intercountry differences in project unit costs and probabilities of project success. The paper is accompanied by an Excel database with complete data for all 233 countries. It provides two illustrative applications of the database and methodology: assistance for adaptation to sea level rise by the 20 island states that are both small and poor and general assistance to all low-income countries for adaptation to extreme weather changes, sea-level rise, and agricultural productivity loss.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Alex Ergo, Ingo Puhl
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Development assistance is meant to improve the lives of poor people in developing countries, but the effectiveness of aid in meeting this goal is uncertain. Demonstrating failure—or success—is difficult because traditional donor financing mechanisms track inputs, not results. This is compounded by poor coordination between actors and a lack of transparency, accountability, and country ownership. Development assistance that is ineffective or has unknown outcomes wastes resources, erodes the constituency for aid, and most importantly fails to improve the lives of poor people as much as it could. TrAid+ is a new mechanism that aims to address these problems by creating a market for certified development outputs—outputs for which both the delivery and the quality have been verified. By ensuring that these outputs, such as safe deliveries or gas connections, meet certain standards, trAid+ acts as a third-party stamp of approval that donors, tax payers, recipient-country governments, service providers, and beneficiaries can trust to know that their aid is being used effectively and is contributing to the development objectives of the recipient country. And trAid+ makes all information accessible online, making it easier for funders to link with projects that are working and projects that are working to link with anyone interested in purchasing certified development outputs. TrAid+ can be tailored to any sector where outputs can be clearly defined and measured, whether health, education, infrastructure, or agriculture. This paper describes the trAid+ concept in detail and proposes practical steps to establish the trAid+ platform.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Francis Fukuyama, Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A clear shift in the development agenda is underway. Traditionally, an agenda generated in the developed world was implemented in—and, indeed, often imposed on—the developing world. The United States, Europe, and Japan will continue to be significant sources of economic resources and ideas, but the emerging markets will become significant players. Countries such as Brazil, China, India, and South Africa will be both donors and recipients of resources for development and of best practices for how to use them. In fact, development has never been something that the rich bestowed on the poor but rather something the poor achieved for themselves. It appears that the Western powers are finally waking up to this truth in light of a financial crisis that, for them, is by no means over.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, India, South Africa, Brazil
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, Lisa Carty, J. Stephen Morrison, Margaret Reeves
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: On June 13, the GAVI Alliance convenes its first pledging conference in London with the aim of securing $3.7 billion to immunize an additional 250 million children by 2015. Founded in 2000, GAVI is an innovative partnership that combines donors, partner governments, UNICEF, WHO, civil society, and the private sector. It is designed to accelerate the financing and delivery of selected vaccines and related health services to the world's most disadvantaged populations. As GAVI enters its second decade of operations, it has established itself as a quiet success. And as it strives to sustain and expand its model of operations, it simultaneously strives to make itself better known and understood; better led, managed, and resourced; better assured of essential high-level political and financial support; and better served by well-functioning relations with its many essential partners.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Health, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Royce Bernstein Murray, Sarah Petrin Williamson
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: After a natural catastrophe in a developing country, international migration can play a critical role in recovery. But the United States has no systematic means to leverage the power and cost-effectiveness of international migration in its post-disaster assistance portfolios. Victims of natural disasters do not qualify as refugees under U.S. or international law, and migration policy toward those fleeing disasters is set in a way that is haphazard and tightly constrained. This paper comprehensively explores the legal means by which this could change, allowing the government more flexibility to take advantage of migration policy as one inexpensive tool among many tools for post-disaster assistance. It explores both the potential for administrative actions under current law and the potential for small changes to current law. For concreteness, it focuses on the case of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, but its policy lessons apply to future disasters that are sadly certain to arrive. The paper neither discusses nor recommends "opening the gates" to all disaster victims, just as current U.S. refugee law does not open the gates to all victims of persecution, but rather seeks to identify those most in need of protection and provide a legal channel for entry and integration into American life.