Yesterday at Carol Lancaster's launch of her new book on Foreign Aid: Diplomacy, Development and Domestic Politics a somewhat confusing exchange took place between Carol and Andrew Natsios, the "commentator" (in quotes because much of what Andrew had to say was pure Andrew) prompted by moderator Sebastian Mallaby's question: "So where do the two of you think levels of U.S.
CGD Policy Blogs
HIV/AIDS control is now receiving enormous attention in global health circles. This is reason both for celebration and concern. It is reason for celebration because the disease has been neglected in the past and the tide may be turning against this humanitarian crisis. It is reason for concern because there is growing evidence that the extensive focus on this one disease is crowding-out resources and policy-maker attention for the many other causes of death and illness of the poor in the developing world.
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has just kicked off a new online debate, The Effectiveness of Foreign Aid, with CGD senior fellow Steve Radelet and CGD non-resident fellow William Easterly as discussants. (This is not the first time Easterly and Radelet have debated aid effectiveness online.)
President Bush called last week’s midterm election results “a thumpin’” as the Democrats took control of both the House and the Senate. Since then, Republicans and Democrats have been promising to work in a “bipartisan way for all Americans.” But what does it mean for global development that the Republicans hold the presidency while the Democrats control the House and Senate?
Some of the "new ideas" in the development business these days make me wonder whether we should all be wearing polyester leisure suits and platform shoes. It's very 1970s. Take, for example, two new high-level statements about the importance of donors focusing like a laser on health, education, and water and sanitation, and putting global warming, poverty reduction, governance issues and other long-term challenges on the proverbial back burner.
The Copenhagen Consensus Project recently asked a group of 24 UN ambassadors and other diplomats to prioritize a list of 40 global development interventions. The US was there. Their interesting report places heath and sanitation on top, with education and hunger somewhat lower. Trade, financial, and environmental policies received lowest priority, due in part to political infeasibility.
Last night the Board of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria admitted that it has been unable to reach a decision on its new Executive Director, and decided to extend the search until April. Apparently the Board narrowed the list of five final candidates to two front runners, but was unable to reach consensus on a final candidate.
Talking about religion, or faith to use a more general term, is about as popular a thing to do as overpaying your taxes, especially in the policy world. We shy away from the topic because of the personal, sometimes intense, reaction it elicits and, I suspect, because faith feels a little soft, emotional, even anti-intellectual when compared with hard political and economic realities. But since faith impacts U.S. policy, it is a conversation we ought to be having.