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A Domestic US Development Bank in the Works? Lessons from the MDBs

In the 117th Congress, US lawmakers have introduced four separate proposals to establish a national development bank. Three would set up national green finance institutions; the fourth would focus more broadly on providing public financing for high-tech domestic manufacturing, including green technology. (A version of the National Climate Bank proposal—or “Clean Energy Accelerator”—could soon come to the House floor as part of the Democratic budget reconciliation measure).

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If the World Bank Wants to Move On from the Doing Business Scandal, It Should Take a Look at AidData

Today’s release of a new dataset of over 13,000 Chinese-financed projects in developing countries marks a major contribution to our understanding of China’s role as a lender to the developing world, as well as the ways in which these projects are increasingly structured to avoid accounting for direct liabilities on public balance sheets. At a moment of high debt vulnerability in the developing world, both contributions ought to prove valuable to policymakers in rich and poor countries alike as they seek to work through these problems.  

Two women answer phones for a contraception and abortion hotline in Rwanda

Safe Access to Abortion: A Step Backward in Texas, but Steps Forward Globally

Evidence shows that, with some exceptions, Texas and the U.S. are running counter to a global trend to expand abortion rights. Over the past 25 years in particular, the global trend has overwhelmingly been that of liberalization of abortion laws, with 18 countries overturning complete bans on abortions and 15 countries reforming laws to allow abortion upon request.

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32 New Findings from the Global Education RISE Conference 2021: Parents, Politics, and the Pandemic—Plus the Education Interventions People Would Trash

Last week was the annual conference for the Research on Improving Systems of Education (or RISE) program, a large scale, multi-country research program developed to answer the question: “How can education systems be reformed to deliver better learning for all?” You can read the full conference program and you can watch videos of all the sessions. But here, I’ve broken down the key findings and takeaways from each presentation

A gas power plant

The DFC, World Bank, and How a Nuanced Compromise on Gas Financing for Poor Countries Could Quietly Become a Blanket Ban (Hint: Ask the Kosovars)

The debate over whether development finance should be allowed for downstream gas projects appears to be settling toward a compromise that makes such investments rare but not impossible. But will it be so in practice? Lessons from a previous (eerily similar) compromise suggest that any flexibility is probably fleeting. A flexible policy is probably not flexible if not a single project can ever get through.

An image of a mother and daughter working at a clothing store in India.

Gender Equality Policy Markers: A Beginner’s Guide

2021 has been a big year for global gender equality advocates, practitioners, and investors. The Generation Equality Forum brought together donor governments, multilateral organizations, philanthropists, activists, and youth leaders to accelerate progress toward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.” This event, and the commitments made at it, are made even more critical by the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis, which is exacerbating gender disparities around the world, threatening to dramatically set back progress toward SDG 5.

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