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.


US Energy Policy Hypocrisy vs. Global Energy Poverty

The Electrify Africa Act is back, re-vamped for 2015 and a new session of Congress. Representatives Royce, Engel, and Bass introduced the bill this week (the House passed an earlier version last year, but the Senate didn’t vote on corresponding legislation before the end of the last congressional session). It includes many important provisions that aim to help African countries extend access to electricity to at least 50 million people by 2020.

Seven Graphics that Explain Energy Poverty and How the US Can Do Much More

Energy poverty is an endemic and crippling problem; nearly 600 million people in Africa live without access to any power, which also means no access to safer and healthier electric cooking and heating, powered health centers and refrigerated medicines, light to study at night, or electricity to run a business.  Here’s the situation in the 6 countries chosen to be part of President Obama’s Power Africa Initiative, home to nearly 1/3 of the continent’s population. 

Five Ways to Breathe New Life into the G-20 Infrastructure Agenda

The Australians are using their G-20 presidency to make a fresh start with the group’s infrastructure agenda, launching a new “Infrastructure and Investment” working group this week in Mexico City.

And not a moment too soon. A recent CGD study group Scott chaired concluded that this highly compelling agenda risks becoming a stale one absent some new approaches.

How Long Can You Live with This Kind of “Modern” Energy?

Lant Pritchett lambasts the donor focus on eliminating extreme poverty because getting the income of poor people to the $1.25/day threshold is a pathetic definition of success.  A decade ago Lant had proposed $15/day as more sensible minimum for human wellbeing. Today, he worries that setting our sights too low prevents us from meeting the real goal of development—to build modern, prosperous societies.