Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

Ranking Aid Donors, Revisited: Perhaps Big, Old Donors Are Better Than We Thought

The research organization Aid Data has been getting a lot of attention in the aid world of late with its survey of recipient country policymakers and practitioners and their views of the utility, influence and helpfulness during reform of various aid agencies. Suggests the press release: “According to nearly 6,750 policymakers and practitioners, the development partners that have the most influence on policy priorities in their low-income and middle-income countries are not large Western donors like the United States or UK. Instead it is large multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the GAVI Alliance, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria." That conclusion is based on average worldwide agency scores from the survey.

My Holiday Giving Guide

For the reader in a hurry, this gift-giving guide comes in two parts: one for those with $45 billion to spend and one for those of slightly more modest means. Please feel free to skip to the part which is more applicable to your budget for presents.

My Hopes for the President’s Speech at the United Nations

Next week, President Obama will head up to New York to deliver two speeches to the General Assembly. One will be the "standard" once-yearly address at the opening of the new Assembly Session. The second will focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a fifteen year vision of development progress from ending extreme poverty to halting biodiversity loss that will be adopted by the largest ever gathering of world leaders.

In Health Spending, Middle-Income Countries Face a Priorities Ditch, Not a Financing Ditch – But That Still Merits Aid

After a successful replenishment earlier this year, the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is thinking through how to maximize the impact of the money it has raised. One hot issue is graduation from Gavi support. Currently, the Alliance uses an income cutoff loosely based on eligibility for IDA — soft loans from the World Bank. 

0.7 Percent Is Stupid

I’ve been sitting in lots of meetings and covering paper with lots of ink recently about the Sustainable Development Goals and Financing for Development.  And when the topic of aid comes up I nod sagaciously along with others in the room when someone says “well, of course, there won’t be any more aid coming out of the Addis financing conference, it is all about redistributing the pot.” Sometimes I’m the one to write or say it, then have a brief chat about that redistribution before switching to other topics like private finance or trade.

Wiping Out Poverty with a New (Old) Aid Strategy

Imagine you are an aid agency with a new mission, set at the highest level: end world poverty. Two come to mind. How are you to achieve such a noble but audacious goal? 

The first thing you’d want to do is define the target: what is meant by ‘poverty’? Perhaps you’d suggest that it was living on a little more than a dollar a day, or watching your children dying from preventable illness.  Perhaps it is some combination of limited absolute or relative consumption –living on less than $1.25 a day or in the bottom 40 percent of the income distribution, as it might be.  Or maybe you’d go further and suggest that poverty was multifaceted, and only a range of indicators (perhaps as many as 169) could really capture what it was to be satiated or deprived.

From Noble Intentions to Nobel-Worthy Results

The budget that the President submitted to Congress this week included an 8 percent increase in the international affairs account, including a commendable increase for the Millennium Challenge Corporation. But what we haven’t seen from this administration yet is a concrete proposal for how America can deliver on enlightened self-interest by helping to dramatically accelerate progress among the five billion people worldwide who live on less than $10 a day—well below the US poverty line.