In early 2006, CGD convened a working group–led by Ruth Levine- to address a pervasive problem in global health: poor forecasting of expected demand for key products. Long-term strategic demand forecasts are needed in order for manufacturers to make capacity investments, make more accurate long term plans for manufacturing and distribution, and for donors to conduct better multi-year program planning. Medium-term demand forecasts are equally essential. When such forecasts are off, manufacturers have to dispose of unsold drugs; donors and ministries of health may face uncertain prices and availability of essential products; and –most importantly- communities and individuals can face the terrible prospect of shortages, incomplete treatments and the emergence of drug resistance. The Wall Street Journal’s recent coverage of shortages of pediatric tuberculosis (TB) treatments demonstrates the weaknesses –or perhaps absence- of adequate demand forecasting in India’s anti-TB programs.
CGD Policy Blogs
The Royce-Engel amendment to reform US food aid failed 203-220 in the House this week, as did the farm bill to which it was attached. The food aid amendment would have relaxed requirements that the United States buy American commodities and ship them on US ships. It's painful to see a smart foreign aid reform that would save lives and taxpayer money suffer a narrow defeat.
For good or ill, high profile visits by the President of the United States always come with some major new announcements, AKA “deliverables”.
If you’re in Washington today, you know it’s cloudy outside. But did you know there was an MCC board meeting, too? Probably not if, like me, you look to the Federal Register to confirm if and when the board plans to meet and what’s on the agenda.
I had the great honor to testify today on US responses to Zimbabwe’s election crisis in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs. Kudos to Chairman Chris Coons (D-DE) and Ranking Member Jeff Flake (R-AZ) for bringing attention to a country that is facing a watershed moment, yet few others in Washington seem to be paying much mind.
The agenda for action to tackle illicit financial flows has passed an important threshold. While the G-8 meeting which concluded today did not agree everything that had been hoped, there was tangible progress in two out of the three main areas.
The UK Ministry of Justice has released interim results for the Peterborough Prison Social Impact Bond: reconviction of former prisoners in the pilot has been reduced by 6% over two years, compared to a national increase of 16% over the same period.
There are many, many problems with the House farm bill being debated this week but there are two amendments that would make significant improvements. The first (#55 in this list) is a version of the Royce-Bass Food Aid Reform Act that would provide authorization to untie up to 45 percent of the emergency food aid budget and allow the US Agency for International Development to provide assistance in whatever form—food purchased in the US or locally, vouchers, or cash transfers—would help the most people the quickest.
This is a joint post with Stephanie Majerowicz.
When we share the Oil-to-Cash idea with people who are hearing about it for the very first time, the typical response is almost always viscerally negative. (If you aren’t familiar with Oil-to-Cash, here’s the web page and a 4-min jellybeans video.) They usually say “That won’t work because of X” or “Sure, that works in Alaska, but my country Y is very different” or “No, the money would be much better spent on Z”. Often, by the second or third time we talk with people about citizen dividends, however, they start to come around. In a few cases, we’ve even had former skeptics pitching us ideas of how it could work better.
As Zimbabwe heads into elections late this summer (spoiler alert: Mugabe will “win”), the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs is holding a hearing titled Examining Prospects for Democratic Reform and Economic Recovery in Zimbabwe, Tuesday June 18 at 10 am.
CGD’s Todd Moss, along with Dewa Mahvinga from Human Rights Watch and Mark Schneider from International Crisis Group are testifying, as are Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Yamamoto and Assistant Administrator for Africa of USAID Earl Gast on the government panel.