Views from the Center

CGD experts offer ideas and analysis to improve international development policy. Also check out our Global Health blog and US Development Policy blog.

 

Global Business and Refugee Crises: A Framework for Sustainable Engagement

On Thursday we launched our new research at an event in New York with the Tent Foundation and CEOs from Airbnb, Ikea, and other multinational corporations on how global businesses can engage refugees in more sustainable ways. As leaders gather for the UN General Assembly, we hope they will focus on the unique value add of businesses. Their leadership is vital at a time when some governments—including the United States, a historic leader on refugee issues—are stepping back from their commitments.

Can Technology Solve the De-risking Problem?

In recent years, regulators have raised their expectations for what counts as adequate AML/CFT compliance. At the same time, they have cracked down on institutions that have fallen short. While arguably necessary, this more stringent enforcement has produced some unintended side effects. In particular, it has put pressure on banks’ ability and willingness to deliver certain types of services, notably correspondent banking services.

A Third Wave of Intellectual Leadership on Development at the UN?

In the lifetime of the United Nations, there have been two times when there have been intellectual centers addressing major global issues that led to a sea change in how the world works. One such time was in the late 1940s when a number of Nobel Prize thinkers created national accounting, like the gross national product, and established the post-World War II international trade regime. The second such time started in 1989. Can we imagine a third wave of intellectual leadership at the UN?

The Real Economic Cost of Accepting Refugees

The arrival of more than a million refugees and migrants in Europe has brought widespread concern they will become an economic drain on the countries that welcome them. When economists have studied past influxes of refugees and migrants they have found the labor market effects, while varied, are very limited, and can in fact be positive.

Fragile Gains in a Fragile State: Economic Development in Afghanistan

When NATO forces entered Afghanistan following the attacks of September 11, 2001, much of the country’s infrastructure, as well as its public institutions and underlying social fabric, had been destroyed by more than two and a half decades of conflict. At the time, landmines were still killing an average of 40 Afghans a day. Over the last 15 years, the international community, led by the United States, has invested massive resources in an attempt to transform Afghanistan into a more stable, modern, and prosperous country.

Helping Women Entrepreneurs: Worth the Effort, but Complicated

A consistent but perhaps unsurprising theme of CGD’s September 7 panel discussion, "Women Entrepreneurs: What Really Helps Them Start and Grow Businesses?" was that neither the challenges nor the solutions are simple. Access to finance—frequently emphasized—is not the only issue. And even within access to finance, it is important to look at both supply and demand, at both debt and equity, and at the behavior and attitudes of loan officers as well as bank managers.

Is USAID Set Up to Fail on Disaster Reconstruction?

With Hurricane Irma now pushing a devastating path through the Caribbean, USAID is gearing up to do what it does best. Its Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) do amazing work—deploying rapidly in the wake of natural hazards like hurricanes and often bringing the logistical might of the US military with them. These teams go in big and fast to save lives, distribute food, set up emergency shelter, and prevent secondary impacts like disease outbreaks. But then things begin to falter. 

Can Outsourcing Improve Liberia's Schools? Preliminary RCT Results

Last summer, the Liberian government delegated management of 93 public elementary schools to eight different private contractors. Given the intense controversy around the program, the government—with some encouragement from our colleagues at Ark Education Partnership Group, who helped manage the program—agreed to randomize the allocation of schools during the pilot, and the three of us partnered with Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to evaluate its impacts.

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