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Natural Disasters, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In recent years, a number of private foundations and organizations have launched ambitious initiatives to support promising entrepreneurs in developing countries, on both a for-profit and not-for-profit basis. Many of these programs have focused exclusively on building business capacity. While these tailored programs play an important role in supporting small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) development, their overall effectiveness remains hamstrung in part by continuing constraints on entrepreneurs' access to expansion and operating capital. Simultaneously, the U.S. government, other bilateral donors, and international financial institutions (IFIs) have launched a series of initiatives that provide both financial and technical assistance to SMEs in developing countries. Surprisingly, collaboration or formalized partnerships between private foundations and donor agencies has been somewhat limited-particularly on a strategic or globalized basis. This paper is targeted for these private foundations, especially those focused on women entrepreneurship. First, it provides a brief literature review of the rationale for and against SME initiatives. Second, it presents an overview of existing targeted USG and IFI programs. Lastly, it offers several new, incremental options for private foundations to establish focused partnerships with donor agencies in support of their ongoing organizational goals.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Alan Gelb, Caroline Decker
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Cash transfers are often a good way for developing countries to address economic and social problems. They are less expensive than directly providing goods and services and allow recipients the flexibility to spend on what they need the most, but for many developing countries, the technical requirements for large-scale programs have been prohibitive. Now, however, biometric technologies have improved and become ubiquitous enough to allow the confident identification and low cost needed to implement successful cash-transfer programs in developing countries. This paper surveys the arguments for and against cash-transfer programs in resource-rich states, discusses some of the new biometric identification technologies, and reaches preliminary conclusions about their potentially very large benefits for developing countries. The barriers to cash-transfers are no longer technical, but political.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Charles Kenny, Ursula Casabonne
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Casabonne and Kenny argue that two major factors underlie improved global health outcomes: first, the discovery of cheap technologies that can dramatically improve outcomes; second, the adoption of these technologies, thanks to the spread of knowledge. Other factors have played a role. Increased income not only allows for improved nutrition, but also helps to improve access to more complex preventative technologies. Institutional development is a second key to the spread of such complex technologies. Nonetheless, evidence of dramatic health improvements even in environments of weak institutions and stagnant incomes suggests that the role of these factors may be secondary.
  • Topic: Development, Health, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The global community faces a number of critical challenges ranging from climate change to crossborder health risks to natural-resource scarcities. Many of these so-called global commons problems carry grave risks to economic growth in the developing world and to the livelihoods and welfare of their people. Climate change is the classic example. Despite the risks involved, donor governments have funded programs addressing global challenges such as climate change at far lower levels than traditional programs of country-based development assistance. The prospects for dealing with such global challenges will depend at least in part on new collective financing mechanisms.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Health, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Author: John Gorlorwulu
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Countries emerging from protracted and devastating conflicts are often seen as needing significant external intervention in their financial markets to rebuild their private sector and promote quick and effective economic recovery. Despite enormous challenges, the provision of credit or the implementation of various lending schemes often dominate efforts to promote domestic private-sector recovery in the immediate aftermath of conflict. This approach raises a number of questions: First, how effective are loan programs in the development of domestic enterprises in the immediate aftermath of conflicts? Second, can loan programs work without significant improvements in the business climate? How sensitive is the design of lending programs to the success of domestic enterprise development projects following devastating conflicts? This paper explores the experience of the Liberian Enterprise Development Finance Company, which was established in 2007 to provide medium-and long-term credit to small and medium domestic enterprises. In addition to shedding light on the challenges such an enterprise faces in a post conflict environment, the paper explores whether the strategies employed are effective and if there are opportunities for effecting remedial changes that could improve the outcomes of such a program in post-conflict environments generally.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Civil War, Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, Liberia
  • Author: Amanda Glassman, William Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Global health aid is exceedingly complex. It encompasses more than one hundred bilateral agencies, global funds, and independent initiatives that interact with an equally complex and diverse set of institutions involved in financing and providing health care in developing countries. Numerous efforts have been made to better coordinate these activities in the interest of making them more effective. The Health Systems Funding Platform (the Platform) is one of the most recent of these initiatives. Established in 2009, the Platform has advanced farthest in two countries, Ethiopia and Nepal, and is currently expanding to several others. This paper briefly assesses the Platform and argues that the way the initiative is proceeding differs little from prior initiatives, such as sector- wide approaches and budget support. However, the initiative does represent an opportunity to make global health aid more effective if it were to deepen its commitment to improving information for policy, link funding explicitly to well-chosen independently verified indicators, and establish an evaluation strategy to learn from its experience.
