Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


Views from the Center


Influential policymakers and practitioners from across the world and across the development landscape will be at CGD next week, ahead of the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. Luminaries from the fields of development finance, humanitarian policy, technology, and gender will share their expertise on how to address some of the biggest challenges and opportunities in global development. This blog post shares more details of CGD’s events next week.

If you are in Washington, DC, or able to tune in online, please join us to hear—among many others—Nandan Nilekani, co-founder and non-executive chairman of Infosys (and the architect of India’s Aadhar biometric identification system), Sir Suma Chakrabarti, president of the EBRD, UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Chinese Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao, Stefano Manservisi, the EU Commission’s director-general of international cooperation and development, and World bank chief economist Paul Romer.

Here are more details of CGD’s events next week:

Stitching Together the New Silk Road: How Governments and Institutions Can Make the Belt and Road Initiative a Success for Developing Countries

Thursday October 12, 9:30 – 11:00am

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to connect countries that account for 60 percent of the world's people and 30 percent of global GDP. How can we make sure it produces real and lasting benefits for developing countries that are involved? 

At this special mini-summit, co-hosted by CGD, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Reinventing Bretton Woods Committee, CGD president Masood Ahmed will convene a discussion among global leaders, including governments, multilateral development finance institutions and private finance institutions to identify and discuss practical considerations for BRI partners, as well as challenges and solutions. Participating will be high level representatives from China, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, AIIB, World Bank, New Development Bank, ADB, EBRD, IMF and others. You can find full details and register here.

How Can We End Violence Against Women and Girls? What We Need and What We Know

Thursday October 12, 4:30 – 6:00pm

One in three women around the world has experienced violence in their lifetime. It is the single most common form of violence in the world, but also one of the least analysed and discussed. Evidence shows that fighting violence against women not only addresses horrendous human rights violations and the negative impact on women’s lives and health, but also contributes to countries’ and societies’ sustainable economic, political and social development.

The EU and UN recently launched the Spotlight Initiative, including an initial allocation of Euro 500 million (more than half a billion US dollars) to fight violence against women and girls. How can the impact of this Fund be optimized? What does research and first-hand experience on the ground tell us about what works?

Former president of Malawi Joyce Banda (until recently also a former CGD distinguished visiting fellow) will join EU Commission Director-General Stefano Manservisi, UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, and CGD senior fellow Mayra Buvinic to discuss how international actions, on-the-ground experience and rigorous research can help eliminate violence against women and girls in all its forms, now and in future. Register here.

Societal Platforms: Building beyond Aadhaar for Sustainable Development

Friday October 13, 9:30 – 11:00am

India’s pioneering biometric identification system, Aadhar, has seen more than one billion people enrolled in a scheme to deliver targeted subsidies. At this special event, India’s architect of Aadhar Nandan Nilekani will speak on “Societal Platforms: A Cambrian Approach to Sustainable Development”—how we can distill principles from the unique architecture of Aadhaar to develop new platforms that can enable people to access an increasingly wide array of transformative services.

Just as GPS technology for military satellites is now used for a huge range of purposes including hailing taxis to (potentially) driverless cars, what other social and economic challenges could India’s experience help resolve? How can other developing countries learn from India’s lead? How should the international community support similar approaches in other countries?

Following Nilekani’s remarks will be a panel discussion featuring Paul Romer, World Bank chief economist, Carolina Trevelli, former minister of development and social inclusion, Peru, and CGD senior fellow Alan Gelb.

This event is hosted in partnership with the World Bank Group, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Omidyar Network. Register here.

Addressing the Challenges Facing the Global Humanitarian System: A Conversation with Mark Lowcock, the UN’s New Head of Humanitarian Coordination

Friday October 13, 1:00 – 2:15pm

With more than 145 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, more than 65 million people forcibly displaced, growing risks of climate-driven natural hazards, food insecurity on the rise and four countries struggling to stave off famine, the global humanitarian system faces exceptional challenges. As needs outstrip funding, it is clear that traditional ways of doing business will not suffice. These global crises cannot be addressed without rethinking the link between humanitarian response and development assistance.

CGD is delighted to welcome Mark Lowcock, less than two months into his new position as the Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. As the UN system’s lead for global relief activities, he is charged with coordinating how humanitarian agencies respond and work together to address global emergencies. After delivering remarks, he will join CGD president Masood Ahmed to discuss successes, challenges, priorities, and reforms for the global humanitarian system in a time of urgent and growing need. You can register here.

If you’d like to leave questions ahead of time for any of the speakers at these events, you can add them in the comments section at the bottom of this page, or of each individual event page (linked above). We’d welcome them—and we hope you will be able to join us in person or online next week.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.

Photo credit for social media:

Social media image by Kaveh Sardari