Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

IMF Reform: How the Poor Man (That’s the USA) Had a Good Idea

IMF governance reforms were agreed the week before the G20 Summit.  One decision – to increase IMF resources but not by much – may matter for the IMF’s role in a still-unsettled Eurozone – if Ireland’s problem becomes Portugal’s and so on.

For a full and nicely balanced assessment of the reforms from Ted Truman, including on resources, go here.  Among other things, unpacks a couple of little-known and little-understood facts that are (though he doesn’t say so directly) about the role of the USA – the poor man with good ideas.

How $500 Million in U.S. Aid Can Help Pakistan’s Flood Victims Rebuild

This is a joint post with Wren Elhai

Last week, the Government of Pakistan hosted officials from the United States and more than 30 donor countries and multilateral agencies in Islamabad for the Pakistan Development Forum. The big news from the two-day event was the announcement that the United States would accelerate disbursement of $500 million in previously committed aid to help Pakistan meet its flood rebuilding needs. (This pledge is above and beyond the more than $500 million the United States had previously committed to the immediate humanitarian needs from the flood.) What officials did not announces is what the US flood aid will be used for. My CGD colleagues Alan Gelb and Caroline Decker have recommended one proposal that the U.S. policymakers are currently considering: directing up to $500 million to finance a housing capitalization fund for flood-affected households.

Good Aid? Bad Aid? QuODA Tracks How Donors Stack Up. Interview with Nancy Birdsall and Homi Kharas.

QUODADonors, academics, and development advocates have long recognized that not all aid is created equal. Often, the impacts of aid are blunted because it’s spent in the wrong places or isn’t coordinated with recipient government programs. How can we know which donors give aid well, and which donors need to improve? My guests on this week’s Wonkcast are Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, and Homi Kharas, deputy director of the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development program. They are the co-creators of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) assessment, a new tool that tracks and compares donor programs against four dimensions of aid quality.

At Cancun Climate Talks, First the Pillars, Then the Roof

With less than a week to go until the start of the next round of global climate negotiations, in Cancun, Mexico, climate policymakers see further work on ambitious finance pledges made at the Copenhagen climate talks last year as key to progress towards collective action to avert runaway climate change. Mexico’s ambassador to Washington has stressed the value of such incremental progress.

Kristof Gets It Only Half Right

The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof makes recommendations for charitable giving this season here.  But he missed half the point and way more than half the potential impact.  Here’s what I had to say in a comment on his blog:

The True True Size of Africa

The Economist has a nice piece here on the True Size of Africa. It’s about geographic size (Africa is bigger than you think – which is true for all countries and regions near the equator that don’t benefit from the Mercator distortion in our two-dimensional map world).

Five CGD Experts on the Seoul G-20 Summit

G-20 SeoulG-20 leaders gathering in Seoul this week face a full plate of issues, most prominently the effort to stave off beggar-thy-neighbors currency devaluations. This week on the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we've distilled highlights from a private briefing I organized where five CGD experts shared their views on key issues facing the G-20, and their implications for poor people not represented at the table.

Republican Victory, the Tea Party and U.S. Development Policy

The big news out of the U.S. midterm elections is the Republican victory and control of the House of Representatives. Thirty nine of the sixty new House Republicans align themselves with the Tea Party. One of the few things the pundits agree on is that there is no clear Tea Party foreign policy agenda, much less a unified view about whether and how to engage developing countries.