  • Topic: Development, Health, International Cooperation, International Organization, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Nepal, Ethiopia
  • Author: William Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: A new wave of development programs that explicitly use incentives to achieve their aims is under way. They are part of a trend, accelerating in recent years, to disburse development assistance against specific and measurable outputs or outcomes. With a proliferation of new ideas under names such as “payments for performance,” “output-based aid,” and “results based financing,” it is easy to lose sight of basic underlying similarities in these approaches and to miss some significant differences. This paper proposes a way of classifying and distinguishing the range of incentive programs being debated today, emphasizing two particular dimensions: the agent whose behavior the incentive seeks to change and the specificity of the output or outcome measure. It begins by characterizing a basic incentive arrangement, discussing the range of available contracts and how they appear in development programs, presents a classification of existing incentive programs and illustrates the scheme with examples. The paper concludes by identifying four broad categories that address different problems and offers some cautionary notes.
  • Topic: Development, International Political Economy, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nora Lustig
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Celebrated by academics, multilateral organizations, policymakers and the media, Mexico's Progresa/ Oportunidades conditional cash transfers program (CCT) is constantly used as a model of a successful antipoverty program. Here I argue that the transformation of well-trained scholars into influential practitioners played a fundamental role in promoting a new conceptual approach to poverty reduction, ensuring the technical soundness and effectiveness of the program, incorporating rigorous impact evaluation, and persuading politicians to implement and keep the program in place. The involvement of scholar-practitioners also helped disseminate the new CCT “technology” to many countries around the world quite rapidly.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Mexico
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Gregory Johnson, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has become substantially engaged in economic development and stabilization and will likely continue to carry out these activities in in-conflict zones for some time to come. Since FY2002, nearly $62 billion has been appropriated for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), which provides funds for projects to address urgent reconstruction and relief efforts, is one component of the military's development operations. In this analysis, we take U.S. military involvement in development as a given and concentrate on providing recommendations for it to operate more efficiently and effectively. By doing so, we are not advocating that the U.S. military become involved in all types of development activities or that CERP be used more broadly; rather, our recommendations address the military's capacity to carry out what it is already doing in Afghanistan and other in-conflict situations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, War, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: In this paper, we look at the scale and scope of emerging donors, many of which are developing economies themselves. On the basis of a survey of the literature, we find that estimates of annual aid flows from new donors (so-called non-DAC donors) vary greatly and are somewhere between $11 billion and $41.7 billion, or 8 and 31 percent of global gross ODA. We find that new donors are not a monolithic group but instead represent three distinct models of aid delivery, which we describe as the DAC Model, the Arab Model and the Southern Model.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, International Affairs, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Arabia
  • Author: Jenny C. Aker
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Agriculture can serve as an important engine for economic growth in developing countries, yet yields in these countries have lagged far behind those in developed countries for decades. One potential mechanism for increasing yields is the use of improved agricultural technologies, such as fertilizers, seeds and cropping techniques. Public-sector programs have attempted to overcome information-related barriers to technological adoption by providing agricultural extension services. While such programs have been widely criticized for their limited scale, sustainability and impact, the rapid spread of mobile phone coverage in developing countries provides a unique opportunity to facilitate technological adoption via information and communication technology (ICT)-based extension programs. This article outlines the potential mechanisms through which ICT could facilitate agricultural adoption and the provision of extension services in developing countries. It then reviews existing programs using ICT for agriculture, categorized by the mechanism (voice, text, internet and mobile money transfers) and the type of services provided. Finally, we identify potential constraints to such programs in terms of design and implementation, and conclude with some recommendations for implementing field-based research on the impact of these programs on farmers' knowledge, technological adoption and welfare.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Development, Poverty, Science and Technology, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: Charles Kenny, Andy Sumner
