Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world.


Who Will Win Out? The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Upcoming 2012 Selection – Casey Dunning

On December 15th the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), an innovative U.S. aid agency, is set to announce which countries will receive its unique development assistance. Casey Dunning, policy analyst at CGD and my guest on this week’s Wonkcast, provides insight and recommendations on how these countries will (and should) be selected. I catch Casey shortly after her return from Honduras, where she saw firsthand the positive impacts of an MCC compact on rural development and highway construction.

Military and Development, a Not-So-Unlikely Pair -- Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz

Vijaya RamachandranThe U.S. military has become increasingly involved in economic development, fulfilling roles normally played by USAID and other development NGOs. My guests this week, senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran and research assistant Julie Walz, discuss their recent paper written with Gregory Johnson on the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP), which provides funds for development projects in Afghanistan as part of the military’s development operations.

Implications of Ghana’s New Middle-Income Status – Todd Moss

Ghana’s recent recalculation of its GDP led to an overnight $500 per capita jump, putting in motion unexpectedly rapid graduation from the International Development Association (IDA) and ultimately a new relationship with the World Bank. In this week’s Wonkcast, I speak with Todd Moss, vice president for programs and senior fellow at CGD, about his recent trip to the newly categorized lower-middle income country, the implications of IDA graduation, and a sudden influx of oil wealth.

Measuring the Quality of Aid (QuODA) – Homi Kharas and Rita Perakis

On November 29th, aid donor and recipients will convene in Busan, South Korea at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. In this week’s Wonkcast, I speak with Homi Kharas, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Rita Perakis, program coordinator at the Center for Global Development, about the new 2011 Brookings-CGD Quality of Official Development Assistance assessment (QuODA) and how it can help to hold donors accountable to their own aid effectiveness pledges.

Homi explains that he and Nancy Birdsall began work on QuODA after aid effectiveness forums in Paris and Accra drew international attention to the importance of aid quality. Previously the debate had focused almost entirely on quantity and how well recipients used aid, rather than the problems and opportunities in how the aid was delivered.

Achieving an AIDS Transition - Mead Over

My guest this week is Mead Over, one of the world’s leading experts on the global response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. We discuss his new book, Achieving an Aids Transition: Preventing Infections to Sustain Treatment. The key idea is simple but powerful. Mead argues that, instead of reaching vainly for the unsustainable goal of offering treatment to everyone in the developing world who needs it, donor policy should aim to sustain current treatment levels while reducing the number of new infections below the number of AIDS deaths, so that the total number of people with HIV/AIDS declines.

“The escalating number of people infected with HIV/AIDS is far outpacing available funding for treatment, especially in Africa,” Mead tells me. “Only by holding deaths down and preventing new infections will the total number of people with HIV decline and an AIDS transition be reached.”

Bringing Needed Medicines to Market—Tom Bollyky on Clinical Trials for Neglected Diseases

In this Wonkcast, originally posted on July 2010, Tom Bollyky explains the problems that motivated him in establishing CGD’s Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways Working Group. The group’s final report, Safer, Faster, Cheaper: Improving Clinical Trials and Regulatory Pathways to Fight Neglected Diseases, will be released on Monday, October 31, with keynote remarks by Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Listen to the Wonkcast to understand the problems and get a sneak preview on the proposed solutions. RSVP here to attend the event.

A Global Consensus on Reforming IMF Leadership Selection—David Wheeler

When Dominique Straus-Kahn resigned suddenly as head of the International Monetary Fund last May, the world was thrown unexpectedly into search for his successor. Within days, CGD launched a survey of the global development community opinion on three issues: the selection process, criteria for rating the candidates, and ratings for 15 candidates identified in international media.

A Moveable Feast of Meetings—Owen Barder

Owen BarderLast week finance ministers and central bankers from around the globe convened in Washington for the annual meetings of the international Monetary Fund and World Bank. While the press and many of the meeting participants focused on the unfolding European financial crisis, below the radar there was plenty of discussion on development issues, including on the legacy of the Seoul Development Consensus and the role of development in the upcoming G-20 Summit in France.


CGD Podcast