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Design and implementation of strategic communication programs for development policy research; communications measurement; web and e-mail strategies; publication management
Lawrence MacDonald was vice president for communications and policy outreach at the Center for Global Development. A development policy communications specialist and former foreign correspondent, he worked to increase the influence and impact of CGD's research and analysis by leading an integrated communications program that includes events, publications, media relations, online engagement, and government and NGO outreach. He also hosted a weekly podcast, CGD’s Global Prosperity Wonkcast, and serves frequently as chair for public events at CGD and elsewhere.
Before joining the Center in October 2004, MacDonald was a senior communications officer at the World Bank where he provided strategic communications advice to chief economists, coordinated the preparation of research publications, created the World Bank Research web site, and was founding editor of the Bank's Policy Research Report series. Before that he worked for 15 years in East and Southeast Asia as a reporter and editor for The Asian Wall Street Journal, Agence France Presse and Asiaweek Magazine, during which time he lived in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul, and Manila. His Mandarin is less fluent than it used to be but still serviceable.
Many governments try to reduce poverty and inequality through a mixture of taxes, transfers, and public services. Individual policies, such as taxation or cash transfers, are frequently evaluated on how well they address these goals. But the overall impact of a country’s fiscal policy package on poverty and inequality has rarely been subject to systematic analysis—until now.
My guest this week, behavioral economist Sendhil Mullainathan, is a Harvard professor and non-resident fellow at CGD who is transforming how people think about poverty, and what can be done to support poor people in improving their lives. Sendhil was recently at CGD to discuss his new book, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, in which he explains that limited bandwidth—the ability to stand back from one’s life, assess trade-offs, and make rational choices—is a problem for all of us, but an especially difficult problem for those who live daily with scarcity.
This essay explains how Deliberative Polling works and offers examples of how it has led to unexpected policy successes. It then suggests ways in which the approach could be applied nationally, beginning in the United States, to raise the quality of public debate about climate change, opening the way for independent but possibly coordinated national responses. The brief is designed for potential funders, sponsoring organizations, and partners of various types who are seeking fresh strategies for breaking the political impasse that has so far prevented effective policy responses to reduce the risk of climate runaway disruptions.
In this week’s Wonkcast, recorded in the run-up to the institutions’ Spring Meetings, we consider these questions. My guests are Nancy Birdsall, founding president of CGD, and Todd Moss, vice president of programs and senior fellow.
Pollution has no respect for party lines. In the US, Republican and Democratic districts may differ in many ways, but when it comes to the carbon emissions heating our planet, the differences are much smaller than you might expect.
Many obstacles to development transcend national borders and therefore cannot be adequately addressed within a single country. These include issues such as drug resistance and other cross-border health risks, financial crises contagion, money laundering, water scarcity, fisheries collapse and, of course, climate change. Economists call efforts to address these problems Global Public Goods (GPGs). Like other public goods, funding for GPGs is chronically in short supply: of $125 billion in annual official development assistance (ODA ) only about $3 billion goes to GPGs.
The UN is gearing up for discussions about what international development goals should come after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015. My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is CGD senior fellow Charles Kenny, who recently published a working paper, written jointly with CGD visiting fellow Andy Sumner, that assesses the impact of the MDGs and offers suggestions for what should come next.
If data wants to be free, then PovcalNet, the world’s leading dataset on global poverty, is happier today because it was recently made available for download in bulk by my guests on this week’s Wonkcast CGD research fellow Justin Sandefur and research assistant Sarah Dykstra.