Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs


It’s Halftime at the Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria recently announced an ambitious goal of raising $15 billion in its fourth replenishment later this year, of which they hope the United States will contribute one-third ($5 billion, or $1.65 billion a year for three years).  So I was interested to see these two sentences tucked into the White House’s 2014 budget request: 

Budget Bonanza: What You Need to Know on Foreign Aid, Food Aid, and the IMF


Statutory deadlines and sequester disarray aside, we at last have President Obama's FY2014 budget request. It's not the grand vision that most budget requests are—instead, it's being touted (or derided) as a budget of compromise, particularly on the domestic front. Unlike a normal budget process, we already have the House and Senate budget resolutions, so this is broadly more about a longer-term fiscal agreement than about influencing specific FY14 funding numbers. 

Illicit Financial Flows and the Three Ts of the G-8 Agenda – Alex Cobham

The day before we recorded this Wonkcast news broke of an agreement between the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain to pilot “multilateral automatic tax information exchange.” My guest, research fellow Alex Cobham, explains why this is so important, why financial secrecy and international tax law seem suddenly to be at the top of the global economic policy agenda—and why this could be especially good news for developing countries.

A Scalpel, Not an Ax, for President’s FY14 Foreign Aid Budget

President Obama's total FY2014 international affairs budget request--$52 billion--looks a lot like what was left for international affairs in FY2013 after sequestration. But the administration uses a scalpel, not an ax, to get there in FY2014. The FY2014 budget, if approved, shifts significant resources away from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and concentrates spending on food security, global health and multilateral investments. And the big news, of course, is an overhaul of US food aid.

I see three signs the president’s scalpel is guided by his 2010 Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development (PPD) (and I owe a huge debt to the always-stellar USGLC budget analysis from Larry Nowels and others):

The Next WTO Director-General Will Be from the Asia-Pacific Region or Latin America

So the initial round of results are in and there were some surprises. Early this month, odds makers in the United Kingdom and Ireland had Mr. Kyerematen, from Ghana, and Ms. Gonzalez, from Costa Rica, as the favorites to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, but both are out after the first round of consultations. The next round of consultations will begin next week, and the final two should be announced by the end of the month.

Interview with WTO Candidate Amina Mohamed

My guest on this Wonkcast is Amina Mohamed, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and one of the nine candidates to become the next director general (DG) of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The ‘End of Tax Havens’ – But Will Developing Countries Benefit?

News broke on April 9th of agreement between the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain to pilot “multilateral automatic tax information exchange.” In France, President Hollande went further – announcing a draft law aimed at ‘moralising’ French public life, as former budget minister Jerome Cahuzac was expelled from the governing party for repeatedly denying the existence of his Swiss bank account.