Book Talk
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 12:30pm

There are fewer people living in extreme poverty in the world today than 30 years ago. While that is an achievement, continuing progress for poor people is far from assured. Inequalities in access to key resources threaten to stall growth and poverty reduction in many places. The world’s poorest have made only a small absolute gain over those 30 years. Progress has been slow against relative poverty, judged by the standards of the country and time one lives in. And a great many people in the world’s emerging middle class remain vulnerable to falling back into poverty.

CGD Invited Research Forum
Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 12:30pm

Under what conditions can electoral politics lead to the emergence of strong legislatures? An underlying assumption in much of the literature on democratization and democratic consolidation is that electoral competition strengthens both vertical and horizontal accountability. Yet the spread of multiparty elections over the last two decades has resulted in varying levels of legislative institutionalization and strength in much of the developing world. With data on legislative activity in Kenya and Zambia under both autocracy and democracy, Ken Opalo argues that legislative strength at the point of transition conditions both the rate and direction of legislative development after transition. In other words, that institutional development takes time and spans the transition moment. This is a departure from the current literature on autocratic and democratic institutions that (over) emphasize the significance of discontinuities around regime transitions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 12:30pm

Islamic law lays down detailed rules regulating the upbringing of children. In this month's Sandwich Seminar, Marco Alfano examines the effect of these rules on parental behaviour by exploiting a unique natural experiment: the introduction of Sharia law in 13 northern Nigerian states in 2000. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 3:30pm

Public Private Partnerships in infrastructure alone in developing countries bring investment worth more than $100 billion a year. But such partnerships are often designed and implemented with little transparency –increasing the risk of unsustainable agreements and hindering the diffusion of best practice. At the request of the G20, the World Bank Group is working on a framework for public disclosure of information in Public-Private Partnership transactions.

Public Event
Thursday, January 14, 2016 - 9:30am

Last month, the MCC Board of Directors made its annual decisions about which developing countries are eligible to receive the agency’s large-scale assistance.  In the end, they selected five countries for MCC support: Cote d’Ivoire, Kosovo, and Senegal for compact programs, and Sri Lanka and Togo for threshold programs. Several strategic factors and considerations underpinned each of these decisions.  Should MCC undertake regionally-based programs?  Which previous MCC compact countries should receive further support going forward?  Do MCC’s current income-level measures remain fit for purpose for identifying prospective partners?

Public Event
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 7:30pm

It’s that time of year again...CGD’s annual State of the Union Game Night! Please join us on January 12 for the 2016 State of Union address. We’ll be listening to hear President Obama’s plans for the global development agenda during his final year in office. And we'll be playing our famous development bingo during his remarks.

Book Talk
Tuesday, January 12, 2016 - 4:00pm

The slave trade, colonial rule and apartheid were once all legal. Hard power then won lawful authority: might literally made legal rights. The global revolutions that abolished those coercive rights were extraordinary—yet they left today’s multi-trillion trade in oil and minerals untouched. Current law incentivizes authoritarianism, conflict and corruption so strongly that oil states in the developing world today are no freer, no richer and no more peaceful than they were in 1980. All of the recent reforms around extractives—from transparency to certification to oil-to-cash—point toward the modern idea that the people, not power, should have the ultimate right to control a country’s resources. Can the US lead the West toward the next global revolution, by abolishing its legal trade in authoritarian oil and conflict minerals?

Public Event
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 11:30am

One month since the Paris climate agreement, it’s essential to maintain the momentum of that highpoint in global cooperation towards addressing the problems of climate change. But how can nations now turn words into action? Join us for a panel discussion on tangible policy options to spur the climate action envisioned in the Paris Agreement. How does a carbon market actually work? What is the role of carbon taxes in reducing global emissions? Why is financing tropical forest preservation the cheapest way for rich countries to cut emissions?

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 3:00pm

The Center for Global Development is hosting several side events in Paris during the 21st UNFCCC Conference of Parties. Frances Seymour, Jonah Busch and Michele de Nevers will be sharing ongoing research from the forthcoming book, Why Forests? Why Now?(, as well as findings from the recently released working group report, Look to the Forests: How Performance Payments Can Slow Climate Change ( CGD is partnering with fellow civil society organizations and country pavilions to emphasize that tropical forests are essential for climate stability and sustainable development, that now is the time for action, and that payment-for-performance finance is a mechanism with great potential for success. Please note that events within the COP venue require proper accreditation, unless otherwise indicated.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 12:30pm

Can short–term unconditional cash transfers (UCT) create longer-term impacts? In a new paper, Berk Özler and co-authors study a group of young women in Malawi, who participated in a two-year cash transfer experiment as adolescents, in order to understand the long-term impacts of these short-term cash transfers. More than two years after the end of transfers, they find that the substantial short-term benefits of the program have largely evaporated. Unconditional cash transfers (UCT) caused short-term reductions in marriage, fertility, and HIV infection, but the cessation of cash transfers is immediately followed by a wave of marriages and pregnancies, accompanied with a catch-up to the control group in HIV prevalence. For those who had already dropped out of school at the outset of the experiment, two years of conditional cash transfers produced a meaningful long-term increase in educational attainment, delays in marriage, declines in fertility, and a more educated pool of husbands; however they see no increase in employment rates, earnings, real-life capabilities, or empowerment, suggesting that schooling itself has not improved the medium-term welfare of young women in this context.

