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CGD Policy Blogs

 

Aligning the Researcher’s Toolkit with the Policymaker’s Priorities: A Menu of Strategies for Faster, Lower-Cost Impact Evaluations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage and public funding is increasingly scarce, the need for high-quality, timely evidence on the effectiveness of public programs has never been clearer. In this blog, we share a top-line summary of the methodological and data advances alongside recommendations for how to harness their potential to move the field forward. And on September 29, we’ll host Isaksson and other speakers for a CGD seminar to discuss the paper and related topics in more detail—we hope you’ll join us.

How More and Better Funding Can Unlock the Potential of Evidence-to-Policy Partnerships

Today, we are excited to launch a background paper by our colleague Abeba Taddese that explores how these partnerships work, barriers that hinder progress, and ideas for what funders can do to help advance partnership models (alongside a complementary piece focused on rapid rigorous evaluations). The paper, based primarily on desk research supplemented with expert interviews, is not meant to be an exhaustive review of all partnership models, but to examine illustrative examples and draw out insights that could be useful for rethinking how development funders channel support going forward.  

Taking Stock of Aid Agency Evaluations in Global Health: Here’s What We Know about Evaluation Quality and What Funders Can Do Better

With the US Congress considering cuts to foreign assistance and aid budgets in other donor countries coming under increased pressure, evidence about what works in global development is more important than ever. Evidence should inform decisions on where to allocate scarce resources—but to do so, evaluations must be of good quality. 

The Humanitarian-Development Divide: Addressing the "New Normal" of Protracted Displacement

For refugees and internally displaced people, business-as-usual is no longer working. The “new normal” of displacement means that development and humanitarian actors urgently need to adapt their approach. That's the impetus for a new CGD study group, convened in collaboration with the International Rescue Committee and co-chaired by Cindy Huang and Nazanin Ash.

Escaping the Scandal Cycle: Three Ways to Improve Funder Response

Health aid pays for life-saving medicines, products, and services in the poorest countries in the world. Funding for such uses needs to be smooth and uninterrupted. But when fraud is detected, funds are subject to sudden stops and starts—the result of a sequence of events set off by the scandal cycle in health aid. We examine this idea in a new CGD policy paper.

Six Recommendations to Strengthen Feed the Future

Ethiopia is facing one of the worst droughts in decades, a painful reminder that food security challenges remain despite low food prices globally. Feed the Future—the Obama Administration’s global food security initiative—has been supporting Ethiopia and 18 other focus countries with projects that aim to boost farmer productivity and improve nutrition. How has the initiative performed in its first five years?

A Social Impact Bond without the Impact? Critics Question Success of Early Childhood Development Program

The most essential feature of a social impact bond (SIB) is measuring impact. But what happens if the impact metric is questioned or unclear? A recent dispute over measuring the impact of a SIB for early childhood development in Utah yields two important practical lessons for this innovative financing tool. First, SIB implementers should be careful not to exaggerate the precision of their success indicators. Second, they need to be clear to everyone about which objectives they are pursuing.

2015 Feed the Future Progress Report Leaves Food for Thought

Launched in response to the 2007-2008 global food price crisis, Feed the Future is the Administration’s flagship initiative for addressing global hunger, food security, and agricultural livelihoods. Along with Power Africa, the Initiative looks to be a key component of President Obama’s development legacy. This latest report provides a glimpse into what this $1 billion a year effort has achieved over the last five years. Even with this new report in hand, there are still more questions than answers.