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Be Mine: S. 332

Roses are red, violets are blue, here’s a climate change bill for you.

On Valentine’s Day, Senators Boxer and Sanders introduced S. 332, the Climate Protection Act of 2013. Senator Sanders also introduced his Sustainable Energy Act. The outlook for the package isn’t exactly rosy. The bills will have a tough time passing the Senate and would be pretty much DOA in the House.

Does the MCC Effect Exist?

“Conditionality” in foreign aid often gets a bad rap, but are there circumstances in which it works?  The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provides large-scale development assistance to selected poor but well-governed countries, chosen primarily based on their performance on a set of publicly available policy indicators (a type of ex ante conditionality).  MCC’s selection system is touted as an incentive for countries to pursue policy reform in order to gain MCC eligibility, a phenomenon nicknamed: the “MCC Effect”.  However, there is limited

What Will Universal Health Coverage Actually Cover?

This week the World Health Organization held a major international meeting on universal health coverage (UHC), with Director General Margaret Chan reaffirming her regard for universal coverage “as the single most powerful concept that public health has to offer.” While the term “universal” signals that the entire population will be “covered,” an unanswered question is: covered with what? Another way to put the question: What health benefits or interventions would represent coverage, taking into account UHC’s implicit goals of improved health, equity and financial protection?

What We’re Looking For in the IOM Report on PEPFAR

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) will soon release its much anticipated report evaluating the implementation of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Conducted at the request of Congress, the forthcoming report should follow up on points raised by a previous IOM report (2007), which provided a “short-term evaluation” of implementation after PEPFAR’s first three years, and which was soon followed by PEPFAR’s Congressional reauthorization in 2008. The new report is expected to broadly assess the cumulative performance of US HIV/AIDS programs, with two main tasks:

“Better Than Average” Is Not Good Enough: Accelerating Child Survival in India

Last week, the Government of India held a star-studded National Summit on child survival, “co-convened”* with USAID and UNICEF. The high-profile meeting featured politicians (the Minister of Health & Family Welfare, the US Ambassador to India), heavy-hitters in global child health (Bob Black, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Mickey Chopra, Geeta Rao Gupta) along with some Indian stars of child health (Vinod Paul, Abhay Bang, Yogesh Jain), and even a Bollywood actress/“child rights activist” Nandana Sen (daughter of Nobel Laureate and Professor Amartya Sen), to name a few.

Spotted: Development in the 2013 SOTU

My (low) expectations for the 2013 State of the Union address were happily exceeded when President Obama delivered an ambitious speech that spanned a myriad of US and foreign policy topics.  Admittedly, most of his remarks on development were cleverly disguised as domestic issues.  But the 100+ wonks gathered at CGD’s annual State of the Union Bingo event weren't fooled, as mentions of climate change, immigration and trade set ink daubers in motion and prompted victorious shouts o

World Bank Study Explores Options on Global Public Goods

Many obstacles to development transcend national borders and therefore cannot be adequately addressed within a single country. These include issues such as drug resistance and other cross-border health risks, financial crises contagion, money laundering, water scarcity, fisheries collapse and, of course, climate change. Economists call efforts to address these problems Global Public Goods (GPGs). Like other public goods, funding for GPGs is chronically in short supply: of $125 billion in annual official development assistance (ODA ) only about $3 billion goes to GPGs.

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