Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs

 

ABCs of the CDI and Europe – David Roodman and Owen Barder

This podcast was originally recorded in September, 2012.

It’s that time of year again. In just a few weeks, CGD will release the 2012 results of its annual Commitment to Development Index (CDI) – a product that measures the extent to which wealthy nations are supporting poorer countries’ development efforts in seven policy areas: aid, trade, investment, migration, environment, security, and technology. In this week’s Wonkcast, I chat with David Roodman, CGD senior fellow and chief architect of the CDI, and Owen Barder, senior fellow and director for Europe, about the ABCs of the CDI and what we are calling a “deep dive” into the CDI for Europe.

Related Content

Europe Beyond Aid initiative

David recalls that CDI had its origins in a 2001 meeting between CGD president Nancy Birdsall and Moisis Naim, then editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy Magazine. Moises suggested that CGD, then a brand new think tank, should publish an index. Nancy knew she wanted to measure the rich world’s support for development and put David in charge of figuring out how. Eleven years later the index results remain fairly consistent -- with smaller, northern European countries grabbing top spots. I ask David why.

Europe’s Policy Footprint on Development

This is a joint post with Liza Reynolds.

This blog post announces the launch of the Europe Beyond Aid initiative and presents a summary of the research and preliminary analysis in its first working paper.

Europeans more than pull their weight in aid to developing countries. Last year Europeans provided more than €60 billion ($80bn) in aid, more than two and a half times as much as the United States. European members account for just 40% of the national income of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) but give more than 60% of the aid.

What If You Could Invest in Development?

This is a joint post with Rita Perakis

Last week, CGD and Social Finance launched a new high-level Working Group to consider Development Impact Bonds, a new mechanism to enable private investment in development outcomes. Owen Barder and Rita Perakis explain.

There is nothing new about the idea that development assistance is an investment: spending money today in the hope of future benefits. Putting money into immunizing kids or giving them an education is an excellent investment in the future well-being of those people. But if there are financial returns they are often far in the future and cannot be directly linked back to the investment. For many development investments the returns are mainly social, not financial. And the absence of financial returns on a reasonable timescale could be why there is no market for investing in development. There is a small pool of investors who are willing to be paid in good karma; but most would rather be paid in dollars, sterling or euros.

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