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: What have the MDGs achieved? And what might their achievements mean for any second generation of MDGs or MDGs 2.0? We argue that the MDGs may have played a role in increasing aid and that development policies beyond aid quantity have seen some limited improvement in rich countries (the evidence on policy change in poor countries is weaker). Further, there is some evidence of faster-than-expected progress improving quality of life in developing countries since the Millennium Declaration, but the contribution of the MDGs themselves in speeding that progress is—of course—difficult to demonstrate even assuming the MDGs induced policy changes after 2002. The paper concludes with reflections on what the experience of MDGs in terms of global goal setting has taught us and how things might be done differently if there were to be a new set of MDGs after 2015. Any MDGs 2.0 need targets that are set realistically and directly link aid flows to social policy change and to results.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Dean Karlan, John A. List
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: We develop a simple theory which formally describes how charities can resolve the information asymmetry problems faced by small donors by working with large donors to generate quality signals. To test the model, we conducted two large-scale natural field experiments. In the first experiment, a charity focusing on poverty reduction solicited donations from prior donors and either announced a matching grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, or made no mention of a match. In the second field experiment, the same charity sent direct mail solicitations to individuals who had not previously donated to the charity, and tested whether naming the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as the matching donor was more effective than not identifying the name of the matching donor. The first experiment demonstrates that the matching grant condition generates more and larger donations relative to no match. The second experiment shows that providing a credible quality signal by identifying the matching donor generates even more and larger donations than not naming the matching donor. Importantly, the treatment effects persist long after the matching period, and the quality signal is quite heterogeneous—the Gates\' effect is much larger for prospective donors who had a record of giving to "poverty-oriented" charities. These two pieces of evidence support our model of quality signals as a key mechanism through which matching gifts inspire donors to give.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Humanitarian Aid, Markets, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Oeindrila Dube, Suresh Naidu
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Does foreign military assistance strengthen or further weaken fragile states facing internal conflict? We address this question by estimating how U.S. military aid affects violence and electoral participation in Colombia. We exploit the allocation of U.S. military aid to Colombian military bases, and compare how aid affects municipalities with and without bases. Using detailed political violence data, we find that U.S. military aid leads to differential increases in attacks by paramilitaries (who collude with the military), but has no effect on guerilla attacks. Aid increases also result in more paramilitary (but not guerrilla) homicides during election years. Moreover, when military aid rises, voter turnout falls more in base municipalities, especially those that are politically contested.
  • Topic: Arms Control and Proliferation, Democratization, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States, Colombia, Latin America
  • Author: Michael Clemens
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Rich countries have made efforts for half a century to help people in poor countries catch up to rich-country standards of living. Those efforts have included giving foreign aid, encouraging overseas investment, dismantling trade barriers, and spreading ideas and institutions. That is, their international development policy has been to encourage the globalization of almost all factors of production—except labor. So far, this policy has failed to cause the living standards of most people in most developing countries to converge with living standards in rich countries. But the globalization of labor—greater mobility for workers across borders—quickly and massively raises migrants' living standards toward those of rich countries. This paper argues that every rich country should consider its immigration policy to be part of its international development policy, and vice versa. A development policy that includes migration will be more effective; an immigration policy that includes development will better serve rich countries' ideals and interests. The paper also gives a non-technical review of new research on several common objections to unifying development policy and migration policy. One concrete way forward is for rich countries to greatly open up legal pathways for temporary labor movement.
