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CGD Policy Blogs


A Whole New World of Vaccines

In the "olden days" before the turn of the 21st century, immunization was not exactly headline-grabbing. Fascinating science, yes. One of the fundamental ways to keep children healthy, yes. But the object of intense business strategy-making, a key part of the fight against sexually-transmitted disease, and the focus of glamorous gatherings of the philanthropic elite - not so much. A few recent news items suggest that it's a whole new world. For example:

A Reflection on the AIDS Vaccine Trial: What's the Real Failure?

"Disappointing" is the only word to describe the news that sponsors of the STEP study, testing Merck's AIDS vaccine candidate, have discontinued the Phase IIb trial. Interim analyses showed that the product doesn't prevent infection or reduce the presence of HIV in the blood once someone is infected, calling a halt to tests of the most promising candidate in the field.

CGD Recommendations Influence MCC Board Decision on FY08 Eligibility Indicators

On November 12, the Millennium Challenge Corporation Board adopted the eligibility indicators to be used in the FY08 country selection round. The Board's final decision mirrors the recommendations put forward by the MCA Monitor team and we are pleased that they took the risk of leaving an empty spot in the Investing in People category in order to inspire creation of an education quality indicator.

Washington Post Editorial Gets it Wrong on the Volcker Report on Corruption and the World Bank; Financial Times Does Better

A Washington Post editorial today ( A Fight Over Corruption ) says that the new report by former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker on the effectiveness of the World Bank's anti-corruption department, (the Institutional Integrity Department or INT)) "reserved its toughest language for the bank bureaucracy itself." The editorial then quotes from the report:

Grain Prices Are Rising. Blame it on the Middle Class?

Can the growth of the middle class lower living standards for those who stay poor? The answer might be yes if people use their increased income to buy more of a good important to the poor, such as food or housing; prices may increase as a result, decreasing what the poor can afford to buy.