Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

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In Defense of Aid to the Afghan Government

When US troops leave Afghanistan, will US aid dollars be withdrawn as well?  The Obama administration says no.  But House Republicans are beginning to push back, bolstered by damning testimony from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the watchdog tasked with overseeing US aid to Afghanistan, arguing that American aid is being wasted on a corrupt regime.

Ending Global Poverty: Can Obama Bend It Like Bono?

What do Obama and Bono have in common?

Both have proposed that the world should seek to end extreme poverty over the next twenty years or so.

Obama said so in his annual state of the union address (here) and this week Bono said the same (to be posted here by TED soon) in an interesting and nuanced TED talk in Los Angeles.

Three Reasons Why Electricity Should Be President Obama’s Legacy in Africa

A month after the inauguration, it’s not too early for the White House to start thinking about legacies. President Obama will surely want some signature development achievement that will outlive his Administration and help, in the public mind, to solidify the connections between Africa and the American people. To be worthy of a US President, and especially one with a family connection to the continent, it has to be something great. Bill Clinton has AGOA. George W.

Institute of Medicine Pushes PEPFAR on Data Collection, Disclosure

The Institute of Medicine, the prestigious health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, has weighed in with a massive report on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the multibillion dollar US effort to confront the epidemic in the developing world. The evaluation validates PEPFAR’s enormous reach during its first 10 years and identifies concrete actions that Congress and PEPFAR should take for the program to become more sustainable moving forward.

Interview with WTO Candidate Anabel Gonzalez

My guest Anabel Gonzalez, Costa Rica’s minister of trade and a candidate to be the next head of the World Trade Organization (WTO), is a staunch believer in two powers: that of trade to uplift nations and that of the WTO to help navigate the process.

The ALMOST Feedback Loop

Mike is in a hurry to get home from work – eager to see his family and put his feet up after a long shift.

It’s 5pm on a chilly winter day in Detroit and he’s waiting for his bus to come. Thanks to TextMyBus.com and the Detroit Department of Transportation, he is able to use his cell phone to discover that the next bus is due in just 10 minutes. A few minutes go by and he heads outside right before it’s scheduled to stop. But after 10 minutes, no bus. After 30 minutes, his bus finally shows, but spending an extra 20 minutes in below freezing weather and snow means that Mike gets a nasty cold and misses a few days of work.

In my recent blog post, "Make a Consumer Reports for Aid," I detailed four questions that are important to answer in the quest for fully realizing the benefits of feedback loops. In this post, we focus on framing question #4:

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