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The global community must focus its attention and efforts on Africa if we are to achieve the SDGs by 2030. Since its inception, CGD has engaged in extensive research on Africa. In our work on energy access, development impact bonds, debt relief, and many other topics, Africa problems and solutions have always been a focus. Cognizant of the SDG challenge, CGD is redoubling its efforts to conduct research and convene African and other political thought leaders to work on solutions to the development challenges Africa faces in the 21st century.
Through this work stream CGD aims to:
Give more prominence to its ongoing work on Africa;
Initiate new work related to development finance, macroeconomics, and fragile states;
Partner more closely with Africans in doing our work; and
Convene international forums for exchange of ideas and policy discussions focused on Africa.
CGD’s work on Africa crosscuts many of CGD’s other work streams. Some of the topics that researchers at CGD are investigating include:
Domestic resource mobilization in fragile and conflict-affected African countries
Energy prospects in Africa;
The impact of automation on workers;
How differential aging and migration will play out;
How graduation from global health aid programs will affect different countries in Africa;
The risks of growing debt levels in some African countries
There will be 95 million fewer working-age people in Europe in 2050 than in 2015, under business as usual. The paper compares business as usual estimates of inflows to 2050 with the size of the labor gap in Europe. Under plausible estimates, business as usual will fill one-third of the labor gap. This suggests a need for an urgent shift if Europe is to avoid an aging crisis. Africa is the obvious source of immigrants, to mutual benefit.
After one year, public schools managed by private contractors in Liberia raised student learning by 60 percent, compared to standard public schools. But costs were high, performance varied across contractors, and contracts authorized the largest contractor to push excess pupils and underperforming teachers onto other government schools.
Controversies about aid effectiveness go back decades. This new working paper by CGD senior fellow Steven Radelet provides an introduction and overview of the basic concepts, data and key debates about foreign aid. It explores the range of views on the relationship between foreign aid and economic growth and discusses the reform of foreign aid, including selectivity, country ownership, the participatory approach, harmonization and coordination, and results-based management.Learn more
One feature of adjustment loans that has been often overlooked in their evaluation is their frequent repetition to the same country, with such extremes as the 30 IMF and World Bank adjustment loans to Argentina over 1980-99 or the 26 adjustment loans to Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana. Repetition changes the nature of the selection problem, with the possible implication that new loans had to be given because earlier loans were not effective. This study finds that while there were relative successes and failures, none of the top 20 recipients of adjustment lending over 1980-99 were able to achieve reasonable growth and contain all policy distortions. The findings of this paper are in line with the foreign aid literature that shows that aid does not discriminate between good and bad policies. There's a big difference between structural adjustment lending and structural adjustment policies.
In rural areas of developing countries, education programs are often implemented through community teachers. While teachers are a crucial part of the education production function, observing their effort remains a challenge for the public sector. This paper tests whether a simple monitoring system, implemented via the mobile phone, can improve student learning as part of an adult education program.
Despite improvements in censuses and household surveys, the building blocks of national statistical systems in sub-Saharan Africa remain weak. Measurement of fundamental statistics such as births and deaths, growth and poverty, taxes and trade, land and the environment, and sickness, schooling, and safety is shaky at best.
The tragedy of foreign aid is not that it didn't work; it was never really tried. A group of well-meaning national and international bureaucracies dispensed foreign aid under conditions in which bureaucracy does not work well. The hostile environment under which such aid agencies functioned induced them to organize a cartel that increased inefficiency and reduced effective supply of development services, frustrating the good intentions and dedication of development professionals. The cartel of good intentions allows rich country politicians to feel that they are doing all in their power to help the world's poor, supports rich nations' foreign policy goals, preserves a panoply of large national and international institutions, and provides resources to poor country politicians with which to buy political support; in short, foreign aid works for everyone except for those whom it was intended to help.