Ideas to Action:

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CGD Policy Blogs


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The Future of Development: Politics, Representation, and Development

In the fifth installment of the Future of Development series, which brings together experts to discuss the big questions facing developing countries over the next decade, Leonard Wantchekon and Sarah Khan took on the role of politics in development (and vice versa), exploring how political distortions impact the economy and how economic change affects politics.

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For Climate Finance, Stop Counting Beans and Start Counting Beanstalks: The Case for a Pull Mechanism

COP26, like previous UN climate change conferences, has seen no shortage of “big round number” announcements aimed at making a splash in the press and signaling virtuous intent. Such announcements—be they promising $100 billion a year, demanding $1 trillion, or finding an additional £1 billion from the official development assistance (ODA) budget for climate finance—have the side effect of drawing scrutiny to the pledge itself and not the pledge’s impact.

An image of vaccines.

ODA Rules Must Ensure that Vaccine Donations Count for the Poor

After buying up the World’s vaccine supply to ensure they can protect their own populations, rich countries have found themselves struggling to use the vaccine surpluses they accumulated. One response has been to donate the spare doses to countries who need them more. This is laudable, and countries who have done so want to receive credit for such actions in their aid statistics—what is known as Official Development Assistance (ODA).

A doctor administering a COVID-19 test.

The Future of Development – What Will It Take to Achieve Universal Health?

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.