USAID Administrator Samantha Power appeared before House and Senate authorizing committees late last week to discuss the agency’s FY22 budget. It wasn’t surprising to hear Administrator Power make a case for strong US global engagement—including robust aid investments and continued commitment to humanitarian response. But she also demonstrated—in a number of important ways—a clear-eyed focus on development effectiveness. Below we highlight several issues we were glad to see receive attention.
CGD Policy Blogs
What’s the Latest Economic Research on Africa? A Round-up of Nearly One Hundred Studies from CSAE 2021
Each year around this time, the Centre for the Study of African Economies at Oxford University hosts its annual conference. In this post, we provide a bite-sized summary of every conference paper that we could find.
Two weeks ago, Esther Duflo won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences<, together with Abhijit Banerjee and Michael Kremer, “for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.” In the blog post below, you’ll find a quick introduction to more than a hundred of her research publications, including research articles, policy articles summarizing research, book chapters, book reviews, comments on others’ research, and books.
Twenty-five years ago, travel writer and journalist Robert Kaplan wrote an article for The Atlantic, headlined “The Coming Anarchy.” It was an apocalyptic account of Kaplan’s visit to West Africa and his dark vision that much of the world would end up looking like war-torn Sierra Leone. Kaplan suggested recently that he thought “The Coming Anarchy” had stood the test of time. I disagree, and think the fact that Kaplan was wrong matters: global jeremiads are a force for isolationism. I discussed why with The Atlantic’s Matthew Peterson on a new podcast.
What’s the Latest Economics Research on Africa? A Round-up from the Center for the Study of African Economies 2019 Conference
Last week’s annual Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) conference brought together researchers from the African continent and around the world for the presentation of nearly 300 papers about nearly every aspect of African societies, from agriculture to education to firms to health to trade. Here I provide a micro-summary of almost every paper presented at the conference.
In Africa, as in much of the developing world, “informality” has become the dread of policymakers who are constantly told by international development agencies and consultants to “formalise” their economies.
Todd Moss, CGD senior fellow and executive director of the recently-launched Energy for Growth Hub, on why the Hub was created, how big the energy gap is, and why the tradeoff between residential and industrial energy isn’t really a tradeoff at all.
A recent blog post by Ricardo Hausmann caught my eye because it addresses issues that I’ll be focusing on during my visiting fellowship here at the Center for Global Development. Hausmann—a former Venezuelan minister of planning—discusses the difficulty of closing the infrastructure gap in developing countries, and highlights the dilemma of whether governments should finance infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships or through their national budgets. He’s right about the dilemma, but his solution isn’t workable for fragile and low-income countries where infrastructure needs are greatest.
New results from a famous experiment in Kenya have sparked heated debate over whether lump-sum cash transfers have any long-term benefits for those who get them, or even do harm to neighbors who don’t.
Understanding the rise in poverty in Nigeria is one issue; understanding the forces behind the north-south poverty divide is another. In this blog post, I consider the question: Why is poverty so much greater in the north of Nigeria than in the south?