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Chart showing carbon price for each CDI countries. Sweden, Norway, and Finland lead, while the US, China, Mexico, South Africa, and others bring up the rear

Assessing International Environmental Leadership: CDI 2021

Today, we publish the 2021 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), which tracks powerful countries’ policy efforts on development across eight important areas, from development finance to migration. One of the CDI’s focal areas is the environment, which matters for everyone but is especially critical to people in lower-income countries. In a key year for climate negotiations, the CDI can tell us which countries are doing well on policies to protect the environment and which have room for improvement.

Introducing the Commitment to Development Index 2021

Today we launch the Commitment to Development Index 2021 measuring the policy efforts of 40 major economies in supporting development in other countries. The CDI focuses on the development spillover effects of policies in eight component areas: development finance, investment, migration, trade, environment, health, security, and technology. Scores can be “income adjusted” to show how countries perform compared to an expected score based on their income. CGD’s been producing the CDI since 2003, and it remains unique.

An image of US missiles.

Does Focus Follow Money in National Security?

If your toolbox is overflowing with precision guided munitions, the problems you will focus on are ones that (arguably) can be solved with precision guided munitions. Our comparatively tepid response to the pandemic is another sign of the longstanding and excessive prioritization of potential violent over present nonviolent threats to national security.

An image of a box containing weapons behind a fence

Undermining Global Security: Measuring the Risk of Arms Exports and Commitment to Development

Just weeks into his presidency, Joe Biden announced a suspension of arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. This follows similar promising commitments from Italy last month. As security and development are mutually reinforcing concepts, what countries do on arms exports matters for development. We look at arms exports across all major economies—both in terms of value and their “conflict potential.” We analyse the extent to which the choice of arms customers is likely to increase risk and undermine development, and highlight which countries should be taking more action on reducing the conflict potential of their arms exports.

A close-up of a Cameroonian woman UN peacekeeper waiting in formation

Gender and the CDI: How Committed Are Countries to Gender Equality in Their International Policies “Beyond Aid”?

Earlier this year, we launched the Commitment to Development Index (CDI), after commissioning a holistic two-year review to reassess which policies from the world’s major economies matter most for global development. One major area of feedback in the review discussions was that we should assess policies that support gender equality in development.

Figure showing that widening the weight variation leads to greater range of results, but still a general trend

How Robust Is the CDI to Changes in Weights?

Each year, the Center for Global Development produces the Commitment to Development Index, evaluating countries across a range of indicators that measure their impact on developing countries. This blog demonstrates that the ranking of countries in the CDI is fairly robust to the weights used. That rankings change little as weights are varied suggests that the CDI is capturing something real about the attitudes towards development of countries included in the index.

A screenshot of the top of the country report for China in the 2020 CDI.

CDI 2020: China’s Commitment to Development

China’s policy commitment to development ranks 35th of the 40 countries in the CDI. Some of the results may seem counterintuitive: Most people know that China provides major levels of finance to Africa, and that it’s a big producer of greenhouse gases. However, after we take account of country size to enable comparisons between countries, our index ranks China last on development finance but well above the US and in the top ten on limiting greenhouse gas emissions.