Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

US Development Policy

CGD experts track US development policy and offer ideas and analysis to improve its impact on developing countries. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and Global Health Policy blog.


Let’s Not Help the Philippines Like We Helped Haiti

The immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, such as that the typhoon which devastated part of the Phillipines on Friday, can bring out the best of the global community. There will come a time to discuss how we can do more to prevent the environmental changes which make such events more likely; but the immediate priority is to get water, food and shelter to people who urgently need it. 

Lies, Damn Lies and Surveys about Foreign Aid

This is a joint post with Ruth Summers.

Want to know what Americans think about the foreign aid budget? They think it is big. If they thought it were small, they might want to cut it less. On the other hand, they might not. In fact the real problem isn’t the actual or perceived size of the aid budget, it is what people think is done with it. They believe a lot of aid money is wasted. Want to shore up support for development assistance? Rather than say ‘but it is such a small amount!’ try persuading people it might do some good.

Foreign Aid and the Public: Interests and Ethics Redux

Especially in times of budget pressure, the debate over rationales for foreign assistance revive. Last night on PBS’ Newshour, former First Lady Laura Bush, Melinda Gates, and Helene Gayle, president of CARE, spoke eloquently about the importance of Congress maintaining funding for maternal and child health. I was heartened and impressed by their commitment, but also a little discomfited by the emphasis on national security as a key motivation for aid.