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CGD Policy Blogs



An image of a graph showing M&E quality, and contribution of M&E to outcomes

Is Good Monitoring and Evaluation the Secret to Success for World Bank Programs?

The use of foreign aid to support poor countries with inadequate implementation capacity and weak regulatory institutions has at times, been described as “pouring money into a leaky bucket.” Given that there is seldom a quick fix for inadequate state capacity, aid programs can employ internal controls and monitoring mechanisms which increase effectiveness and value for money. This is part of the reason why aid organizations have in recent decades paid significant attention to monitoring and evaluation (M&E).

Figure 1: FCDO aid to Africa (regional and country allocable)

UK Development Strategy Should Reverse the Decline in UK’s Poverty Focus

The UK is developing a new development strategy, with girls’ education and economic development likely to figure prominently. The government is also prioritising the Indo-Pacific region in its wider international strategy and will need to allocate its aid with partner countries there and in Africa. In this blog, we draw on a new analysis of the UK’s focus on lower income countries, and on Africa—where nearly two thirds of the world’s extreme poor live.

An image of a classroom in Africa.

Keep Adolescent Girls Safe in Africa, Both In and Out of School

Violence in and around schools is a serious problem. Sexual violence, physical violence, and emotional violence—from school staff as well as from fellow students—are all damaging to children and youth. As secondary education expands around the globe, violence against adolescent girls in school merits special attention. But growing attention to school-based violence doesn’t mean that girls are safe outside of school. In fact, the relationship between violence and education is complicated.

We Should Prepare for a Omicron COVID-19 Wave by Prioritising Cost-Effective Essential Emergency Critical Care Now

The new Omicron variant of COVID-19  may be more transmissible and more capable of evading vaccines than older variants due to its high number of mutations. There is a real concern that it could spread rapidly throughout the world and lead to another wave  of critically ill patients in low-and middle income countries (LMICs), where vaccine coverage remains low.

The exterior of a mobile vaccine clinic in Madagascar where patients can get their COVID-19 vaccine outdoors.

Africa Should Bargain Hard for COVID Vaccine Equity: Lessons from Indonesia during Avian Flu

Many countries around the world have punished most of the African continent for the scientific discovery of the Omicron variant through the imposition of travel bans. These travel bans are more injury upon the injury of low vaccination in Africa. Even well-intentioned rallying phrases such as “vaccine apartheid” or “vaccine equity” still lack the moral weight, indignation, and urgency that we should all feel, no matter which country we live. Words fail us.

An image of a glass globe, coins, and an hour glass.

Development Agencies and the “New Normal”

In this blog, we map key trends and changes in the development landscape and highlight the implications of these changes for the future of ODA. These findings were presented at the Development Leaders Conference 2021, held earlier this month. All development agencies will need to ask themselves how to better address challenges that extend beyond national boundaries and how to respond to the increasing incidence of poverty and inequality at the national level. Both approaches are linked and can co-exist. But they require a re-think of roles, practices and capacities

An image of a classroom.

A Poll of Education Officials in 35 Countries: Three Reasons the Idea of a “Learning Crisis” Isn’t Getting Traction

With half of kids in low- and middle-income countries unable to read a simple story by the end of primary school, international organizations and foreign aid donors have declared a “global learning crisis.”

The crisis framing has coincided with a shift in policy messaging from many big international donors in the education sector. To oversimplify a bit, education access is out, school quality is in. The World Bank, UNICEF, the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Gates Foundation all promote greater emphasis on “foundational skills,” implying a renewed focus on basic literacy and numeracy in primary school, measured through an increased use of standardized testing.

The Benefits and Challenges of Developing and Revising Health Benefits Packages: Insights From Technical Experts in Eleven Low- and Middle-Income Countries

We worked with the Joint Learning Network (JLN) Efficiency Collaborative to gain insights from Collaborative members who represent technical staff and decision-makers working at the heart of health benefit packages development and revisions in eleven low-and middle-income countries in Africa and Asia. This blog summarizes the initial results from a survey conducted earlier this year to capture their views and experiences on the HPB development and updating process.