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Policymakers view Pakistan as one of the most critical fronts in efforts to combat violent extremism. Different US administrations have taken divergent approaches on development assistance to the country. In 2010, a CGD study group drew lessons from past experiences to offer practical recommendations to US policymakers on the effective deployment of foreign assistance and other, non-aid instruments for achieving sustainable development in Pakistan. It suggested better ways to deploy aid, and ideas to unlock the potential of trade and private investment.
“No superpower that claims to possess the moral high ground can afford to relinquish its leadership in addressing global disease, hunger, and ignorance,” said former US senator Richard Lugar. “Our moral identity is an essential source of national power… We diminish ourselves and our national reputation if we turn our backs on the obvious plight of hundreds of millions of people who are living on less than a dollar a day and facing severe risk from hunger and disease.”
Why? It’s National Database and Registration Authority—NADRA, the agency in charge of national identification—recently announced that it will begin issuing identity cards to orphans with unknown parentage; those without birth certificates or other documentation. This move effectively ensures citizenship rights for children who would otherwise have been excluded under regulations that require proof of nationality and parental lineage to obtain an ID card.
In a recent blog post, Pakistani economist Anjum Altaf lambasted our recent report on the US development approach to Pakistan, “More Money, More Problems,” for not being sufficiently skeptical of the US development program, especially the US aid program, in Pakistan. Dr. Altaf criticized our 2011 report too. You can review last year’s discussion here.
In this new working paper, CGD Research Fellow Stewart Patrick urges analysts and policymakers to look more deeply at the links between failed states and global threats such terrorism, weapons proliferation, organized crime, and global pandemics. He then provides the tools: a framework for determining which types of states are associated with which dangers.
This new collection of essays sets an agenda for increased American effectiveness in dealing with failed states to promote economic development and international security. It includes an overview of the poorly understood challenge of weak and failed states and case studies by regional policy experts, then offers recommendations for reform of U.S. foreign and development policy to better meet the challenges posed by weak states.
Does foreign direct investment (FDI) channel capital and know-how to developing countries? Or does it bring corruption and abuse of labor standards? Harnessing Foreign Direct Investment shows that FDI's contribution to development can be extremely powerful but that some forms of FDI, especially infrastructure, have serious adverse consequences. CGD non-resident fellow Theodore H. Moran shows for the first time how some investors circumvent the U.S. and host country laws and international treaties outlawing corrupt payments without risking prosecution, and offers recommendations on what to do about it.
In an open letter to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Nancy Birdsall relays four main suggestions from the CGD Study Group on a U.S. Development Strategy in Pakistan about how U.S. assistance should be delivered to maximize development outcomes.
A new report card on the US development strategy in Pakistan gives failing marks in key areas but recommends that the United States stay engaged in Pakistan, focus on areas where it has achieved success, channel more funds through other entities, such as the World Bank, and spread previously authorized assistance over more years.
In this note, CGD senior policy analyst Alexis Sowa outlines three recommendations for US development assistance to Pakistan: name the leader of US development efforts, clarify the mission, and finance what is already working.