Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity




The cover of the note
March 18, 2021

Fuel Subsidy Reform in Fragile States: Forging A Constructive IFI-UN Partnership

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, fragile states around the world struggled to manage complex and interacting risks. Facing macroeconomic stressors on top of a fragile peace, many countries found themselves balancing precariously between tipping points, knowing that interventions that might ease economic tension may push dangerously close to a political precipice, while those designed to alleviate social unrest may drive the country deeper into fiscal crisis.

An image of solar panels and wind mills with a city skyline in the background.
March 16, 2021

A Climate-Dedicated Capital Increase at the World Bank and IFC

With a new US administration rejoining the Paris Agreement and the upcoming Glasgow climate conference set to endorse a new set of national commitments to greenhouse gas emissions, there is renewed momentum in the struggle to limit climate change and its global impact. But global finance to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries is still inadequate and misdirected. A climate-dedicated capital increase at the World Bank Group would be a comparatively low-cost way to considerably improve the volume and quality of climate finance.

Cover of Policy Paper 206
March 15, 2021

Mobilizing External Financing for Africa’s Crisis Recovery

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a significant toll on African economies. On the continent, countries continue to face significant financing needs to protect lives and livelihood and bolster prospects for a stronger and more resilient economic recovery. To help meet these needs, the international community must act promptly.

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March 5, 2021

Cost-Effectiveness and Synergies for Emissions Mitigation Projects in Developing Countries

This paper assesses the available evidence evaluating the effectiveness of concessional spending on climate mitigation in developing countries. Impact evaluation evidence on climate mitigation in developing countries is very limited. However, the Green Climate Fund and the Clean Technology Fund lead their peers by making available project-level data on the expected mitigation and cost of funded projects

A cover image for a paper on health taxes
March 1, 2021

Using Health Taxes to Support Revenue: An Action Agenda for the IMF and World Bank

The Covid-19 pandemic has led to large budget gaps in low- and middle-income countries, with revenues projected to be reduced for years to come. This is the moment for policymakers to consider whether health taxes—levied on tobacco products, alcoholic and sugar-sweetened beverages, and polluting fuels—can play a part in boosting revenue while also supporting better health

Cover of the note Education Technology for Effective Teachers
February 16, 2021

Education Technology for Effective Teachers

Education systems around the world are investing in technology to help teachers be more effective. In some cases, the results are exciting. In others, the impact of technology falls short of expectations or remains unevaluated. This note lays out four principles for investing in technology for effective teachers and six aspects of teaching where technology can boost teacher performance, together with examples of tested, promising, and cautionary experiences with teacher technologies.

An image showing a person holding a phone and receiving a message that they have a COVID vaccine certificate.
February 11, 2021

A COVID Vaccine Certificate: Building on Lessons from Digital ID for the Digital Yellow Card

COVID-19 vaccination efforts are well and truly underway across the world. In addition to those in Europe and North America, vaccination campaigns are gathering pace across China, India, Russia, and the Middle East, though lagging in many other, mostly poor, countries. As more start scaling up their own programs and the number of vaccinated people increases over the coming year, a COVID Vaccine Certificate is likely to become an important tool to help monitor and manage the rollout of vaccinations and get national economies back on track.

February 9, 2021

Financing a Possible Expansion of the IMF’s Support for LICs

The IMF’s concessional support for low-income countries (LICs) is provided primarily through the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Since the start of the pandemic, lending from the PRGT has risen very sharply in response to the unprecedented and urgent needs of LICs; total PRGT credit outstanding nearly doubled during 2020 to far exceed past peaks. This note considers possible financing sources, taking into account legal, political, and practical constraints including the timeliness with which different resources could be mobilized.

February 4, 2021

How Might an SDR Allocation Be Better Tailored to Support Low-Income Countries?

Since Covid-19 emerged there have been numerous calls for an allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as part of a broader effort to assist low-income countries (LICs) in dealing with the fallout from the pandemic. So far, these calls have been thwarted by political opposition from some of the IMF’s shareholders, in part because SDR allocations are not well-targeted towards LICs or developing countries in general.

The cover of the note
February 3, 2021

Social Protection During the Pandemic: Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico

The pandemic, people’s response to fend off contagion, and the measures designed to contain the spread of the virus took an enormous toll on the region’s living standards. Governments faced the challenge of reaching three groups of people: formal sector workers in social security (and their dependents), recipients of existing non-contributory cash transfer programs and their dependents, and finally, households whose members were reliant on labor income from the informal sector and were part of neither social protection system.