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As well as being the beginning of a new year, this is also the start of CGD’s 15th anniversary year, so keep an eye out over the coming months for a host of special blogposts, events, podcasts and publications that reflect on our work to date and its impacts, as well as looking forward to how we hope to make a difference in the world in future. So, what better way to kick off than to invite our president Nancy Birdsall to cast her gaze back to 2015 and forwards to 2016.
In this podcast, Birdsall pinpoints some key moments for her of the last twelve months: IMF quota reform, progress on climate, and the expansion of capital in the multilateral development bank system (with the establishment of the Chinese-led AIIB and changes at the Asian Development Bank). The SDGs get a “bravo” for creating a universal focus on environmental and political sustainability, but lose points on “mushy” indicators for inequality and migration.
In 2016, Birdsall says, she hopes to see more clarity around those indicators. She also hopes for greater recognition of outcome-based aid for education, improved transparency in multiple domains, and continued progress on climate. “I would like to see the seedlings, the beginnings, the little green shoots of carbon pricing begin to thrive in 2016,” she tells me.
And her number-one wish? “As an American, even though it’s going to be a difficult year with the presidential election, I’d like to see the US at least hold the fort on progress that has been made here on attention to development issues."
Reflecting on CGD’s first 15 years, Birdsall has this to say about how the world has changed:
Just over a year ago, we released our book Why Forests? Why Now? The Science, Economics, and Politics of Tropical Forests and Climate Change. To ensure the widest possible distribution, we are now delighted to make the full book available online for free.