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CGD Policy Blogs



An Executive Order That Could Save Children Here and Abroad

Amanda and I wrote before the New Year about the tragic violence against vaccination workers in Pakistan who were doing vital work in the struggle to completely wipe out polio worldwide. Their deaths were linked to allegations that the CIA had used a vaccine campaign as part of intelligence gathering operations in the country.  I’d like to propose a specific policy action by the US government that might marginally reduce the risk of such attacks –and their knock-on effect in terms of more

Trade and Worker Rights in Bangladesh: Forget the Twig and Use the Giant Carrot

Earlier today, the US Trade Representative issued a call for comments on a petition to withdraw, suspend, or reduce Bangladesh’s benefits under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) over its failure to improve labor rights. There is no question that working conditions in Bangladesh’s garment factories are abysmal and that efforts to organize workers to protect themselves are suppressed.

Confirmation Hearing Questions for SECDEF Nominee Hagel

Following President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for Secretary of Defense, preparations for what is sure to be a nasty (but from both sides of the aisle!) confirmation hearing are in full swing.

In addition to budget woes, a pivot to Asia, continued crises in the Middle East, and the unknowns the next few years will bring, the new secretary is also likely to play a role in shaping US development policies and efforts.

Pakistan’s Demographic Challenges

Pakistan is the world sixth largest population, with more than 180 million people today, and is projected to become the fifth largest population by 2050 (UN Medium variant projection).  The demographic evolution of Pakistan – as well as of some other “big” countries such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) – will have far-reaching repercussions on the world’s total population.  However, future population trends in Pakistan will have also a huge impact on the geopolitical balance of

Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone? – Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz

This Wonkcast was originally recorded in May, 2012 Since the 2010 earthquake, $6 billion has been disbursed in official aid to help the people of Haiti. Nearly all of it has gone to intermediaries such as international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors. Yet there has been a surprising lack of reporting on how the money has been spent. CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran and research assistant Julie Walz try to follow the money in a new CGD policy paper: “Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?” They joined me on this week’s Wonkcast to explain their findings.

Behavioral Economics and Development - Saugato Datta

SaugatoEconomists, development and otherwise, often assume that people given the right information will make informed decisions in their own best interest. Not! Just like the rest of us, the poor people targeted by development programs sometimes lack self-control and fail to take actions that would benefit them in the long run, even when they understand the potential benefits.