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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.
Keynote Rebeca Grynspan, Under-Secretary-General, United Nations and Associate Administrator, United Nations Development Programme
Session I: The Ins and Outs of Inequality Measures Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development Alex Cobham, Center for Global Development James Foster, George Washington University Nora Lustig, Tulane University Martin Ravallion, Georgetown University Moderator: Lawrence MacDonald, Center for Global Development
Session II: Measuring Inequality: Policy Practitioners’ Views Andrew Berg, International Monetary Fund Santiago Levy, Inter-American Development Bankt Richard Morgan, United Nations Children's Fund Paul O’Brien, Oxfam America Jaime Saavedra, World Bank Moderator: Lawrence MacDonald, Center for Global Development
Remarks by Nancy Birdsall, Center for Global Development
The gap between the richest and poorest countries -- and people -- not only persists, it is getting larger. In developing countries in particular, inequality is frequently economically destructive, interacting with underdeveloped markets and ineffective government programs to slow growth – which in turn slows progress in reducing poverty.
This CGD conference brought together technical experts and policymakers to consider the strengths and weaknesses of various approaches to measuring and understanding inequality—and the potential application of these measures in setting national and global policy targets, including within the United Nations post-2015 development goals. It is intended as a substantive, technical contribution to the ongoing debate about what measures of inequality are useful in what settings, and how to include these in national and international policy goals.
The event included two panels: the first comprised of experts on measurement approaches and issues; and a second panel of individuals drawn from development institutions, governments, and civil society.
In outlining his vision for U.S. development assistance, US Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green has emphasized fidelity to an overarching purpose—ending its need to exist. Consistent with this objective, USAID has been developing a new strategic approach that seeks to more systematically orient its programming toward building countries’ capacity to plan, finance, and manage their own development. A key component of this “journey to self-reliance” framework is a set of metrics that will help assess each country’s progress along their journey. The metrics will help inform strategic planning around the nature of USAID’s partnership with the country, shape development dialogue, and help inform thinking about strategic transitions.
Five members of the Zimbabwe Working Group traveled to Harare May 20-25 to meet with the government, opposition leaders, and a wide range of business, religious, and civil society organizations to assess prospects for free and fair elections and for meaningful political and economic reform. Please join us to hear from the delegation as they share their findings and recommendations for US policy.
For over a decade, Boko Haram has waged a campaign of terror across northeastern Nigeria. In 2014, the kidnapping of 276 girls in Chibok shocked the world, giving rise to the #BringBackOurGirls movement. Yet Boko Haram’s campaign of violence against women and girls goes far beyond the Chibok abductions. From its inception, the group has systematically exploited women to advance its aims. Perhaps more disturbing still, some Nigerian women have chosen to become active supporters of the group, even sacrificing their lives as suicide bombers. These events cannot be understood without first acknowledging the long-running marginalization of women in Nigerian society. Having conducted extensive fieldwork throughout the region, Matfess provides a vivid and thought-provoking account of Boko Haram’s impact on the lives of Nigerian women, as well as the wider social and political context that fuels the group’s violence.
In Navigation by Judgment, Dan Honig argues that high-quality implementation of foreign aid programs often requires contextual information that cannot be seen by those in distant headquarters. Tight controls and a focus on reaching pre-set measurable targets often prevent front-line workers from using skill, local knowledge, and creativity to solve problems in ways that maximize the impact of foreign aid.