Ideas to Action:

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CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world

 

The 2000s Were the Best Decade Ever? Development Optimist Charles Kenny

Charles KennyMany of us may be glad to be rid of the Naughts, a decade perhaps destined to be remembered for global terrorism, U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a global financial crisis that threatened a second Great Depression but left the rich world instead with a lingering Great Recession. My guest this week argues that the departing decade is unfairly maligned.

Who Gets the Debt If Sudan Splits? Ben Leo

Ben LeoA 2011 referendum in Southern Sudan will determine the sub-nation’s independence – and it’s just one month away. Ahead of the South’s possible secession, Sudanese leaders are scrambling to find solutions to a host of questions, a critical one being: What should be done with Sudan’s crushing $35 billion external debt burden?

Good Aid? Bad Aid? QuODA Tracks How Donors Stack Up. Interview with Nancy Birdsall and Homi Kharas.

QUODADonors, academics, and development advocates have long recognized that not all aid is created equal. Often, the impacts of aid are blunted because it’s spent in the wrong places or isn’t coordinated with recipient government programs. How can we know which donors give aid well, and which donors need to improve? My guests on this week’s Wonkcast are Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development, and Homi Kharas, deputy director of the Brookings Institution’s Global Economy and Development program. They are the co-creators of the Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) assessment, a new tool that tracks and compares donor programs against four dimensions of aid quality.

Five CGD Experts on the Seoul G-20 Summit

G-20 SeoulG-20 leaders gathering in Seoul this week face a full plate of issues, most prominently the effort to stave off beggar-thy-neighbors currency devaluations. This week on the Global Prosperity Wonkcast, we've distilled highlights from a private briefing I organized where five CGD experts shared their views on key issues facing the G-20, and their implications for poor people not represented at the table.

Following the Money: Owen Barder on Why Aid Transparency Matters

Lawrence MacDonald is traveling this week, so we're re-releasing an episode from our archives. This interview was originally posted on March 22, 2010.

My guest this week is Owen Barder, a visiting fellow here at the Center for the Global Development and the director of the AidInfo project at Development Initiatives, a UK-based NGO. Owen's current work focuses on improving the transparency of the international aid system—making it easier to know where and how aid is being spent.

Owen explains that more easily available aid data would benefit a number of audiences. Researchers and policymakers need the data to study what aid interventions work best. Developed country taxpayers have a right to information on how government is spending their money. Developing country governments need information on donor spending in order to budget their own resources effectively. However, according to Owen, the most important audience for aid data are the citizens of developing countries-the intended beneficiaries of the spending.

"They need to hold their government to account, they need to hold service delivery organizations to account," he says. "And to do that, they need to know what services they should be expecting, what money is being allocated, what's being spent, so they can make sure they're getting the services they need."

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