  • Topic: Globalization, Foreign Aid, Labor Issues
  • Author: David Wheeler, Susmita Dasgupta, Benoit Laplante, Brian Blankespoor
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Without international assistance, developing countries will adapt to climate change as best they can. Part of the cost will be absorbed by households and part by the public sector. Adaptation costs will themselves be affected by socioeconomic development, which will also be affected by climate change. Without a better understanding of these interactions, it will be difficult for climate negotiators and donor institutions to determine the appropriate levels and modes of adaptation assistance. This paper contributes by assessing the economics of adaptation to extreme weather events. We address several questions that are relevant for the international discussion: How will climate change alter the incidence of these events, and how will their impact be distributed geographically? How will future socioeconomic development, notably an increased focus on education and empowerment for women and girls, affect the vulnerability of affected communities? And, of primary interest to negotiators and donors, how much would it cost to neutralize the threat of additional losses in this context?
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nicholas Eubank
  • Publication Date: 01-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Since its secession from Somalia in 1991, the east-African nation of Somaliland has become one of the most democratic governments in eastern Africa. Yet Somaliland has never been recognized by the international community. This paper examines how this lack of recognition—and the consequent ineligibility for foreign financial assistance—has shaped Somaliland's political development. It finds evidence that Somaliland's ineligibility for foreign aid facilitated the development of accountable political institutions and contributed to the willingness of Somalilanders to engage constructively in the state-building process.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Somalia
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Molly Kinder
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: During the 1990s, the World Bank and several donor partners provided a “surge” in external aid to support Pakistan's social sectors. Despite the millions of donor dollars spent, the program failed. Poverty was higher in Pakistan in 2004 than it was a decade earlier when the antipoverty program began. This working paper re-releases a CGD analysis of the World Bank's program, which was prepared in 2005 by CGD researchers Nancy Birdsall, Milan Vaishnav, and Adeel Malik. The analysis reports the many problems donors faced while working with Pakistan's government to improve health and education outcomes. A new preface by Nancy Birdsall and Molly Kinder identifies the key lessons from this massive donor experiment that are relevant today, as the United States and other donors prepare to increase their assistance to Pakistan to historic levels.
  • Topic: Development, Poverty, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Central Asia
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Steven Rosenzweig, Michael Bernstein
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: To what extent do the major funders of HIV/AIDS programs in developing countries use past performance to guide decisions about future funding? This question is important for those concerned with the effectiveness of the significant funding flows for the treatment, care, and prevention of HIV and AIDS: linking funding to performance can help ensure that the best programs are given continued resources (and the failing ones are not) and that program managers have the strongest incentives to perform at a high level and to improve the performance of their programs. Performance-based funding can also have unintended negative consequences. Linking funding to performance can also induce single-minded attention to specific targets to the exclusion of harder-to-measure but important outcomes and loss of integrity of information systems.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Non-Governmental Organization, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Inclusive growth is widely embraced as the central economic goal for developing countries, but the concept is not well defined in the development economics literature. Since the early 1990s, the focus has been primarily on pro-poor growth, with the "poor" being people living on less than $1 day, or in some regions $2 day. The idea of pro-poor growth emerged in the early 1990s as a counterpoint to a concern with growth alone (measured in per-capita income) and is generally defined as growth which benefits the poor as much or more than the rest of the population. Examples include conditional cash transfers, which target the poor while minimizing the fiscal burden on the public sector, and donors' emphasizing primary over higher education as an assured way to benefit the poor while investing in long-term growth through increases in human capital. Yet these pro-poor, inclusive policies are not necessarily without tradeoffs in fostering long-run growth. In this paper I argue that the concept of inclusive growth should go beyond the traditional emphasis on the poor (and the rest) and take into account changes in the size and economic command of the group conventionally defined as neither poor nor rich, i.e., the middle class.