Ideas to Action:

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Rohingya Crisis: How Can the US and Humanitarian Groups Respond?

Long-simmering conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine state has exploded in recent weeks, leading to the rapid flight of more than 400,000 members of the country’s Rohingya population into neighboring Bangladesh. The pace of this flight has few precedents in recent history, faster even than the massive flight of Albanians from Kosovo during the 1999 war. The Rohingya are fleeing what appears to be a conscious campaign of violence by Myanmar’s security forces, in what numerous observers argue constitutes a policy of ethnic cleansing. Those who have survived the violence and escaped to Bangladesh face enormous humanitarian needs, and uncertain prospects for ever returning to their now-razed villages and homes. Refugees International, Human Rights Watch, and numerous other agencies are assessing and documenting the violence and have deployed personnel to the border region to interview survivors.

Opportunity for Reform: Four Proposals for Redesigning US Foreign Assistance

With plans for a redesign of the State Department and United States Agency for International Development well under way, this is a critical moment for an informed discussion of the latest reforms proposals that will make US foreign assistance more effective and efficient. Please join us for a bipartisan debate featuring authors of four recent reports that outline options for reform and reorganization of US global development functions. The event will bring to light key areas of consensus and divergence among experts, and will aim to highlight emerging organizing principles for the future of US foreign assistance, potential structural changes to the US global development architecture, and opportunities for building momentum in a fluid political and legislative environment.

Implementing Clinical Trials during Epidemics: The Ebola Experience

The 2014-2015 Ebola epidemic broke out and affected thousands of people at a time when there were no medicines approved to treat or prevent Ebola. Poor infrastructure, capacity gaps, widespread mistrust, and disagreements over the design and ethical nature of any clinical trials complicated efforts to conduct research on investigational drugs and vaccines. In the wake of the outbreak, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine tasked a committee with analyzing the clinical trials carried out during the outbreak and developing recommendations to improve the implementation of such trials in the future. In this session, committee members Gerald Keusch and David Peters will discuss findings from the committee’s recently released report and the kind of governance structures that need to be in place for effective international coordination and collaboration.