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CGD Policy Blogs



Corruption and Development -- William Savedoff

Pogo famously said: “We have met the enemy and he is us.” That thought underpins my conversation with CGD senior fellow Bill Savedoff on corruption and development. Bill joined me last week after hosting a roundtable discussion with two anti-corruption experts who have recently published books on the issue, Frank Vogl, author of Waging War on Corruption and Laurence Cockcroft, author of Global Corruption Money, Power, and Ethics in the Modern World. In our conversation, Bill draws on the key ideas in these two books to unpack the various ways of thinking about—and addressing—corruption in development. We also discuss three emerging areas of CGD work on the issue, each of which focuses on the policies and practices of the rich and powerful—in global terms, us.

On My Wish List for the Next Administration: A US Africa Policy Worthy of Africa

Precisely as Africa is rising on the radar screens of investors and security types, it seems to be falling off the US foreign policy map. With the exception of Governor Romney’s mention of Mali (twice!) in the third debate, Africa hardly featured at all. That’s a shame, since Africa is both a growing opportunity and will become a greater threat if neglected. I’ve been deeply disappointed to see the United States reduce its engagement with the continent under the current administration, losing ground on the progress made under Presidents Clinton and Bush. Regardless of who wins on November 6, the scope for doing better—and more without more money—is obvious.

The following originally appeared on October 1 as “Missing in Africa” on

Why Development Impact Bonds?

Development Impact Bonds come at a price: private investors provide upfront funding for social interventions and expect a return, including some compensation for the risk they are taking, if outcomes are delivered.  Is that price worth paying?  The second meeting of the CGD and Social Finance Development Impact Bonds Working Group recently considered this question in some detail.

It’s Not About the Grade: MCC’s First Five Impact Evaluations

It’s not about the grade, it’s about the learning say Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) officials as they prepare to release the US government’s first five* independent development impact evaluations tomorrow. Results will be mixed. They should be. But if the MCC and other development policymakers pay attention to what the impact evaluations tell them—and the MCC keeps its commitment to independent, rigorous evaluation across the rest of its programs—it will be really good news.

Opening Up Microdata Access in Africa

In this post, Gabriel Demombynes, Senior Economist in the Nairobi office of the World Bank, describes some of the issues raised at the Center for Global Development and the African Population & Health Research Center’s first meeting of the Data for African Development Working Group meeting last month. This blog was originally posted to the World Bank’s Development Impact Blog on October 1, 2012.

by Gabriel Demombynes

Recently I attended the inaugural meeting of the Data for African Development Working Group put together by the Center for Global Development and the African Population & Health Research Center here in Nairobi. The group aims to improve data for policymaking on the continent and in particular to overcome “political economy” problems in data collection and dissemination.