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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.

The State Department/USAID 2015 QDDR: We Already Do That

Are our foreign affairs agencies prepared to mitigate threats to global security and advance US interests?  That’s the central question the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) must answer.  And although the report is filled (literally, filled) with ideas for small improvements, there’s little in it that (a) identifies the reasons State and USAID are falling demonstrably short of the admirable ambitions outlined in the report, and (b) offers real, and sufficiently grand, solutions for addressing them. 

MCC’s CEO Shines a Light on the Way Forward for MCC

Our celebration of MCC’s tenth birthday continued last week with a thought-provoking open conversation with MCC CEO Dana J. Hyde. The well-attended public event, co-hosted by CGD and the Brookings Institute, was a fantastic opportunity to hear, from MCC’s own leadership, a reflection on the agency’s first ten years and a vision for the agency’s future. (If you missed it, you can watch it here.)

Time for US to Ramp Up Efforts on Domestic Resource Mobilization

At the World Bank and IMF’s Spring Meetings last week there was much discussion around 0.7 — that decades-old target whereby donors should provide aid equal to 0.7% of their GDP. But there’s a much more current and strategic conversation happening around 0.07% — the amount of assistance donors provide to improve domestic resource mobilization in developing countries. This rounding error goes toward high-impact efforts like improving revenue collection and customs capacity in developing countries.

Strange Football: Education Programs Rarely Keep Score

“Is learning the only result worth financing in education?” That was the question posed to me at a recent World Bank debate about results-based financing in education. The question is germane because the World Bank has a large program of results-based financing in health and a new modality of Program for Results lending operations, and it is negotiating a new trust fund for performance programs in education. 

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