What’s Happening at CGD during Spring Meetings Week?

April 10, 2017

Adesina, Birdsall, Brown, Georgieva, Gillard, Miliband, Ngozi, Subramanian—these are some of the development heavyweights speaking at CGD at a series of events in the run up to the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings. We hope you will join us—either in person or online—for timely conversations on some of the most pressing development challenges—and their potential solutions.

During this busy time, two major CGD reports will be launched that each consider how best to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people: refugees fleeing conflict, and survivors of disasters. We’ll also be welcoming guests from five continents to discuss topics ranging from infrastructure investment in Africa, to demonetization in India to education for children around the world.

Full details of all CGD events can be found on our events page, but below are some of what we hope will be the key moments. Details of how to register or watch online are included in the links below.


Tuesday April 18, 9:30-11am:

Demonetization, Digital Identity and Universal Basic Income – How Big Ideas Are Changing India and What it Means for the World


Arvind Subramanian, Chief Economic Adviser, Government of India

Annie Lowrey, contributing editor, The Atlantic

For a country that is home to a third of the world’s poor, could UBI—delivered through the digital platform Aadhar—fundamentally change the picture of poverty, health and well-being in India and the world? At the same time as proposing to give cash transfers, India also removed 86 percent of the cash in a cash-heavy economy. What have been the effects of demonetization? The architect of India’s annual Economic Survey, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian—a CGD senior fellow currently on leave—returns to the Center to discuss the big policy ideas making a dramatic mark on India’s economy, and what they could mean for the world.


Wednesday April 19, 11am-12.30pm:

The Challenge and Logic of Greater Financing for Africa


Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank;

Nancy Birdsall, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former Managing Director, World Bank; former Finance Minister, Nigeria; Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

Antoinette Sayeh, former Director, Africa Department, IMF; former Finance Minister, Liberia; Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Center for Global Development

African economies are slowing, after more than a decade of healthy growth. Yet potential investment returns remain high, especially in infrastructure. In this sector and in education, investment is critical to create sustainable growth and good jobs for the huge and growing population of ambitious young Africans.  What should be the role and comparative advantage of the African Development Bank in unlocking funds that generate sustainable growth? AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina keynotes and joins a distinguished panel, which will also draw on CGD’s major 2016 report Multilateral Development Banking for this Century's Development Challenges.


Wednesday April 19, 4:30-6pm, Report Launch:

Addressing the Global Refugee Crisis: How We Can Bridge the Gap Between Humanitarian Response and Development Assistance


Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Government of Jordan

Kristalina Georgieva, CEO World Bank

David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee

Around the world more than 21 million people have fled their countries and are living as refugees, some for many years at a time, most in low and middle-income nations, threatening stability in states ill-equipped to cope. Short-term humanitarian response is no longer enough; this is a development issue. But it is also an eminently manageable problem for the international community. A new joint report by CGD and IRC suggests compacts—agreements between host countries and humanitarian and development actors—as one way to reach realistic, workable solutions. This event brings together high level actors on the frontline of tackling the global refugee crisis.


Thursday April 20, 2:30-3:45pm:

Financing for Learning: Making Global Education a Reality


Gordon Brown, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education; Chair of the Education Commission; former Prime Minister, United Kingdom

Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education; former Prime Minister, Australia

Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

With current investment trends, by 2030, more than half of the world’s children will not achieve a quality education, the aim of Sustainable Development Goal 4. With global education high on the international agenda, leaders of three key agencies will present their respective proposals to provide necessary and complementary funding for education, and explain how they can work together to ensure that increased financing transforms education outcomes and reduces the global learning gap.


Thursday April 20, 4:30-6pm, Report Launch:

Payouts for Perils: Using Insurance to Radically Improve Emergency Aid


Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education

Owen Barder, Vice President, Director of CGD Europe and Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development

Stefan Dercon, Chief Economist, DFID; Professor of Economic Policy, University of Oxford

Rowan Douglas CBE, CEO, Capital, Science & Policy Practice, Willis Group

It would have cost $5 million to contain Ebola in West Africa after it was detected. Eight months later, the figure was two hundred times that. What countries need most after disaster strikes is predictable, guaranteed funding. But aid, although generous, is sometimes unpredictable and often arrives once need is already acute. CGD’s new report, Payouts for Perils: Using Insurance to Radically Improve Emergency Aid, sets out how we can use the principles and practice of insurance to save lives, money and time. At this event, experts from government, aid agencies, and the insurance industry—all contributors to the report—will discuss how to radically improve emergency aid by delivering fast, reliable funding when hazards hit.


We hope to welcome as many of you as possible in person or online to one or more of our events. And remember, the discussion extends beyond CGD’s conference center—feel free to leave questions for panelists ahead of time on specific event pages, or join in the conversation live via Twitter, using #CGDTalks, or in the comments section of the livestream or our YouTube channel.


This blog has been updated to reflect slight changes in speaker line-up


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.