Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs

 

needle on measuring device

Do Indices Move the Needle on Gender Equality?

The broad scope of the Sustainable Development Goals acknowledges that human development is multifaceted and that gender equality is crosscutting.

In the drive to measure these concepts and gauge progress, there has been a proliferation of indices in recent years. The allure of indices is twofold: they reduce complex concepts and multiple indicators into one number, and this number can be used to rank countries and, so the theory goes, drive change. In one fell swoop then, indices seem to bring simplicity, order, and transformative potential.

Martin Chrisney at conference

Financing the SDGs with Martin Chrisney – CGD Podcast

Martin Chrisney, Director of the International Development Assistance Services Institute at KPMG, on why private sector investment is critical to financing the SDGs, how development finance institutions can “blend” together public and private finance, and what governments can do to kickstart economic growth.

 
China and US flags

The Problem with Competing for the Allegiance of Poor Countries

In warning APEC leaders last week of China’s “constricting belt” and “one-way road,” Vice President Mike Pence provided the clearest signal yet that the US approach to foreign assistance will be shaped, if not determined, by competition with China. In the context of the administration’s trade war with China, this may not come as much of a surprise. But when it comes to the conduct of foreign assistance, it marks a striking turn away from the bipartisan approach to aid since the end of the Cold War—an approach defined around cooperation and one aimed at curbing the bad practices that arise when donors compete for the allegiance of aid recipients.

A chart of aid quantity (ODA/GNI) vs. aid quality score

How Do You Measure Aid Quality and Who Ranks Highest?

Donors have lost their focus on aid effectiveness in the last decade, limiting aid’s impact. Aid effectiveness still matters enormously to the world’s poor; donors should revisit effective aid principles and agree measures which take better account of today’s challenges and context.

Chart of unemployment rates by nationality in Sweden -- showing higher rates for foreign nationalities than Swedes.

Policies, Outcomes, and Populism: The Integration of Migrants in Sweden

Sweden doesn’t seem to be immune to the Europe-wide trend of hostility to migration, as a significant 17.5 percent of the vote went to the Sweden Democrats, a populist, anti-immigration party. This is even more surprising given Sweden’s reputation for openness and successful integration, a perception supported by data; the country tops both this year’s Commitment to Development Index (CDI) and its migration component. So is the CDI wrong?

Abstract graphic of different connections and nodes

Development Agencies: Fit for the Future?

Official bilateral and multilateral development agencies are under strain from opposing forces: on the one hand, they are confronted with a world in which the development challenges are interconnected and daunting, and the risks are systemic and increasing; on the other, they are grappling with a world in which ardent nationalism, protectionism, and populism are rising, and rules-based multilateralism is declining.

A hand reaching for medicine on a pharmacy shelf

Are Other Countries to Blame for High US Drug Prices?

Back in February, the US Council of Economic Advisers issued a white paper on drug pricing implying that other rich countries should stop “free riding” off American innovation by negotiating drug prices to unfairly low levels after the US fronts the research and development costs. Perhaps in response, President Trump recently announced a proposal to bring down US drug prices. But until the US corrects the structural flaws in its own healthcare system, these efforts are bound to fall short.

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