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CGD Policy Blogs


How Does HIV/AIDS Funding Affect a Country’s Health System?

Recently, the American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene published a paper by Shepard et al. evaluating the impact of HIV/AIDS funding on Rwanda’s health system. The headline of the press release was catchy and assertive: “Six-year Study in Rwanda Finds Influx of HIV/AIDS Funding Does Not Undermine Health Care Services for Other Diseases. Study Addresses Long-standing Debate about Funding Imbalances for Global Diseases.”

MCC Averts House Budget Cuts

Amidst the big cuts in the House State, Foreign Operations mark-up yesterday, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is one of the few agencies whose budget request remains intact.  The House subcommittee voted to keep MCC’s funding at $898.2 million, level with the President’s FY2013 request.

Worried About Teen Births? Read Our Paper

Despite declines in average fertility rates worldwide, an estimated 14 to 16 million children are born to women aged 15 to 19 each year. Over half of women in sub-Saharan Africa give birth before age 20.  As I’ve blogged previously, many of these births take place in the context of early marriage. Approximately half of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married by age 18, while 73% of girls are married by that same age in Bangladesh.

CGD Europe Asks: Who Should Be the EBRD's Next President?

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will appoint its next president in ten days, after months of deliberation. Many in the international development community are pushing for the process to be open, transparent and merit-based--a rallying cry you'll recall from the recent World Bank presidential selection process. On behalf of CGD Europe, We've invited each of the five EBRD presidential candidates to join me for podcast interviews on their vision for the bank's future.

International Affairs Budget Headed for More Trouble and Why That’s Bad for Development

Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that sets spending for international affairs (that’s both diplomacy and development) at levels 14 percent below the request and 5 percent below last year’s appropriations bill.  Today, the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee approved those spending levels. Advocates are worried, but they might want to save the hand-wringing for what could be a disastrous end-of-year scramble.

MCC Terminates Mali Compact

The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) board of directors has terminated Mali’s compact following the late-March military coup. The five-year, $460 million compact will end at least one month earlier than expected. Portions of the Bamako airport and Alatona irrigation projects won’t be finished.  And barring a major turn of events, the investments won’t yield the anticipated returns: two million beneficiaries and an estimated $400 million increase in household income.

Ripost to Rupert

Rupert Scofield has replied to my retort to his review, etc. Clearly neither of us has swayed the other much, but I appreciate the friendliness and honesty, not to mention vividness, of his latest post.

He has conceded to me the argument over what the economic studies say. So his main thesis now is:

Leapfrogging Technology, the Case for Biometrics: Alan Gelb

This show was originally posted on January 11, 2011

In developed countries, official identification systems are a fact of life, providing the foundation for a myriad of transactions including elections, pension payments, and the legal system. Without functional ID systems, citizens of many developing countries miss out on the benefits of official identification. On this week’s Wonkcast, I am joined by CGD senior fellow Alan Gelb who has been researching the potential for new biometric technology, such as computerized finger printing and iris scans, to help poor countries leapfrog the long and complicated process of setting up ID systems.