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An image of land impacted by a drought due to climate change.

A Hot Topic: The Role of US Development Assistance in Addressing the Climate Crisis

With COP26 only weeks away, policymakers around the world are focusing renewed attention on the climate crisis—and the US Congress is no exception. An upcoming House Foreign Affairs hearing, convened jointly by the Subcommittee on International Development, International Organizations, and Global Corporate Social Impact and the Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber, will profile US plans to combat climate change through development assistance.  

An image of a map where large-scale interventions to improve girls’ education have been implemented

Girls’ Education: Going from What Works to What Works at Scale

Girls’ education remains a high priority for international organizations and for governments and non-government organizations in low- and middle-income countries, as it should be! There are many countries in the world where girls lag behind boys in either access or performance, and gender discrimination in the labor market may nudge policymakers to boost girls’ education even after parity in educational access has been achieved, in order to get closer to gender equality in later life outcomes.

An image of a classroom.

Democracy to the Rescue? Preserving Public Spending on Education as Private Education Expands Its Reach

As demand for quality education in many developing countries increases, and state capacity to provide this falls short, private education is growing in popularity. Significant attention has, in the past, been paid to the direct impacts of private schools on student outcomes (see, for example, this comprehensive review, commissioned by the UK’s Department for International Development in 2014 and follow-up analysis by CGD researchers).

An image of the Sydney, Australia skyline.

Australia Needs More Pacific Mid-Skill Migration: Here’s How to Facilitate it

Turn on the news these days and you’re likely to be confronted with articles about worker shortages. Nurses, cooks, construction workers, accountants, care home employees, all seem to be in demand throughout high-income countries. Despite this need, these countries currently do very little to attract migrants with vocational skills, hoping that local workers, automation, and offshoring will reduce the need.

A person carrying an open umbrella walks by the entrance to the IMF on a rainy day

Rechanneling SDRs to MDBs: Urgent Action Is Needed to Jumpstart the Green Equitable Transition

With the recent allocation of special drawing rights (SDRs)—a reserve asset issued by the IMF—to help countries weather the economic effects of the pandemic, the international discussion has shifted to ways to rechannel a portion of the SDRs that were allocated to high-income economies. The focus has been on the IMF itself as the channel for getting these resources from advanced countries to vulnerable low- and middle-income countries.

An image of the IMF building.

The UK’s Planned Use of SDRs Will Take Resources Away From The Poor

The phrase “giving with one hand while taking with the other” has never been more apt than when applied to the UK’s recent approach to aid.

Under current plans, the UK will intentionally reduce the total amount of aid it makes available to developing countries by increasing its contributions to an IMF lending pot–and take credit for doing so. Because of how they are measured, the UK contributions to the IMF will displace other aid more than one-for-one, so overall, aid will be reduced.

There is no economic reason to reduce aid to accommodate such loans. Arguments about the deficit are irrelevant given that loans of this nature do not count towards it.

Here, we set out how this would work, how Treasury claims that they are simply “following the rules” do not justify this move, and what the IMF can do to mitigate the impact of this perverse move.

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