Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs


What's the buzz in Toronto?

It's both energizing and exhausting to be at this largest ever AIDS Conference in Toronto. With 25,000+ delegates and an impressive line-up of global, national and community leaders attending this conference, the message is very clear: it isn't just time to deliver, but rather it is Time to Deliver NOW! With 25 years behind us, billions of dollars spent, millions of deaths and millions more being infected there is no time and money to waste.

To Test or Not to Test?

That was the question at the International AIDS Conference session on "HIV Testing the Era of Treatment Scale Up." As ARVs become more widely available, more people need to take HIV tests to get started in treatment programs. But should Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) be replaced by "Routine Offer" or "Routine Testing" programs? Routine Offer refers to testing programs where all clinic visitors, or those meeting certain risk guidelines, are offered a test.

The Next Big Breakthrough in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS?

HIV/AIDS is not gender neutral; the disease disproportionately affects women. Biologically, the virus is more easily passed from man to woman, but even more problematic is the fact that women are often marginalized and discriminated against in ways that deprive them of their agency in choosing when, how and with whom to have sex. Recent studies in India, for example, showed that one of the most at-risk groups for new HIV infection were married women in monogamous relationships with unfaithful husbands.

2006 Commitment to Development Index Launches

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2006 edition of the Commitment to Development Index. Each year the CDI rates and ranks 21 rich countries on how much their policies help or hurt poorer nations. The CDI assigns scores in seven policy areas (foreign aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology), with the average being the overall score.

Project vs. Budget Support: A Debate Gone Stale

When the Millennium Challenge Account was first introduced, many folks assumed it would deliver some -- perhaps even a large part -- of its funding through general budget support. After all, these were countries that were selected for funding because they had strong economic, social and governance policies. But that is not the case. The MCC is delivering all of its funding via traditional project finance.

Transparency: A Clear Need in Global Health

The Economist is spot-on in identifying transparency in reporting of infectious diseases as a powerful weapon in the global health fight. While Indonesia's government seems to be making moves in the right direction by providing official access to data on avian influenza, the magazine reports, insurgent efforts at transparency are in development, with the Google Foundation head taking charge:

Gates Foundation Faces Scaling Up

The difficulties of "scaling up" are felt not only in developing countries, which have to figure out how to effectively use large new inflows of aid. On the spending side, a doubling of expenditures by the world's largest foundation is not easily accommodated, either.

"Time to Deliver" to the Places that Need It

As we prepare for next week's International AIDS conference in Toronto, it is a natural time to reflect on progress made and lessons learned in the fight against AIDS. To that end, there is an interesting article at that asks an experienced development specialist and a veteran AIDS reporter to share their thoughts on lessons learned from the fight against AIDS in Africa.