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, Poverty, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: During the last few International Development Association (IDA) replenishment negotiations, several large donors have pressed for reforms to further increase the share of IDA resources provided to the neediest and most vulnerable countries. While the proposed reforms take different forms, the philosophical Thrust is the same—push IDA's focus further down the development chain. Against this backdrop, this paper explores just how well IDA's existing performance-based allocation (PBA) system actually addresses these issues. To achieve this, I examine how IDA allocations are distributed at each successive stage of the PBA methodology based upon a number of need and vulnerability measures. Next, I apply two simple measures to gauge IDA's performance: (1) whether per-capita allocations to the neediest and most vulnerable countries are equal to or greater than those for the best off countries and (2) whether allocations to the neediest and most vulnerable countries increase between the baseline and final allocation scenarios. Based on these criteria, IDA has a mixed track record. IDA's performance is very modest with respect to the relative share allocated to the neediest or most vulnerable countries. Of the eight measures examined, only two illustrate parity between final allocations to the bottom and top quartile of countries. However, the litany of PBA exceptions clearly helps to redistribute resources in absolute terms. Per-capita allocations to the neediest and most vulnerable countries more than doubles between the baseline and final PBA scenarios for every need and vulnerability indicator examined. Clearly, the existing system has several built-in biases to redistribute resources to these countries. However, these exceptions fall short from ensuring full parity that some IDA donors may wish to achieve. As such, the philosophical debate among key IDA donors likely will continue for the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Financial Crisis
  • Author: David Roodman, Cindy Prieto
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The Commitment to Development Index (CDI) ranks 22 rich countries on their dedication to policies that benefit poor nations. Looking beyond standard comparisons of foreign aid flows, the CDI measures national policies on aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology. The United States ranked 17th overall in 2009, strong in trade and security but less competitive in aid and environment. This memo describes how to boost the U.S. score and links to CGD materials with more detail.
  • Topic: Development, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: This paper focuses on how budgetary scorekeeping systems affect governments' ability or willingness to support innovative development finance initiatives and explores several options to overcome the restrictions the systems often impose. As a starting point, it assumes that donor governments, such as the United States, will not reform their budgetary system regulations to accommodate innovative development finance commitments due to political and budget policy concerns. In general, each option outlined entails important financial, political, and bureaucratic challenges and tradeoffs. In other words, there are no silver bullets. However, there are possible approaches that may merit further exploration by donor governments that want to support specific innovative development finance initiatives but are constrained by existing budgetary systems.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Michael Clemens, Gabriel Demombynes
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: When is the rigorous impact evaluation of development projects a luxury, and when a necessity? We study one high-profile case: the Millennium Villages Project (MVP), an experimental and intensive package intervention to spark sustained local economic development in rural Africa. We illustrate the benefits of rigorous impact evaluation in this setting by showing that estimates of the project's effects depend heavily on the evaluation method. Comparing trends at the MVP intervention sites in Kenya, Ghana, and Nigeria to trends in the surrounding areas yields much more modest estimates of the project's effects than the before-versus-after comparisons published thus far by the MVP. Neither approach constitutes a rigorous impact evaluation of the MVP, which is impossible to perform due to weaknesses in the evaluation design of the project's initial phase. These weaknesses include the subjective choice of intervention sites, the subjective choice of comparison sites, the lack of baseline data on comparison sites, the small sample size, and the short time horizon. We describe how the next wave of the intervention could be designed to allow proper evaluation of the MVP's impact at little additional cost.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, Nigeria
  • Author: Kenneth Rogoff
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: It is a great honor to present the fifth annual Richard H. Sabot lecture at the Center for Global Development. In this talk, I will take up a relatively narrow but absolutely fundamental question in the international monetary system, particularly in developing countries: Is the International Monetary fund (the IMF) guilty of bringing excessive austerity to the countries that turn to it for bailout funding? Should the IMF instead put much more weight on encouraging countercyclical fiscal policy, as it does in rich countries? Extremely difficult and complex issues underlie these seemingly straightforward questions. My modest aim in this lecture is to help clarify the issues so as to promote rational dialogue.
  • Topic: Economics, International Organization, International Monetary Fund, Foreign Aid