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  • Author: Susan Prowse
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Aid-for-trade programs can help strengthen low-income countries' supply capacity and knowledge of trade preferences, which will allow them to take fuller advantage of these preferences. Aid for trade to support preference reform can be divided into three categories: (i) creation of information-sharing mechanisms to ensure that governments, SMEs and other businesses are aware of the opportunities that preferential market access offers; (ii) capacity-building support to overcome supply-side and policy constraints; and (iii) support to ease the adjustments to preference erosion that will inevitably occur. As with other aid initiatives, coordination and cohesion among assistance programs is critical for success. Delivery mechanisms such as the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), the Trade Facilitation Facility (TFF), and the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF), are aimed at facilitating such coordination, but more could be done. And, as preference programs are intended to be temporary, aid for trade can also facilitate graduation from these programs and compensate beneficiaries for preference erosion. Unfortunately, this area is still lacking the level of innovation and financial support needed.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Alan Gelb
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: International Development Association (IDA) donors and others operating a country performance-based allocation system face two difficult problems: how to strengthen incentives to produce and document development results and how to increase flexibility for fragile states. Fragile states have the greatest need for projects, but their projects tend to rate poorly in performance-based allocations systems, which provide little incentive to produce successful projects in fragile states or other countries.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Benjamin Leo
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Over the last 25 years, the international community has pursued a series of measures to address unsustainable debt burdens in low-income countries. Early actions focused on debt relief for official bilateral claims—initially by rescheduling—followed by increasing levels of debt stock reduction. During this period, the Paris Club repeatedly reduced or rescheduled the debts of a number of countries.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Tony Blair
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Country ownership has become the new watchword in development. The problem for traditional donors is that ownership is too often code for convincing developing country governments to adopt the donors' agenda as their own: a way of securing influence without imposing conditionality. What is really needed is genuine country leadership. As President Obama said when he announced the United States' new development policy at the UN Millennium Development Goals summit in New York in September, “We will partner with countries that are willing to take the lead. Because the days when your development was dictated in foreign capitals must come to an end.”
  • Topic: Development, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, New York, United Nations
  • Author: Alexandra Gillies
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The governments of resource rich states have several options for how to allocate oil and mineral revenues, including the direct distribution of revenues to their citizens. This paper discusses the political feasibility and political implications of such cash transfers in the specific context of resource-rich states. Identifying the contexts in which this policy is mostly likely to emerge, and understanding the potential governance risks and benefits, will help policymakers to consider the desirability of cash transfers as an allocation choice.
  • Topic: Development, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Author: David Wendt, Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Billions of dollars have been allocated to fight HIV/AIDS in poor countries over the past decade, yet less than half of those requiring treatment receive it, and for every two people put on treatment, five more become infected. This situation, in combination with the global economic crisis and the growing pressure to respond to broader global health objectives, is forcing donors to consider how to do more with their available funds. One way to improve the effectiveness of HIV/AIDS programs is to tie funding decisions to performance. Performance-based funding rewards effective programs and gives incentives for poor performers to improve. Donors have experimented with this approach, but they should do much more to ensure that funding decisions reflect and respond to how well funding recipients meet the objectives of their programs.
  • Topic: Health, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nancy Birdsall, Ayah Mahgoub, William D. Savedoff
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: Foreign aid often works, but it is often criticized for being ineffective or even for undermining progress in developing countries. This brief describes a new approach, Cash on Delivery Aid, which gives recipients full responsibility and authority over funds paid in proportion to verified measures of progress. Through the example of using COD Aid to support universal primary-school completion, the brief illustrates a practical approach to aid that holds the promise of making aid more effective and less burdensome by fundamentally restructuring the relationships of accountability among funders, recipients, and their respective constituencies.
  • Topic: Development, Education, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: Nandini Oomman, Christina Droggitis
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: For the past decade, global AIDS donors—including the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEFPAR), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund), and the World Bank's Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Program for Africa (the MAP)—have responded to HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa as an emergency. Financial and programmatic efforts have been quick, vertical, and HIV-specific. To achieve ambitious HIV/AIDS targets, AIDS donors mobilized health workers from weak and understaffed national health workforces. The shortages were the result of weak data for effective planning, inadequate capacity to train and pay health workers, and fragmentation and poor coordination across the health workforce life-cycle. Ten years and billions of dollars later, the problem still persists. The time has passed for short-term fixes to health workforce shortages. As the largest source of global health resources, AIDS donors must begin to address the long-term problems underlying the shortages and the effects of their efforts on the health workforce more broadly.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Health, Human Welfare, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Africa
  • Author: Owen Barder
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: There is a healthy debate about how to achieve poverty reduction in developing countries, but not enough discussion of what we mean by “poverty reduction.” “Poverty reduction” is often used as a short-hand for promoting economic growth that will permanently lift as many people as possible over a poverty line. But there are many different objectives that are consistent with “poverty reduction,” and we have to make choices between them. There are trade-offs between tackling current and future poverty, between helping as many poor people as possible and focusing on those in chronic poverty, and between measures that tackle the causes of poverty and those which deal with the symptoms. Because donors focus on just one dimension of poverty reduction (growth) they marginalise other legitimate objectives such as reducing chronic poverty or providing social services in countries that cannot otherwise afford them.
  • Topic: Development, Environment, Humanitarian Aid, Poverty, Third World, Foreign Aid
  • Author: David Roodman, Jonathan Morduch
  • Publication Date: 06-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The most-noted studies on the impact of microcredit on households are based on a survey fielded in Bangladesh in the 1990s. Contradictions among them have produced lasting controversy and confusion. Pitt and Khandker (PK, 1998) apply a quasi-experimental design to 1991–92 data; they conclude that microcredit raises household consumption, especially when lent to women. Khandker (2005) applies panel methods using a 1999 resurvey; he concurs and extrapolates to conclude that microcredit helps the extremely poor even more than the moderately poor. But using simpler estimators than PK, Morduch (1999) finds no impact on the level of consumption in the 1991–92 data, even as he questions PK's identifying assumptions. He does find evidence that microcredit reduces consumption volatility. Partly because of the sophistication of PK's Maximum Likelihood estimator, the conflicting results were never directly confronted and reconciled. We end the impasse. A replication exercise shows that all these studies' evidence for impact is weak. As for PK's headline results, we obtain opposite signs. But we do not conclude that lending to women does harm. Rather, all three studies appear to fail in expunging endogeneity. We conclude that for non-experimental methods to retain a place in the program evaluator's portfolio, the quality of the claimed natural experiments must be high and demonstrated.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Aid, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia, Asia