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Top 10 Rethinking US Foreign Assistance Blogs in 2012

What were the most popular Rethinking US Foreign Assistance blog posts in 2012? White House development initiatives get a lot of attention. Major evaluation and learning efforts do too (think: MCC). Budget battles and the more troubling aid stories in aid get a lot of interest, too.

Take a look at our top 10 list below. We look forward to bringing you more analysis and commentary from our CGD experts in 2013. Leave a comment and tell us what you’d like to see more (or less of) in 2013.

Berman’s Parting Gift: A Foreign Assistance Act Rewrite

Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced a 923-page rewrite of the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act last week. He first vowed to rewrite the bill in 2008 when he was chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Unfortunately, Berman has only days left in Congress and the bill won’t go anywhere before he leaves. Still, the draft captures years of thinking about the United States’ legislative approach to foreign assistance and offers a possible blueprint for co-sponsor Gerry Connolly (D-VA) or others to carry forward.

Ich bin ein Über-Geek

One popular statistical software package in academia is Stata. CGD has always used it, and thus so have I. As my colleague Mead Over pointed out, Stata's business model is an interesting mix of private and public goods provision. The private corporation profits by cultivating a public free-software community on top of its core product. Stata sells you the main program, which includes commands to perform all sorts of analyses.

Top 10 Posts of 2012 from CGD’s Global Health Policy Blog

It’s that magical time of the year when we bring you the top 10 most read entries on the CGD Global Health Policy Blog.  Together, these top posts had a total almost 20,000 unique page views. This year the blog asked for your feedback on evaluating the quality of health aid, addressed the debate over entities like the GHI and AMFm, and discussed everything from cash transfers to priority-setting.

Corruption and Development -- William Savedoff

This Wonkcast was originally recorded in October, 2012.

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.

The Office of Global Health Diplomacy: A Christmas Miracle or Lump of Coal?

Ambassador Eric Goosby has been selected to head the US Department of State’s new Office of Global Health Diplomacy, officially turning the page in the ongoing saga of the program formally known as the Global Health Initiative (GHI).  Goosby’s appointment will be on top of his role as US global AIDS coordinator, through which he oversees the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and former Ambassador Leslie Rowe will be in charge of the office’s daily operations.  But while the long-awaited announcement said the new office will provide “diplomatic support in implementing the Global Health Initiative’s principles and goals,” it stirred many of the same questions and concerns that arose from the GHI death notice and left me wondering: is this news a Christmas miracle or a lump of coal for US global health programs?

What's Hot & What's Not for 2013

With 2012 coming to a close, it’s time again for a little light-hearted reflection on what’s hot and what’s not for global development and the wider world in the year ahead. We at CGD put our heads together and came up with the following list. Got better ideas? Add your suggestions in the comments section below!