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  • 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