Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

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An image of a construction crane in an African city.
April 8, 2021

“Tens of Millions” to “Hundreds of Millions”: Synthetic Credit to Enable Private Funding for Infrastructure in Low-Income Countries

As the Biden administration turns its attention to infrastructure legislation in the United States, it is important to focus on the role investment in infrastructure financing can play in the recovery. This note covers a policy proposal for a credit enhancement instrument, using concessional financing, from development finance institutions to enable low-income countries (LICs) to attract private finance in infrastructure. It is an incremental iteration of the World Bank’s ambitious “billions to trillions” campaign.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment in the COVID-19 Context

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, Promoting Women’s Economic Empowerment in the COVID-19 Context. We explore the impacts of the crisis on women’s economic opportunities and outcomes, document the extent to which governments and donors are taking action to respond to these impacts, and make recommendations for how decision-makers can elevate women’s economic empowerment as a priority in response and recovery efforts.

Cover of working paper 577
April 7, 2021

Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls

The paper examines some ways national governments have sought to maintain provision of essential health services and reviews the extent to which donor institutions have prioritized financial, technical, and other forms of support to mitigate disruptions. It concludes by highlighting existing gaps, opportunities, and promising strategies that donors and governments should pursue to address indirect harms to women’s and girl’s health during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

The cover of the working paper
April 7, 2021

The Impacts of Health Crises on Women & Girls: How Historical Evidence Can Inform Assessment and Recovery through a Gender Lens

This paper presents a conceptual framework on the effects of health crises on women and girls with an eye toward understanding the growing evidence base for the COVID-19 pandemic. When health crises like COVID-19 emerge, the simultaneous shocks to economic, social, and health systems can have different implications for women and girls.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: The Gendered Dimensions of Social Protection in the COVID-19 Context

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, The Gendered Dimensions of Social Protection in the COVID-19 Context. We explore the role of social protection, with an emphasis on social assistance policies and programs, in addressing increasing poverty, food insecurity, unpaid care work, and gender-based violence—all exacerbated by the onset of the crisis and associated containment measures. We document these trends and how they disproportionately impact women and girls, as well as the extent to which governments and donors are integrating a gender lens into their social protection efforts and make recommendations to ensure that future efforts effectively reach and benefit women and girls.

The cover of the brief
April 7, 2021

Brief: Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls

In this policy brief, we summarize the findings of a CGD working paper, Addressing the COVID-19 Crisis’s Indirect Health Impacts for Women and Girls. We examine how the pandemic is affecting women’s and girl’s health, including their sexual and reproductive health; some of the ways national governments and donor institutions have sought to maintain the provision of essential health services; and existing gaps, opportunities, and promising strategies donors and governments should pursue to address indirect harms to women’s and girl’s health during and beyond the COVID-19 crisis.

An image of the World Bank Building
April 5, 2021

Tracking the Scale and Speed of the World Bank’s COVID Response: April 2021 Update

Last year at this time, the World Bank announced its intention to provide $104 billion in financing to developing country governments to help them respond to the COVID-19 crisis. We took stock of those efforts seven months ago. More than a year into the pandemic, it’s time to check in again on the Bank’s crisis financing. We revisit four basic questions about the Bank’s lending performance since it originally announced its COVID response.

An image of a patient receiving the COVID-19 vaccine from a doctor.
April 5, 2021

Vaccine Financing: How a Redesigned IMF Instrument Can Provide a Shot in the Arm for the Global Pandemic Response

A new IMF rapid credit window could provide some $30 billion to cover the vaccine financing needs for most developing countries through 2021-22. The mechanism would facilitate collective action to negotiate increased production, the main obstacle to achieving vaccine coverage and rectifying the gross inequities in current distribution. It would remain in place for future global pandemic responses.

An image of the World Bank Group Building
April 1, 2021

IDA-20: Donors Must Go Big, and IDA Must Too

The time is now for a historic IDA replenishment. The world’s poorest countries’ recovery from the COVID-19 economic downturn will largely hinge on the scale of the emergency relief and investment programs over the next few years.

Cover of How China Lends paper
March 31, 2021

How China Lends: A Rare Look into 100 Debt Contracts with Foreign Governments

China is the world’s largest official creditor, but we lack basic facts about the terms and conditions of its lending. Very few contracts between Chinese lenders and their government borrowers have ever been published or studied. This paper is the first systematic analysis of the legal terms of China’s foreign lending. We collect and analyze 100 contracts between Chinese state-owned entities and government borrowers in 24 developing countries in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Oceania, and compare them with those of other bilateral, multilateral, and commercial creditors.

March 30, 2021

Health Systems Impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines

This paper presents a preliminary review on the collateral health systems impact of COVID-19 in the Philippines through review of academic and grey literature, supplemented by a qualitative survey.

Diana Beatriz S. Bayani and Soon Guan Tan
March 30, 2021

Assessing the Indirect Health Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic in Kenya

This paper presents an analysis of the indirect health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. We employed a mixed-methods approach, combining the analysis of secondary quantitative data obtained from the Kenya Health Information System database (from January 2019 to November 2020) and a qualitative inquiry involving key informant interviews and document reviews

Edwine Barasa , Jacob Kazungu , Stacey Organi , Evelyn Kabia , Morris Ogero and Kadondi Kasera
March 30, 2021

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Health Services and Mitigation Measures in Uganda

On 21st March 2020, Uganda reported its first COVID-19 case. The government responded by instituting a lockdown and other measures. We assess the effects of the COVID-19 containment measures on health services to better inform the next preventive measures. We use a case study approach that involved document reviews and secondary analysis of data on attendance of key health services and mortality for the years 2019 and 2020.

Nazarius Tumwesigye , Okethwangu Denis , Mary Kaakyo and Claire Biribawa
An image of windmills at night
March 29, 2021

Principles for Paris-Alignment and Climate Finance in Development

As ministers and officials meet in the coming year, they will make new financing commitments on climate and promise to ensure all of their activities are “Paris-compatible”—against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Any new commitments on climate finance will need to balance existing development challenges with the pressing need to tackle climate-related risks. This note outlines a set of principles to guide climate-related commitments so that they do more for both climate and development.

March 26, 2021

Incentivizing COVID-19 Vaccine Developers to Expand Manufacturing Capacity

Safe and efficacious vaccines are our best tools for defeating COVID-19, and an unprecedented research and development effort has led to 12 vaccines being approved for full, emergency, or limited use, globally. But to vaccinate the global population as quickly as possible requires additional production capacity. The available global production capacity may be sufficient in aggregate across all vaccine manufacturing platforms over an 18- to 24-month window.

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