Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs



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.

Saving Lives by Visualizing Deaths

My recent wonky indulgence has been exploring the visualization tool of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD), which produces stunning graphs that display a snapshot of our planet’s disease burden across 5-year intervals from 1990 to 2010. The global and regional results of the study were launched in December 2012 in a special issue of The Lancet, and there are several country-specific papers expected this year.

African Economists Care About Jobs; Non-Africans Care About Institutions?

There's a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about Westerners' perceptions of Africa, and how poorly they align with Africans' own views of the challenges their societies face.

This week I'm in Oxford, for the annual conference on "Economic Development in Africa" at the Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) .  The CSAE conference is unique among top-tier development econ conferences in that it brings together a huge number of scholars based in African universities and research institutes  -- as well as people like me, non-Africans working on the economics of Africa.

Britain Joins the G-0.7

The budget presented today by Britain's ruling coalition confirmed that the UK will meet the 0.7% target on foreign assistance in 2013. This means that Britain will join Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg and Denmark as a member of the small club of countries which meet the UN target - first agreed in 1970 - of spending 0.7% of Gross National Income (GNI) on Official Development Assistance (ODA).