Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, data on the US Foreign Assistance Dashboard? Yes, the one-stop-shop for US foreign assistance budget data is on my list of favorite aid things, and our Rethinking US Foreign Assistance team has a new US Foreign Assistance Dashboard Tracker (link) to encourage each of the twenty-some different US government agencies and departments to report their data, and applaud them when they do.
CGD Policy Blogs
The UN Secretary-General’s High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda has delivered its report, setting out an overarching aim of the eradication of extreme poverty by 2030, and a proposed set of goals, targets and indicators to get there. Overall, the report looks like it will provide a valuable stepping stone to an eventual framework.
Is Congress about to let the Generalized System of Preferences program expire again? The program, under which the United States offers preferential market access to developing countries, is authorized only through the end of July. The program is not ideal—it excludes important products, such as footwear, clothing, and other labor-intensive goods where developing countries have a comparative advantage. But GSP still provides an important boost to countries that want to use trade as a development tool by encouraging investment and job creation in developing countries.
Is it possible to alter national governments and global institutions so that decision makers can focus on the vitally important longer term challenges, while still dealing with the urgent considerations which crowd their daily agenda? That’s the important and difficult question set before the The Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations. My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and the driving force behind the commission.
This is a joint post with Owen Barder.
International tax has continued to rise up the political agenda, and the crucial UK-hosted G-8 meeting is now approaching. We’ve updated our draft declaration that we would like to see from that summit, to reflect discussions that have taken place since then, and many valuable comments from a wide range of contributors.
The Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative Global Meeting is underway in Sydney. Today, EITI Chair Clare Short leads a panel discussion of a fundamental strategy review for the organization. This a pivotal moment for EITI to take steps to create a level playing field for natural resource investors around the world, so that some outliers from China, Russia, India and elsewhere cannot operate according to different standards of transparency than their rivals.
The Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development held a hearing on “Different Perspectives on International Development Assistance” on Wednesday with CGD’s own Todd Moss testifying about why US development assistance matters, but also it can be improved—from limiting the number of agencies involved, to linking the budget process to goals and results while promoting innovation, to improving US development finance capabilities.
This is a joint post with Will McKitterick.
The US Foreign Assistance Dashboard has a habit of quietly releasing good news just before Washingtonians leave for long holiday weekends. It added Millennium Challenge Corporation data two days before Thanksgiving in 2011. State and USAID announced aid data standards and a reporting schedule the Thursday before the 2012 Christmas holiday. And lest you miss it before skipping town for this Memorial Day weekend holiday, the Foreign Assistance Dashboard has new data from the departments of Defense and Treasury.
This post originally appeared as a letter to the editor of Financial Times.