Changing organizational culture to embrace evidence and its use in decision-making is a long, hard slog. Over the last decade, USAID has made progress in that journey and—in many ways—has outperformed many federal agencies on fulfilling certain evidence requirements. But room for improvement remains.
CGD Policy Blogs
There are a plausible set of circumstances under which the UK’s status as a serious bilateral donor would be under existential threat. They would take the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) from having slightly more than £8 billion in 2019 over which it has full flexibility to spend bilaterally on its priorities in the most effective manner it can, to having just about £2 billion next year. This would amount to a complete gutting of the UK’s status as a major bilateral development presence, essentially depriving its new Secretary of State of one its most potent weapons almost immediately after she assumes the brief.
There was some good this week, too, though – most notably the ten-year anniversary of Michael Clemens’s seminal Journal of Economic Perspectives paper, Economics and Emigration: Trillion-Dollar Bills on the Sidewalk? The anniversary prompted Michael to discuss the struggles he had in getting it published, generating a quite extraordinary response from the many, many economists who owe the very shape of their worldview to it.
Our series on the big challenges and opportunities for developing countries over the next couple of decades has so far largely focused on specific sectors: agriculture, health and finance. The fourth took a different tack, considering instead what we should—and should not—learn from the most dramatic development success of the past century: China.
What’s the Right Price for Surplus COVID-19 Vaccines? The Answer Is Closer to Zero Than You Might Think.
Many rich countries pre-ordered vast quantities of COVID-19 vaccines when they were still in development, enough to vaccinate their countries many times over. What is the right ‘price’ to pay for surplus vaccines, as opposed to those newly purchased? And how much of their value should be counted as Official Development Assistance (ODA)? The choice matters for two reasons: firstly, it sets a precedent for the valuation of secondhand goods as development aid, which in turn sets incentives for donors. And secondly, some donors operate an ODA ceiling
In the first two editions of the CGD/Gui2de Future of Development seminar series, our look at the big ideas that have the potential to reshape the face of development over the next decades, we examined how the adoption of digital technologies could change the way farmers receive and engage with information, and in turn their agricultural and marketing practices; and the
Since the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) began implementing the steep cuts to the UK’s aid budget imposed upon it by the Treasury, much of the immediate reaction has focused on the immense human cost of reducing aid during a global pandemic. What has not been clear, however, is if the cuts are being used to realise a new vision of what UK aid is for. This blog sets out where it looks like the portfolio is going, and the next round of challenges it faces.
Among the many disparities and inequities that COVID-19 has shone a light upon, the chasm in health outcomes between rich and poor countries is being particularly sharply highlighted. While Israel, the US, the UK, and a handful of high- and upper-middle income countries are charging forward with their vaccination programmes, many of the poorest are left behind—sometimes to rapidly soaring infection rates, as in India. Universal health—that is, a basic level of health and nutrition achieved globally—seems a distant prospect.
Amid the news that France is legislating a target to give 0.7 percent of GNI as official development assistance, Ranil Dissanayake takes a deep look at what this means in practice.