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Still Less Than Half: Gender Focus in Development Finance

Gender gaps in participation in the labor force, entrepreneurship, pay, share of senior management, and executive board positions–as well as access to finance, markets, and skills–have been well documented. But how far do development finance providers truly support gender equality?

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What Should We Ask from the IMF on Climate Change?

While the world’s decision makers are now rightly focusing on the COVID-19 crisis and its potentially devastating economic aftermath, the climate change agenda has been moved from the center stage. As the world begins to rethink what the post COVID-19 economic order will look like, climate change will again play a key role. And so will the IMF.  

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Three Percent is a Big Difference

There is a little-noticed but important difference between the World Bank’s original goal for poverty reduction and the first of the subsequent UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG1).  The difference is that the Bank’s goal was to reach a 3 percent poverty rate by 2030, while the SDG1 is to “eradicate” poverty by 2030, where “eradicate” means zero. Yet that 3 percent could well make a big difference

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Subsidy Use in Development Finance: Competitive, Capped, Transparent

When development finance institutions (DFIs) use subsidies to support private firms in developing countries, they fundamentally change the nature of their business. To ensure the maximum development impact of scarce aid resources, subsidies should be competitive wherever possible, capped if not competitive, and transparent in every case.

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Lending Practices of the Private Sector Window: How Effective are They?

The Private Sector Window (PSW) takes resources from the World Bank’s soft lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), and uses it to support private sector investments in poorer developing countries.This is a comparatively straightforward way for the IFC to move money, but it is hard to know if it is a good way, in part because of the Corporation’s opaque lending practices –which need to change.

Chart showing estimates for additional spending by 2030

Tax Revenues in Africa Will be Insufficient to Finance Development Goals

The IMF estimates that on average, low-income countries (LIC) will need additional resources amounting to 15.4 percent of GDP to finance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education, health, roads, electricity, and water by 2030. These resource requirements are even greater in sub-Saharan Africa than in a typical LIC: the median sub-Saharan African country faces additional spending of about 19 percent of GDP. In the average LIC, the IMF estimates that of the required additional financing, 5 percentage points of GDP would have to come from domestic taxes.

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Sub-Saharan Africa and International Taxation: Time for Unilateral Action?

While sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries have made some progress in collecting more taxes domestically in the last 20 years, international tax issues remain a significant concern for these and other developing countries, reflecting aggressive tax planning by multinational enterprises (MNEs) and the international initiatives designed by G20-OCED countries in response. Drawing on a new CGD paper on international taxation and developing countries, we argue here that the time has come for SSA countries, and developing countries in general, to take unilateral action.

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