Development Matters
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 5:30pm

EVERY LAST CHILD is the dramatic story of five people impacted by the current polio crisis in Pakistan. Taking place on the front line of the fight against the disease, it is a story of sacrifice, fearless determination and sorrow in the face of mistrust, cynicism and violence.Through the vivid stories of its five subjects—a medical specialist, a vaccinator, a vaccination skeptic, an adult polio victim and a sick child—we are drawn in to the desperate search for a solution to this devastating disease.

Public Event
Monday, December 7, 2015 - 1:30pm

Hospitals are central to building and maintaining healthy populations around the world. They serve as the first point of care for many, offer access to specialized care, act as loci for medical education and research, and influence standards for national health systems at large. Yet despite their centrality within health systems, hospitals have been sidelined to the periphery of the global health agenda. As a result, many hospitals in low- and middle-income countries have failed to evolve and modernize – with sometimes tragic consequences for population health, patient safety, and the global movement to achieve universal health coverage.

The global health community must take a fresh look at its investments in hospitals, and a new CGD report – the product of its Hospitals for Health Working Group – proposes a viable path forward. Please join us for the launch of this new report and a discussion of its recommendations. The distinguished speakers will highlight the report’s findings, debate its implications for global health funders, and provide updates on the establishment of a Global Hospital Collaborative to improve hospital performance in emerging economies.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 12:30pm

 In this CGD Europe Sandwich Seminar, Osea Giuntella presents results from a paper with Catia Nicodemo and Carlos Vargas Silva on the effects of immigration on waiting times in the National Health Service (NHS) in England. Linking administrative records from the Hospital Episode Statistics (2003-2012) with immigration data drawn from the UK Labour Force Survey, they find that immigration reduced waiting times for outpatient referrals and did not have significant effects on waiting times in Accident and Emergency (A&E) and elective care.

These results are explained by the fact that immigration increases the chance that natives moved elsewhere and that immigrants tend to be healthier than the natives moving to different areas. On the contrary, they show that outpatient waiting times tend to increase in areas where native internal migrants moved into. Finally, they find evidence that immigration increased waiting times for outpatient referrals in more deprived areas outside London. The increase in average waiting times in more deprived areas is concentrated in the years immediately following the 2004 EU enlargement and vanished three to 4 years later.

Public Event
Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 9:00am

How can we bridge the gap between what we know and what we do when investing in women and girls? The Birdsall House Conference Series on Women brings leading researchers on women’s empowerment in the fields of development economics, behavioral economics, and political economy together with policymakers who can convert findings to action.

Book Talk
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 4:00pm

“Sustainability” is not just an environmental concept. It also applies to market outcomes. No society has figured out how to allocate scarce economic resources efficiently on behalf of society’s needs without using market processes. But markets sometimes fail in this process, especially when hunger, poverty, income inequality and political voice are at stake. Peter Timmer’s book Food Security and Scarcity: Why Ending Hunger is So Hard, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in conjunction with the Center for Global Development, provides clear guidelines on how to analyze government policies and market structures in order to reduce hunger in a sustainable fashion.

Public Event
Tuesday, November 17, 2015 - 10:30am

Multiple crises in the Latin American past, including severe banking crises, have been accompanied by sharp and persistent devaluations. This time around, the impressively large currency depreciations (over 50 percent in some countries) resulting from the ongoing commodity price shock and volatile international capital markets have resulted in contraction in output growth (and even recession in Brazil), but no financial crisis. Why not? And can Latin America muddle through this episode of adverse international conditions and avoid the severe financial crises that distinguished the region in the 1980s and 1990s? Or will cumulative shocks eventually expose domestic financial vulnerabilities and cause severe crises to ensue?

Public Event
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 4:00pm

Countering terrorism is and must remain a critical national security priority for the United States and countries around the world. Anti–money laundering (AML) and combating the financing of terrorism (CFT) laws are key tools in these efforts. However, there are rising concerns that these efforts are increasingly hurting emerging market economies. And worse, some of the efforts to combat money laundering and terror financing may be having the opposite effect than intended—driving financial flows underground, making them less transparent and more susceptible to being used for nefarious purposes. How should we think about and address these unintended effects? A new CGD report (to be released at this event) tries to answer this question and will be the focus of the panel discussion that follows Dr. Sheets’ opening remarks.

Public Event
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 2:00pm

President Obama’s trip to Kenya earlier this year elicited charges from within the country that the United States was seeking to impose LGBT rights on unwilling Kenyans. This sentiment has found support among political leaders in many developing countries, who have sanctioned the persecution of sexual minorities for political gain while raising the specter of a new colonialism that would seek to impose Western values on their traditional cultures.

But beyond media reports highlighting cases of abuse and persecution in various countries, what do we know about the state of LBGT rights in the developing world more generally? And in the face of abuse, what can Washington do about it?

Following featured remarks from former US Representative Barney Frank, an expert panel will address these issues from the perspective of policymakers, researchers, and development practitioners.




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