With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
Christopher Bancroft Burnham, Chairman, Cambridge Global Capital
Bathsheba Crocker, Vice President, Humanitarian Programs & Policy, CARE
Sarah Rose, Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development
Brett Schaefer, Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs, Heritage Foundation
Jessica TriskoDarden, Jeane Kirkpatrick Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Scott Morris, Senior Fellow and Director of the US Development Policy Initiative, Center for Global Development
When it comes to foreign aid, the United States is the largest bilateral donor in the world. Some of this aid goes to countries that are out of step with the United States on select policy issues. One clear demonstration of this is the significant amount of aid given to countries who frequently vote in opposition to the US position at the United Nations. Over the years, various US officials have decried this relationship and called for a closer link between US foreign aid and countries’ UN voting record. The Trump administration has recently raised the profile of this viewpoint, emphasizing its desire for US aid to support US interests—including at the United Nations.
US foreign assistance has always been a tool of foreign policy and has been used to influence UN votes for decades. But there are a range of opinions around the degree to which aid should be tied to UN votes, the implications of such a policy, and—more broadly—how US self-interest should be defined. Please join us for a lively discussion of viewpoints on these and other questions around the administration’s proposal to forge a closer connection between aid flows and UN votes.
In collaboration with the Salud Mesoamerica Initiative (SMI), CGD is pleased to invite you to a two-day conference highlighting lessons learned from SMI and how SMI’s experience can inform other programs in the future of healthcare. CGD has worked on results-based financing for years. From analyzing performance-based incentives to exploring cash on delivery aid to improving value for money for the Global Fund and its partners, we have been examining ways to maximize the impact of funding on health outcomes. We now have rigorous evaluations and evidence from SMI, a large-scale results-based funding program. This model public-private partnership allocates funding at the national level based on measurable improvements in coverage and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child healthcare. It has brought together international donors, a development bank, regional bodies, national governments, and local stakeholders in an innovative partnership that rewards for health system strengthening and increased equity.
When RCTs are not an option, geospatial data can be a powerful tool for evaluating development projects – opening up opportunities to understand what works, what doesn’t, and why - at a substantially lower time and cost. Dr. Ariel BenYishay will provide an overview of the growing field of geospatial impact evaluation highlighting how the increasing availability of geo-referenced intervention and outcome data offers many new opportunities for research and evaluation across the development field that can be just as (if not more) effective as randomized control trials (RCTs). Dr. BenYishay will share a recent case study using geospatial data that measured the impacts of Chinese development activities on sensitive forests in Tanzania and Cambodia between 2000 and 2014 that shows how powerful this tool can be.
The “glass ceiling” in finance has barely cracked. Compared to the available talent pool, there is still a large gap between the representation of men and women in leadership positions in banks and bank supervision agencies worldwide. In her presentation, Ratna Sahay will summarize new data on banking sector characteristics and performance, as well as the share of women on the boards of directors and banking supervision agency boards. The data indicate that—contrary to common perceptions—many low- and middle-income countries have a higher share of women in bank boards and banking supervision agency boards compared to advanced economies. Together with her IMF colleagues, Sahay uses this new dataset to explore the link between gender and financial stability. She will argue that the presence of women, as well as a higher share of women, on bank boards and banking supervision agencies may contribute to greater bank stability.
World Bank Group President Dr. Jim Yong Kim will join CGD President Masood Ahmed to discuss the future of multilateralism, the Bank’s efforts to maximize resources for development, and the critical importance of investing in people to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
Women are overrepresented in the informal sector worldwide, often stuck in dangerous, insecure, low-paid jobs. Waste picking in particular is a highly vulnerable and risky form of informal employment. In 1995, India’s Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) organized women waste pickers in Ahmedabad into a cooperative to improve their working conditions and livelihoods. Over time, this informal arrangement evolved into Gitanjali – a women-owned and -run social enterprise, that produces a full range of stationery products for large multinational corporations, including Staples, IBM, and Goldman Sachs. What difference has Gitanjali made to the lives and opportunities of women waste pickers in India? What are the implications for women’s social enterprises in other countries? What are the challenges that remain to be overcome? The Center for Global Development is delighted to bring together some of the key private sector partners that helped Gitanjali generate social value, along with practitioners from the public sector and multilateral financial institutions, for a robust discussion about job options for poor women in low paid, informal occupations, including a model entrepreneurship venture. The event will be informed by the CGD report, The Gitanjali Cooperative: A Social Enterprise in the Making. Copies of the report’s executive summary will be provided. Light refreshments will be available.
The launch of the Cameroon Cataract Development Impact Loan—a Development Impact Bond (DIB) to provide cataract surgery services via a social enterprise model—marks a key moment in the history of results-based financing. The cataract bond is the first DIB to have a development finance institution (DFI) as an investor, and among the first pay-for-performance projects in eye care to assess the quantity, quality, equity, and financial sustainability of the services provided. Please join us for a discussion on the development of the bond and the experiences of the cataract bond partner organizations, as well as lessons learned from other health-related impact bonds and what it all suggests for the future of pay-for-success for health.
Numerous studies find that child health suffers when children are exposed to conflict, and armed conflicts are more likely to occur in poor countries with weak states. Nigeria is among the most conflict-prone countries in the world, experiencing the highest number of conflict-related deaths of all Sub-Saharan African countries in many of the years since 2000, with a peak in 2012. In this paper, researchers at the Urban Institute and the Center for Global Development are studying the relationship between child health and conflict in Nigeria by combining geo-coded data from the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 2013 and the Social Conflict Analysis Database. In both urban and rural areas of Nigeria, they find significant increases in child wasting (acute malnutrition) in 2013 associated with proximity to violent conflict in 2012. In urban areas, infant mortality also increased significantly in 2003-2013, when the mother was exposed to conflict during pregnancy. They will discuss these findings and their implications, as well as some of the challenges to studying health in conflict-torn places.