John Norris’ fascinating new book The Enduring Struggle: The History of the US Agency for International Development, provides an authoritative history of US foreign assistance from the end of the Second World War until today. It is packed with anecdotes and quotes from people who were working on projects and working in the halls of Washington (although that many anecdotes and quotes in 300 pages was tough on those of us vainly resisting the transition to bifocals). However it is the book’s conclusion, in particular, that should be required reading for those in Washington who oversee America’s assistance programs.
CGD Policy Blogs
If B3W is to be the better Belt and Road, it will have to embrace the role of government in infrastructure provision and ensure private sector infrastructure projects are designed and run in the public interest. Otherwise, and despite the denials-, low- and middle-income countries would be right to see it as not about them, but just about China.
We look at the challenges that Europe faces with an aging population, and ask if the challenges that Africa faces with a burgeoning working-age population might be a mutually beneficial part of the answer. We think they might, but not under “business as usual” immigration policies. Current forecasts as well as some we make ourselves suggest migration will fill only a small part of Europe’s looming labor shortage, and African migrants will be a comparatively minor component of that migrant flow. That’s a huge lost opportunity for both continents.
The benefits to expanded vaccination programs in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) simply dwarf the cost. Rich countries should be donating more vaccines faster to poorer countries. It is difficult to think of a more urgent global priority and it is surely a best buy in international development.
Government leaders worldwide are trumpeting the need for greater equality in the workplace. That’s the correct thing to do on the grounds of both rights and efficiency, but those leaders might want to start by looking within their own organizations. Today we publish a new policy paper that studies the choices governments have made in their own hiring and compensation decisions.
Recently, my colleague Clemence Landers argued that International Development Association (IDA), the largest source of concessional loans and grant finance for the world’s poorest countries, needs to “go big” in its next replenishment.
The last eighteen months have shattered any pretense that global development can be taken as given. As ‘impatient optimist’ Bill Gates declared “The COVID-19 pandemic has not only stopped progress — it's pushed it backwards.” Beyond health, the COVID-19 crisis increased global poverty as well as national level inequality and cut into education.
The US International Development Finance Corporation has become a Rorschach test for the policy community: when they look at it, everyone sees something different.
There is not enough ODA to cope adequately with existing development challenges, and yet it is now being charged with funding a large share of donor country commitments toward global climate finance. We think it should be doubled.
Their Knowledge, Their Rights: Using Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property to Protect Communities
In the case of traditional knowledge, developing countries tend to be exporters rather than importers. They also tend to favor stronger protection of traditional knowledge through intellectual property laws, a position that distinctly contrasts with their calls for more flexible IP protection standards in general.