Something surprising happened this week after my colleagues Vijaya Ramachandran and Owen Barder posted a call for donors providing help in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a Yolanda) to rapidly post data on their plans and actions. Their post, Let’s Not Help the Philippines Like We Helped Haiti, which argued for helping the Philippines better through aid transparency, went viral overnight as thousands of Filipinos around the world visited the page and “liked” it on Facebook.
CGD Policy Blogs
Lant Pritchett lambasts the donor focus on eliminating extreme poverty because getting the income of poor people to the $1.25/day threshold is a pathetic definition of success. A decade ago Lant had proposed $15/day as more sensible minimum for human wellbeing. Today, he worries that setting our sights too low prevents us from meeting the real goal of development—to build modern, prosperous societies.
Yesterday, Foreign Policy’s The Cable came out with an article warning that—with the upcoming board meeting to determine which countries will be eligible for MCC funding for FY14—MCC is essentially on the verge of pouring money into the hands of corrupt regimes.
Last month, I was on my way to speak at an IDB sponsored conference on evaluation. Getting on the shuttle to DC I bumped into a friend of mine who is the head of a technology related company. On the plane I was telling him I was on my way to talk about the fad of doing RCTs in my field of development. He told me he had a great slide from the tech consulting company Gartner about the “Hype Cycle” in tech industries. As you see, this wonderful graphic shows a typical cycle of a tech idea or tech
Many people cite corruption as the biggest obstacle to development, but corruption has many faces. Viewed primarily as a poor country problem, corruption can be the basis for arguing against aid, on the grounds that it will be stolen or wasted. Seeing the global nature of corruption in practice, however, reveals the responsibility of aid donors and other rich countries to address their own culpability. Turns out that rich country financial secrecy can facilitate illicit transfers and even make possible grand corruption, to the tune of billions of dollars.
This is a joint post with Christian Meyer.
As government workers and international humanitarian aid agencies scramble to respond to super-typhoon Haiyan, the devastation in the Philippines serves as a reminder about the disproportionately high costs of disasters—natural and man-made—for poor people in poor countries.
International labor mobility holds some of the biggest opportunities to extend economic opportunity to more people. A small group of economists and other social scientists is working to understand those opportunities better. They have coalesced around an annual but still-young research conference, the Migration and Development Conference—and I’m delighted to say that CGD is involved.