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.
Effectiveness sounds dull. But what if an extra dollar or rupee in a budget could feed ten people instead of one? Or if $100,000 of international aid spending could be tweaked so it would save ten times as many lives? When the stakes are this high, efficiency in spending becomes a moral imperative. Moreover, unlike debates over ideology or religion, debates over efficiency can actually get somewhere, because there is a straightforward mechanism for resolving them: compare the predictable costs and benefits of different courses of action and see which yields more bang for the buck.
With plans for a redesign of the State Department and United States Agency for International Development well under way, this is a critical moment for an informed discussion of the latest reforms proposals that will make US foreign assistance more effective and efficient. Please join us for a bipartisan debate featuring authors of four recent reports that outline options for reform and reorganization of US global development functions. The event will bring to light key areas of consensus and divergence among experts, and will aim to highlight emerging organizing principles for the future of US foreign assistance, potential structural changes to the US global development architecture, and opportunities for building momentum in a fluid political and legislative environment.
In 2014, unprecedented numbers of children and families began crossing the southern border of the United States, sparking an ongoing debate on what was driving them and how the U.S. should respond. Using data provided by the Department of Homeland Security, new research by Michael Clemens finds the flow of unaccompanied child migrants to the United States has been driven by a complex mix of violence and economic forces. How do these elements interact, and how can foreign policy be a form of migration policy?
Strengthening institutions is a foremost priority in fragile states and building fiscal capacity is especially important in the effort to exit fragility. In its recent paper Building Fiscal Capacity in Fragile States, the IMF draws on analysis of 39 fragile states and eight country case studies to describe its approach to fiscal reforms in fragile states and to draw lessons going forward. Participants will bring both advisory and policymaker perspectives to the panel discussion.
In The Shadow List, State Department crisis expert Judd Ryker is chasing an American banker who’s disappeared after falling for a Nigerian scam. Meanwhile, his CIA wife Jessica is hunting a notorious Russian mob boss. Little do they know, they’re pulling on opposite ends of the same dangerous thread. Throw in Chinese oil companies under attack, corrupt American politicians, a kidnapped NBA star, and an undercover FBI sting operation and it’s the latest diplomatic thriller ripped from the headlines by CGD senior fellow Todd Moss.
Policymakers in rich and poor countries interested in boosting growth increasingly view women entrepreneurs as an underutilized asset. The launch of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Facility (We-Fi) at the G20 Summit is one example of a major initiative to mobilize more than $1 billion to help women start and grow businesses. But, beyond the scale of resources, important questions about how they are allocated need to be addressed.
Please join a panel of distinguished thought and practice leaders from the World Bank, WeConnect, and the Global Banking Alliance for Women for a discussion of how to formulate a holistic approach to this set of challenges. What does the evidence tell us about the most effective ways to support access to finance, access to skills and networks, and access to markets? And how can interventions best be combined?
The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic broke out and affected thousands of people at a time when there were no medicines approved to treat or prevent Ebola. Poor infrastructure, capacity gaps, widespread mistrust, and disagreements over the design and ethical nature of any clinical trials complicated efforts to conduct research on investigational drugs and vaccines. In the wake of the outbreak, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine tasked a committee with analyzing the clinical trials carried out during the outbreak and developing recommendations to improve the implementation of such trials in the future. In this session, committee members Gerald Keusch and David Peters will discuss findings from the committee’s recently released report and the kind of governance structures that need to be in place for effective international coordination and collaboration.
More than a billion Indian residents now have a biometric digital identity: Aadhaar. Its use across various sectors is increasing rapidly. The State of Aadhaar Report 2016-17 aims to provide a comprehensive overview of Aadhaar’s technological and operational architecture, legal and governance framework, uses in financial inclusion and social protection, and emerging applications in other sectors. Given the large scale and complicated nature of Aadhaar and its uses, the purpose of this report is to provide a holistic picture of the Aadhaar landscape over the last decade, to encourage evidence-informed discourse and decision making in the public and private sectors, and to spur future policy-relevant research projects.