Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs


From March Madness to April Anxiety: The WTO Leadership Contest Heats Up

The madness of the US NCAA basketball championship  is in full swing and getting lots of attention in Washinton, but a globally more significant competition is entering the final stages in Geneva. Just as 68 US college basketball teams were winnowed to a sweet sixteen, and soon to an elite eight, and so on, nine candidates for director-general (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) will soon be trimmed to a fab five, then a dynamic duo, and, by May 31, a champion to lead the world trade system.

Sizing Up China's Role in Global Health Aid to Africa

At a panel session during the 4th Conference of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) held in Washington, DC, a group of distinguished speakers and leaders on health in China – from the China Medical Board, top universities and the Ministry of Health – were tasked with discussing and elaborating on China's role in global health. The speakers briefly discussed China's history in international health activities (their first deployment of medical teams to Africa dates back to 1963!), different kinds of partnerships in global health - particularly among universities, and examples of current and upcoming initiatives. In sum, the panel suggested a promising future for China’s role in global health.

TB Trade-Offs


This is a joint post with Kate McQueston.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported on a case of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) found in a man who had traveled through 13 countries, and was stopped when attempting to enter the United States. This story – and others like it – make the headlines because both XDR-TB and multiple drug-resistant (MDR) TB are highly contagious and resistant to most treatment, leaving very limited (and often very toxic) options to patients who develop the disease. 

Interview with WTO Candidate Roberto Azevedo

My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Roberto Azevedo, the permanent representative of Brazil at the World Trade Organization (WTO) and one of nine candidates to be the next Director General (DG) of the WTO. Ambassador Azevedo has spent more than 15 years involved with the WTO and tells me his deep experience qualifies him to lead it into the future.

Not Your Father's USAID

This is a joint post with Sarah Rose.

It's not your father's USAID. That's the big message in USAID's first progress report on how the agency, under Administrator Rajiv Shah's leadership, is trying to be smarter about where and how it delivers aid around the world. There's a lot to like in the report: better evaluation, more developing-country partners, mobile technology and an end to some programs. This is all good news for revamping USAID, but our enthusiasm is tempered by the constraints USAID can’t fix alone. 

Render unto Caesar

An obscure reference to reforming the taxation of multinationals in the UK budget speech might be more important for developing countries than the big increase in aid that was announced at the same time. Mandatory ‘combined reporting’ by multinationals could enable countries to tax multinationals properly.

Check Our New Togs!

After months of planning and preparation, we at CGD launched a newly revamped website yesterday. I’m feeling pretty pleased and hope that you and other friends and followers of CGD will like it, too. Merriam-Webster defines “togs” as:

a set of clothes and accessories for a specified use <riding togs>

I think new togs is fitting term for our freshly revamped website because we are offering much more than a fresh coat of paint.