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CGD Policy Blogs


Yarvaguda Dispatch

In my last post I wrote that microcredit bubbles are unusual among credit bubbles in not being linked to salable assets such as houses. I was wrong. In the late 1970s and early 1980s western and Japanese banks got very enthusiastic about lending to foreign governments, which, like poor people without collateral, are hard to foreclose on. Funny, this symmetry between the mightiest and weakest borrowers.

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:

You Say You Want a Data Revolution!

A couple of days ago, I posted a blog on the first ever Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, and raised the question: “Will Research Make Health System Strengthening Sexier?”   I'm not in Montreux, but I am following some of the sessions from Washington D.C., thanks to Twitter, Blogs, Webcasts!  I've seen multiple re-tweets of my post and a few references to the blog post in other blog posts.  The comment that I'd like to sha

On the Hill: Moss Says Nigeria Should Try Cash Transfers (and U.S. Should Support Multilateral Development Banks)

This is a joint post with Kaci Farrell.

During a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing on the global financial crisis and Nigeria’s financial reforms, CGD vice president for programs and senior fellow Todd Moss said Nigeria’s economic and political stability are inextricably linked to each other and to U.S. national interests. He urged members to support the African Development Bank and the World Bank and proposed a new idea: Nigeria should consider using oil revenues to finance cash transfers to citizens in the Niger Delta.

The QDDR Pre-Release: Good Intent but the Devil’s in the Details

With the unofficial release of a consultation document on the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), we now have further indications of what will be in the final version scheduled for official release in December.  Until we see the final product, it is difficult to know if some of the laudable rhetoric surrounding the role of development and USAID will be matched by the concrete steps needed to turn it into reality.  As they say, the devil is in the details.

Potemkin Villagers

Protesters with sign RBI MUST REGULATE MICRO FINANCEDoes this picture strike you as odd? Imagine a bunch of moms from a poor neighborhood in Washington, DC, marching to the U.S. Federal Reserve, holding a computer-printed sign for the cameras that says, "The Federal Reserve must regulate payday lenders"---in Hindi. Sort of like that.