CGD Policy Blogs
Amanda Glassman and Nandini Oomman, here at CGD, have released two separate notes (here and here) on the Global Health Initiative (GHI). Amanda and Nandini, who both have deep backgrounds in global health issues, are critical of the GHI and cautious about its future. Both see health assistance, in all its many forms, as a fundamental development activity. Both knock the dysfunction of the current bureaucratic structure and lines of authority and
Between 2000 and 2010, the number of mobile phone subscriptions in developing countries increased from 215 million to 4.1 billion. From a luxury for the rich, the mobile has become a ubiquitous presence in rural and urban areas alike, even in some of the most fragile countries in the world. Afghanistan saw 38 subscriptions per 100 people in 2010, an average of more than one phone per household. And while ubiquity in Afghanistan is evidence enough that mobile phone access hardly guarantees quality of life or sustainable development, mobiles have proven themselves powerful tools to improve
I’ve been closely watching the impressive changes at the African Development Bank. (Our 2006 working group report recommendations are here and my 2010 progress scorecard is here.) In particular, I’ve been encouraged by the Bank’s articulation of its comparative advantage in infrastructure and private sector and the shift in its portfolio to reflect this focus.
For a long time, the Global Fund focused on disbursing money, and disbursing as quickly as possible. The philosophy was something like: move the money and the recipient knows what to do. Yet several studies showed that funds were not allocated in a manner that maximized health results. And over the last year, in the wake of audits detecting misuse of a modest amount of resources, the emphasis shifted to fiduciary controls and oversight mechanisms.
David Wheeler, our lead researcher on climate and development, decided recently to retire from CGD, though he will continue to be active in CGD’s intellectual life as our first senior fellow emeritus. Since joining CGD in 2006, David has published more than 20 working papers and launched two pathbreaking global databases, Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), which provides data on the CO2 emissions of more than 50,000 powerplants worldwide, and Forest Monitoring for Action (FORMA), which uses satellite data to provide rapid, high-resolution tracking of tropical deforestation.
Total fertility has been decreasing in many African countries—from 5.9 in 2001 to 4.6 in 2009 in Ethiopia and 5.5 in 2001 to 4.9 in 2009 in Senegal, though still high in comparison to many parts of the world (for more data on total fertility trends see here). This decline has come with both health benefits and development opportunities, but there is still a great need for improved population policies. Luckily, the field of research covering the economic and demographic responses to reproductive health interve
As we posted recently, India had its first polio-free year, despite significantly lagging behind in other vaccinations. The economic losses of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD) to developing countries are tremendous: investing in vaccines in low- and middle-income countries would save 6.4 million children until 2020 – an investment valued at $231 billion.
Expectations for a global development focus in President Obama’s State of the Union address were low. Still, more than 130 policy wonks gathered at the Commissary watering hole and eatery in Logan Circle to play CGD State of the Union bingo and many were pleasantly surprised that they could mark off a number of development-related words on their bingo cards.