Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

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Post 2015: Pruning the Spruce

Harping on about holiday decorations before the Thanksgiving Turkey is even stuffed should be the preserve of Macy’s design teams and tinsel factories.  But a recent event at CGD had me thinking about Christmas trees.

CGD’s Understanding India Initiative Launches in New Delhi

The audience in New Delhi, India clung to their seats well past the scheduled end of the program at the recent launch of CGD’s Understanding India Initiative. India’s minister for rural development (and former minister for the environment) Jairam Ramesh, presided over the event, which was organized and hosted by Pratap Mehta (president of the Center for Policy Research and non-resident CGD fellow CGD). Among participants was Nandan Nilekani, head of the Unique Identification Authority of India (who we look forward to welcoming to Washington when he delivers the 2013 Sabot Lecture); prominent academics, and the India-based representatives of foreign development assistance institutions.

Better Drug Use, Greater Efficiency

As governments across the world expand population access to health care, they are feeling the pressure of rising costs. According to the IMF, emerging economies will spend an additional 1.5 percentage points of GDP on health care over the next 20 years, most of which will come from excess cost growth – defined as health care cost growth related to new medical technologies and income growth, rather than aging.

Tobacco Taxes: A Win-Win for the Asia Pacific Region

While smoking is on the decline in Europe, the US, and other parts of the developed world, low- and middle-income countries are facing opposite trends in consumption. Currently 80% of all deaths attributable to tobacco occur in low- and middle income countries. Asia in particular faces high prevalence rates of tobacco use—the Western Pacific region accounts for 48% of world cigarette consumption. Part of the significant consumption can be attributed to the increasing affordability of tobacco products. Between 2000 and 2010 the relative income price of cigarettes decreased by 34% in South-East Asia and 18% in the West Pacific. See the fourth edition of the World Tobacco Atlas (2012) for more information.

Improving PEPFAR’s Data Management and Disclosure

The US government spends about $6.4 billion a year on preventing and treating HIV/AIDS in the developing world, and 4.5 million AIDS patients depend mostly on US generosity each day for the AIDS medicines that keep them alive.

Lucky 113? Committee Shake-ups & Development in the New Congress

The 113th congress will be sworn in on January 3, and – thanks to term limit rules, and a number of election losses and retirements – several important committees will see major shake-ups in leadership.  In the Senate, most committees will have new ranking members, and in the House seven panels, including Ap­propriations and Foreign Affairs, will get new chairmen.

Pakistan’s “Pocket of Productivity”: Empowerment through Identification

This is a joint post with Julia Clark.

Pakistan’s ahead of the pack.

Why? It’s National Database and Registration Authority—NADRA, the agency in charge of national identification—recently announced that it will begin issuing identity cards to orphans with unknown parentage; those without birth certificates or other documentation. This move effectively ensures citizenship rights for children who would otherwise have been excluded under regulations that require proof of nationality and parental lineage to obtain an ID card.

Forget Waiting: Three Foreign Aid Tasks for Three Months

President Barack Obama's re-election gives him four more years to carry out his US global development policy vision. While no one expects the lame duck session to produce mighty development policy, my colleagues and I have a few ideas explained in short videos that could  help President Obama and his development team get a running start on his second term.

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