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.

 

Approach Bird Flu Like Financial Contagion -- Seriously

If your neighbor’s apartment is on fire, do you hoard all the water until the flames are at your door? That seems to be the U.S. response to the risk of avian influenza. The U.S. strategy (see Owen Barder’s summary U.S. Plans for Avian Flu is mostly "U.S. first." It emphasizes stockpiling existing anti-viral medications and pushing research on vaccines to serve the U.S. Particularly in the face of a global shortage, such massive stockpiling is off-base.

How High the Ceiling? US Proposal on Agricultural Subsidies Would Make Caps Meaningless

While US negotiators continue to hammer on the European Union to improve its offer on agricultural market access in the Doha trade talks, US intransigience is holding up progress on agricultural subsidy cuts. One of the few achievements thus far in the negotiations is agreement that there should be caps on the amount of subsidy for specific commodities, such as cotton. US negotiators are insisting on using 1999-2001 as the base period for setting these caps, while other negotiators want to use a longer period average, for 1995-2000.

Liberia's President Sirleaf: A true African hero

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf addressed a Joint Session of Congress on March 15th. This is only the second time in the last decade that an African Head of State has addressed Congress – the first being South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. She was superb. The combination of humility, resolve, courage, strength of purpose, and vision, along with great communication skills, made it one of the best speeches I have seen on any topic in a long time.

The 2006 National Security Strategy: Democracy as the Key to Peace and Development?

The White House’s updated National Security Strategy, released yesterday, offers an unapologetic if rose-tinted defense of Bush administration policies since September 2002, when the previous NSS appeared. Although most of the chapter headings are the same (“Champion Aspirations for Human Dignity,” “Expand the Circle of Development,” etc.), the new version goes well beyond broad declarations of unassailable principles: it seeks to marshal evidence of administration success in achieving these goals.

Millennium Villages: Useful contribution to development or publicity stunt?

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, spoke yesterday at CGD (video clip available) to describe his Millennium Villages Project. Sachs’s argument is generally that countries like India developed not by ineffectual, small amounts of foreign aid – as he argues the US delivers today – but by creating a Green Revolution. Communities learned to work together, and with fertilizers donated in part by the United States, they became able to feed themselves and eventually to begin developing.

After the Death of a Dictator

Slobodan MilosevicThe death Saturday of former Serbian dictator Slobodan Milosevic (see the BBC Online for one of the many obits) provides only cold comfort to the thousands of families shattered by his policies of ugly nationalism during the 1990s.

Pages

Views From The Center Blog

Tags

Experts