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.

 

A No More Tiers Formula to Clean Up Corruption

A bipartisan group of eight Senators led by Senate Foreign Relations Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD) has just reintroduced a new version of a bill designed to identify and combat corruption overseas. The Combating Global Corruption Act of 2017 ties some potentially useful anti-corruption measures to a less-than-useful exercise in corruption ranking that will blunt their impact. That’s a shame, but it also suggests an easy fix: junk the ranking.

A Key Question If You Are Reviewing Multilateral Organization Effectiveness: Do We Need a Multilateral Solution?

There’s increasing appetite in the US to follow the UK model and launch a review of US spending through international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank. There is a lot to be said for such an exercise—my colleague Todd Moss even carried out a mock version for the US a few years ago which suggested plaudits for Gavi and the African Development Fund alongside brickbats for the ILO and UNESCO. But I think the model has a serious weakness if it is going to be applied as broadly in the US as some proposals, including a draft executive order making the rounds, imply. I’d argue for (preferably) limiting the review to like-to-like comparisons covering aid and development institutions or (at least) using different criteria for judging the many different types of international organizations.

From Noble Intentions to Nobel-Worthy Results

The budget that the President submitted to Congress this week included an 8 percent increase in the international affairs account, including a commendable increase for the Millennium Challenge Corporation. But what we haven’t seen from this administration yet is a concrete proposal for how America can deliver on enlightened self-interest by helping to dramatically accelerate progress among the five billion people worldwide who live on less than $10 a day—well below the US poverty line. 

Better Aid? Yes, Minister

A year ago, ActionAid Italy and and BOND came out with a report on aid agency independence.  Comparing the performance of independent aid ministries with aid agencies that function under another ministry (foreign affairs, as it might be), the report made the case that “there is a positive correlation between a cabinet rank minister and better development systems including aid commitments being honored, aid levels that are less volatile and an increase in aid quality and effectiveness.”