Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity


CGD's weekly Podcast, event videos, whiteboard talks, slides, and more.

Societal Platforms: Building beyond Aadhaar for Sustainable Development

CGD, in partnership with the World Bank Group, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Omidyar Network, is delighted to host Nandan Nilekani, the founding chairman of UIDAI (Aadhaar), the unique identification system of India, which has enrolled more than a billion people. Nilekani will speak on “Societal Platforms: A Cambrian Approach to Sustainable Development”—how we can distill principles from the unique architecture of Aadhaar to develop new platforms, like EkStep, that can enable people to access an increasingly wide array of transformative services.

Financial Regulation for Financial Inclusion: What Should Policymakers Do?

The rise of digital technology has nurtured a growing industry in financial services that benefit the poor, from mobile payments and money transfers to micro-savings and mobile-based crop insurance. But as the financial landscape evolves to include these disruptive innovations, new players and new business models could bring fresh risks to individual users and to financial systems. So how should policymakers respond?

Program-for-Results: An Update on the World Bank's New Finance Tool (Event Video)

The World Bank's Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument was approved in January 2012 to complement the two existing financing instruments of the Bank: the Policy Financing instrument (DPL), which focuses on discrete policy actions within the direct control of governments, and the Project Financing instrument (IL), the Bank's main instrument to finance investment projects. PforR has been developed to enable the Bank to support the performance of a government program using the government's own systems, and when the risks to achieving the program's objectives relate to the capacity of the systems to achieve better results.

Time to Revisit Industrial Policy? (Event Video)

Industrial policy—an active government role in shaping the direction of the economy—is often disdained by Western-trained economists but frequently embraced by Asian policymakers. Is it the path to development success or a slippery slope that leads to development failure? “New Structural Economics: A Framework for Rethinking Development and Policy” by World Bank chief economist Justin Lin and contributing authors provides a timely opportunity to review the evidence. Are systemic reforms to strengthen the business climate enough? How can policymakers guard against the well-known risks of favoring specific sectors or firms? Is there such a thing as a "New Industrial Policy" and can it provide useful guidelines for developing countries? This debate is of particular interest for low-income countries in Africa and elsewhere and the advice provided by their development partners.