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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.

 

Have We Made Poverty History?

It is nearly a year since the leaders of the world’s most powerful nations met in Gleneagles in Scotland against the background of a popular campaign for the rich nations to do more to reduce global poverty.  So it seems a good time to take stock of whether the commitments made at Gleneagles are being met.   Several new reports do just that:

U.S. suspends Ghana from aid program

Washington – The Bush administration today abruptly suspended financial assistance to Ghana through its new Millennium Challenge Account (MCC), indefinitely postponing the schedule for signing a new compact in July. News of the suspension came the day after Ghana’s 2-1 victory in the World Cup. MCC CEO John Danilovich said the suspension was not because of any failure on Ghana’s part in the traditional MCC focus areas of ruling justly, investing in people, and economic freedom. He said "It’s a new area of concern.

Is Microcredit Obsolete?

Several approaches to microfinance have been refined over the years, some lending to groups (as at the Grameen Bank), some to individuals (increasingly prevalent in Latin America). All seek to solve a business problem: how do you deliver small-scale financial services to the poor, in countries with weak infrastructure and human capital, while minimizing administrative costs? The various approaches to microcredit are what economists would call technologies: clever ways of producing a service that was once thought impossible, or at least impossibly expensive.

CGD Workshop Explores Economic Performance of the World's Youngest Democracies

Twenty experts in development from the academic and policy communities gathered at CGD on Monday 12 June to assess the economic performance of the world’s youngest or “third wave” democracies. The purpose of the discussion was to consider under which economic conditions these democracies are most likely to consolidate--or to backslide and even reverse--and to discuss what the international community can do to support these new democracies.

IMF, Heal Thyself! (Why Daniel Bradlow's Diagnosis is Mostly Right)

Professor Daniel Bradlow presented his ideas for reforming the IMF at a workshop on Friday organized by the New Rules for Global Finance coalition. Based on his paper - The Changing Role of the IMF in the Governance of the Global Economy and its Consequences (pdf) - he argued that the IMF has slowly mutated from a global monetary organization into a macro-economically oriented development financing institution but has not yet sufficiently recognized the implications of these changes.

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