Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world.

 

Migration and the Trillion Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk: Michael Clemens

In this Wonkcast, originally posted on September 7, 2011, Michael Clemens explains why one of the biggest growth opportunities in the world economy lies not in the mobility of goods or capital, but in the mobility of labor. His message remains relevant as International Migrants Day approaches on December 18th. In his recent blog, Clemens argues we have plenty of reason to celebrate the movement of people – and backs it up with economic evidence and history.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Lant Pritchett on Mimicry in Development

This podcast was originally recorded in March 2011. Development is easy, right? All poor countries have to do is mimic the things that work in rich countries and they’ll evolve into fully functional states. If only it were that simple. My guest this week is Lant Pritchett, a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development and chair of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master’s program in international development. His latest work looks at how the basic functions of government fail to improve in some developing countries (a dynamic he defines as a “state capability trap”). Part of the problem, says Lant, is that donors often insist on transplanting institutions that work in developed countries into environments where those institutions don’t fit at all.

Seeing Africa as Business Partner, Not Charity: Todd Moss and Scott Morris on Obama’s Trip to Africa

To get a sense of what this trip means for Obama’s African legacy and the expectations of his hosts, I invited CGD vice president Todd Moss and visiting fellow Scott Morris to be my guests on this week’s Wonkcast. Todd and Scott served as deputy assistant secretaries in the George Walker Bush and Obama administrations, respectively, Todd in the State Department (where he was oversaw US relations with west Africa) and Scott at Treasury (where he was responsible for the US role in multilateral institutions, including the African Development Bank). I’m eager to hear whether or not their views differ on how Obama can best build a stronger relationship with Africa.

Dashboard for a Dashboard? Sarah Jane Staats on CGD’s New Foreign Assistance Dashboard Tracker

In response to a global movement for increased aid transparency, and a domestic US push for greater government transparency in general, the US government has promised to disclose much more information about US foreign assistance. The main result is a new US Foreign Assistance Dashboard, managed by the State Department, that is designated as a public data repository for 22 US agencies that fund or deliver foreign assistance.

To learn how it’s working, I invited Sarah Jane Staats, who directs CGD’s Rethinking US Foreign Assistance Program to join me on this week’s Wonkcast.

Overcoming Myopia Before It Kills Us – Ian Goldin

Is it possible to alter national governments and global institutions so that decision makers can focus on the vitally important longer term challenges, while still dealing with the urgent considerations which crowd their daily agenda? That’s the important and difficult question set before the The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and the driving force behind the commission.

On Journalism and Global Development--Nicholas Kristof

My guest on the Wonkcast this week is New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof. Nick’s incisive reporting on the lives of poor and vulnerable people has led millions of his readers to empathize with people facing difficulties they could otherwise hardly imagine.

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