Ideas to Action:

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CGD Podcast

Exploring smart policies for a better world

 

What Comes After the Millennium Development Goals? – Charles Kenny

The UN is gearing up for discussions about what international development goals should come after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire in 2015.  My guest on this week’s Wonkcast is CGD senior fellow Charles Kenny, who recently published a working paper, written jointly with CGD visiting fellow Andy Sumner, that assesses the impact of the MDGs and offers suggestions for what should come next.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Lant Pritchett on Mimicry in Development

This podcast was originally recorded in March 2011. Development is easy, right? All poor countries have to do is mimic the things that work in rich countries and they’ll evolve into fully functional states. If only it were that simple. My guest this week is Lant Pritchett, a non-resident fellow at the Center for Global Development and chair of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Master’s program in international development. His latest work looks at how the basic functions of government fail to improve in some developing countries (a dynamic he defines as a “state capability trap”). Part of the problem, says Lant, is that donors often insist on transplanting institutions that work in developed countries into environments where those institutions don’t fit at all.

The New Bottom Billion -- Andy Sumner

This Wonkcast was originally recorded in February 2011. Andy Sumner updates the data from the original Bottom Billion brief in his recent working paper, Where Will the World's Poor Live? An Update on Global Poverty and the New Bottom Billion.

Paul Collier’s 2007 book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, changed the way we think about poverty and development. Collier argued that the majority of the 5-billion people in the "developing world" live in countries with sustained high growth rates and would eventually escape from poverty. The rest—the bottom billion—live in 58 small, poor, often land-locked countries that are growing very slowly or not at all. These countries, stuck in poverty traps, should be the focus of foreign aid, Collier argued.

Global Health and the New Bottom Billion – Amanda Glassman

Global health funders have historically focused their aid on countries with the lowest per capita incomes, on the assumption that that’s where most of world’s poor people live.  In recent years, however, many large developing countries achieved rapid growth, lifting them into the ranks of the so-called middle-income countries, or MICs, even though they are still home to hundreds of millions of very poor people.  Andy Sumner has called the poor people in the MICs a “new bottom billion,” as distinct from the bottom billion in poor and fragile states that Paul Collier wrote about in his popular 2007 book.

The New Bottom Billion: Andy Sumner

Andy SumnerPaul Collier’s 2007 book, The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It, changed the way we think about poverty and development. Collier argued that the majority of the 5-billion people in the "developing world" live in countries with sustained high growth rates and would eventually escape from poverty.